ADD & 504 plan

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
ADD & 504 plan
Tue, 11-06-2012 - 4:03pm

I posted this on the ADD board as well, but this one is more active - well, hopefully it will become more active again after the storm and the transition to the new boards - !

My 12yo son is on track for an official diagnosis of ADD-inattentive.  He's already seen his neurologist and met with the school psychologist, so now it's just a paperwork thing to get that on file.  The psychologist suggested that after the paperwork is done, we get him on a 504 plan that would give him extra time and extra help, which he has said he would like. 

My question is, is there any downside to that?  Not emotionally - we are all fine with it and just want him to succeed and feel good about his work - but anything in the future that will be affected by his having a 504 plan?  I just want to be sure I'm thinking this all through before we jump on board.  I'd love to hear from anyone whose child had a 504 plan that didn't involve special education, just a little extra classroom help and time to complete work.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Wed, 11-07-2012 - 9:51pm

Our youngest SIL is somewhere on the mild end of the Asperger’s Syndrome spectrum, so we have a soft spot for those who struggle with it. Life for them can be extremely painful—especially during the school years.

Our Butchman may struggle with social interaction, but like a good running back he spots the holes to run up yardage for the team. Years ago, Butch devised a long range plan to get his best friend and their future wives (our daughters) law degrees. The original plan had been for all four to end up together in a top tier law school. When that became a bit of a stretch for the older two, Butch adjusted the plan and targeted on lesser ranked schools in the bottom third or fourth of US News rankings, which were achievable. Some would call these “schools for bottom feeders,” but that never bothered our bottom feeders.

If you are really “hot stuff” here in the banana Republic of Texas, you attend either UT Austin or Texas A&M University. According to the hot stuff folks, the other ten or fifteen state funded universities are not worthy of them. And nothing but the law school at UT Austin is acceptable for the hot stuff crowd.

I have little doubt that Butch and our youngest daughter were hot stuff enough academically, but they chose to remain with the older two and move as a convoy to the goal. Our two SILs somewhat remind me of CP3O and R2D2 of Starwars in that one interacts with people, while the other one interacts with the system.

Well, the bottom feeder law school where the kids attend classes is in the process of being sold by the private university that owns it to Texas A&M University. A&M will be gunning to beat UT Austin, which is now ranked #16 on the list of 200 law schools by US News. A&M has alumni with deep pockets and clout in the state legislature to come up with the money to do it. This is somewhat like having your AA farm league baseball team moved up to the majors alongside the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees.

Along the way Butch influenced several other students to follow their dream and “go where they could get in”—now. Among those students, four have parents at the large law firm where Butch’s dad is and where three of our four students have part time flunky jobs. The students that Butch encouraged to attend Bottom Feeder School of Law all think Butchman walks on water. LOL

This school wasn’t even on Butch’s radar screen until he and our DD oopsed with the birth control and that situation required a school with a part-time evening program close to home where the grandparents could babysit while they all go off to classes.

The family members that I mentioned in a post yesterday who were successful at navigating college were all willing to adjust their plans to make success possible. One never took more than 9 units in the fall and spring and 3 units in each of the two summer sessions. You might say “he asked to be in a slower group at college.” LOL It took six years to get his engineering degree.

Another took a reduced load and took summers off to work at a summer camp as a counselor. Had he not done that he might not have met his wife of the past 20 plus years at that camp. Lucky them!

Five years ago, the mother of one of our nephews had gone to a golf tournament that her son was playing in. It was late June and she and her hubby had no clue as to what they were going to do with their son college wise because he had just barely graduated from a private school for severely learning disabled students with annual tuition around $10,000. OUCH! When the man standing next to this mother asked where her son was going for college, she broke into tears. This man was the coach of a state university golf team who encouraged her son to apply to his university because they had a special program for the learning disabled. That fall sonny entered the university and the golf team program; his father feared that he would not survive the first semester. Last May sonny boy graduated from that university.

Always be willing to be flexible and adaptable while keeping an eye on the goal. There are many paths to the goal; be patient and find the one that works.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 11-07-2012 - 10:05am

Thanks Sabr!  Got your PM and will reply later when I have more time.

I'm glad to hear the overall positive responses.  DS is smart at math and talented at music, and we want him to be able to achieve what he can, especially in those areas.  Sounds like the 504 can help him with it.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 11-07-2012 - 10:03am

We had a very similar experience with our oldest.  I wish we'd had him tested sooner for Aspergers and ADD but that's water under the bridge.  He did drive his 10th & 11th grade teachers CRAZY because they knew he was the smartest kid in the class and yet he kept not doing his work.  Well, it's a long story and it's working out fine now, but I wish we'd done more for him sooner.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Wed, 11-07-2012 - 1:05am

I don't have first hand experience with it but my nephew had one in HS and was able to continue it in college (public U). I don't recall hearing stories of him being stigmatized etc.

My "story" about a kid being stigmatized: there was something going on with dd (she started failing HS classes after going through elementary in the highly gifted classes) and I thought she should be tested, dh refused because he thought she would be stigmatized by teachers and peers as being different or something negative. So she was not tested, didn't do most of her course work in HS classes, and ended up being thought of as a slacker by her teachers. She got kicked out of the honors classes and put in a sort-of remedial English class. The first paper she turned in for that class, I got a call from the teacher accusing her of plagiarism...I guess the word in the teacher's lounge was that she was a unintelligent slacker. IMO, if she was going to be "stigmatized" or labeled I would have preferred it to be because she had some kind of disorder or disability than because they thought she was lazy or stupid.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Tue, 11-06-2012 - 11:32pm

Sabr, has lots of experience with those types of issues, so her advice has great weight and wisdom to it.

I have had cousins, nieces, and nephews that needed these types of special accommodations and I know of none that were hurt by them. To the contrary they were helped immensely by them.

There is the old joke about the father who keeps bringing work home from the office night after night. And his little 7 year old son says, “Dad, I think you need to ask to be put in a slower group at work.” And I think that applies to school and college as well. Travel at a speed that allows success. The above mentioned family members all graduated from college in five or six years and have gone on to carriers and happy lives.

Sadly, on the flip side, we have family members with more ability and talent who flamed out and never will graduate. Maybe adversity strengthens the first group for the long haul.

I think every kid has special needs that need special attention at certain times in their life. Sometimes you have to go to bat for what’s best for your child. Don’t hesitate, but be as polite as possible. I could be mistaken, but I think most districts will try to accommodate reasonable requests by parents.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 11-06-2012 - 10:24pm
Kelly, I sent you a PM, which came out as one ENORMOUSLY long block of text, bereft of formatting. Don't be put off. To give a SHORT answer, YDD had a 504 in 7th & 8th grade, & both my kids had 504's in HS. They were in honors and AP classes, & had no problems other than having to continually nag the school to actually DO what they had agreed to do. We were very fortunate that the school HS guidance counselor we had was allowed to counsel ALL the members of a family, who went thru the school--and that he was very good with kids like ours. He counseled both of my girls and both of my great nephews (who are also ADD+), and all had excellent HS outcomes.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001
Tue, 11-06-2012 - 6:00pm

If anything it can be an advantage.  There are colleges out there who will continue to work with students who plans in action at the time of graduation.  I wouldn't hesitate at all.