Do you need a diagnosis to get a 504 plan?
Thank you all for your replies. I have 2 children. My DS is 10 and has PDD-NOS and ADHD, he has had an IEP since he was in preschool. I am familar with IEP's and recently learned the differences between an IEP and a 504. My DD is 8 and in the past few years she has had some problems at school but only during the winter months - not sure if It could be seasonal disorder or the like. The past 2 years we just delt with her problems as they arised and then come spring - no problems. Last fall we moved so the kids started at a different school, the new school does things a bit differently. When DD started having some issues this winter we had a meeting at school. The principat was the one who mentioned a 504 plan but said we would need a dx. She said they would treat DD's problems as a disability with a 504 but as discipline problems without one. Why can't they just help all kids in the best way they can. Anyway, I talked to my pediatrican as I have in the past and she thinks that DD will learn to handle her issues better as she matures and I tend to agree she already has shown improvment from previous years. This is my 2nd pedi since the kids were born, first one totally dismissed my concerns about DS. I like and trust the new pedi, I told her what the school thought and she thought maybe bringing DD to a counselor could help and I am not totally against that. Spring has finally begun to arrive here and DD's problems have disappeared once more. If this happens again next year or another time I am not against her having a 504 I just don't think she needs a dx and I don't really want to put her through all the testing for nothing. Since posting I have talked to other people who's kids have had 504 and some of them have had a dx and some haven't. One person was very knowledgable about the subject and said I didn not need a dx and the school could use the 504 in the winter months when there are problems and shelve them if there aren't any problems and bring it back out again the next winter. I did check my states education website and it didn't mention anywhere that you had to have a dx. I suppose it might help to have the dx but it seems it is not a necessary. Not sure if the principal will believe me or not though!
With my son we didn't have a diagnosis at the time we got the 504 plan in place. I know that's probably not the norm though, we had a very supportive teacher and school. My dh was resistant to getting him diagnosed for ADHD for another year, so it was a way for me to get him the help he needed for his schoolwork and state testing. If you have a school that is doesn't want to deal with a 504 plan, you probably would need the diagnosis to advocate for your child.
I am not too familiar with 504 plans since I have an IEP.