Noteworthy

Information and thoughts from Dr. Patricia Hess to you

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When School Is A Struggle

I see parents struggle with how to make sure their children are getting the best education possible when they are faced with a mental health or learning challenge. A child’s rights to an equal public education can be confusing, so here is a simple breakdown of the 2 laws in place and how they basically differ. This may help you choose which educational map or right for your child. For more information check out the Disability Rights website in your state. In Florida that site is www.disabilityrightsflorida.org

The individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA):

  1. This is an education law
  2. Children ages 3-21 must have a disability & need special education
  3. Child will get an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) which should prepare him or her for future education, employment and independent living
  4. All students eligible for IDEA are also protected under 504, and modifications are also included in the IEP
  5. Detailed due process, written notice to parents is required for meetings, and meetings must be held by the school before changes can be made to the IEP
  6. Conduct related to disability can’t be disciplined by change of placement for more than 10 days. Conduct not related to disability can be disciplined but child remains eligible for special education after discipline procedures.
  7. May be right for your child if specialized instruction or education is required

 

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act:

  1. This is a civil rights law, not an education law
  2. Children must have a disability, but do not need special education
  3. Children & parents, otherwise capable, will not be discriminated against or excluded from school programs and benefits based on their handicap, modifications and support services are put in place to ensure equal opportunity to education and school activities
  4. Students protected under 504 are not necessarily eligible under IDEA
  5. Many detailed left to the school, only adequate notice need be given to parents with an opportunity for the parents to be heard before changes are made
  6. Conduct related to disability can’t be disciplined by change of placement for more than 10 days. Conduct not related to disability can be disciplined and the child is not necessarily entitled to continued education at that school.
  7. May be right for your child if modifications or accommodations are needed, but specialized instruction or education is not needed

Stay healthy and informed, Dr. Patricia Hess – Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

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