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All About the IEP and 504 Plan

What is an IEP meeting and how do I prepare for it?


What is the difference between an IEP and a 504?

The simple answer is that if your child has been diagnosed with one of the 13 listed disabilities in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), they are required by law to have specialized instruction outlined in an Individual Education Plan (IEP). If your child has not been diagnosed with one of the 13 listed disabilities, but needs changes to their learning environment in order to learn, they will receive a 504 plan but no specialized instruction. If a child receives an IEP, you can ask the school district to pay for a private evaluation. IEPs are more involved than 504 plans and IEPs require a team of educators and regular meetings to plan the student's accommodations and discuss educational goals for the student and their progress.  Read this article for more. 

What to do if the 504 Plan doesn't seem to be working.


The district is only allowing my child a 504 but I believe they need an IEP. How do I advocate for this?

  • If you've obtained a private evaluation, but the school only wants to implement a 504 plan, find an advocate and come up with a plan to get an IEP. 


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