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Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) Community
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Advice for 504 for SID only

Hi,

My son is 5 and started kindergarten this year.  Academically he's doing fine, and socially he's dong fine.  His OT/homeopath is encouraging us to get a 504.  I'm a teacher and think that's a good thing.  We've talked with his teacher who is open to all sorts of accommodations, and does many already.  We just spoke with the OT and she pushed back on the 504 idea, especially with the fact that his only diagnosis is SID.

We're concerned as he's not completing work in school, using so much coping energy at school that he comes home a wreck, and isn't eating lunch because he's overstimulated.  We're worried about 1st grade and want to put a 504 in place now, so that the teachers need to work with us outside the goodness of their hearts.

Does anyone have any ideas about how to proceed, what strategies to take, what language to use, as we pursue a 504 with a sole SID diagnosis?

We've have the documentation from his first OT, and his current one did work in the school system for a short while.  We'll use that documentation, document his inability to focus at home afterschool, and we have written documentation of the teacher commenting on his difficulty completing work in class.

Thank you for your thoughts,
Tom
1 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi there.  Glad you found us!!  My son is 10 and just got his 504 plan in place last school year (fourth grade).  He too just has a sensory integration disorder diagnosis.  He too does well academically.  Now, I had a champion in my son's fourth grade teacher.  She set up the meeting for us with the principal that handles plans at our school.  My son's test scores are very high and in just looking at things on the surface---  a case could be made that he didn't need a plan.  However, his teacher along with my son's other teachers expressed WHY THEY felt a plan was necessary.  In elementary school---  you find some teachers will just make the accommodations while others refuse.  It needs to be consistent.  Right?  

As time goes on, it will be more and more necessary for your son to have these 'extras' to be successful.  Here is what is on my son's plan---- 1. he is allowed extra time to take tests.  A child with a processing delay can take a bit longer to read and process the question and then their answers as well as fine motor in getting the answer down.  2. He is allowed alternate seating and given preferential seating---  as in he is usually on the side of the class so he can stand if he likes, he can sit on a pad, etc.  He doesn't have to be siting at all times like some teachers want kids---  he IS allowed to stand and do his work if needed.  3.  He is allowed a hand fidget or to chew gum.  these are things that help with focus.  4.  Discreet reminders and extra direction can be given when needed.  5.  He is allowed movement breaks as needed.  

Now, my son is a straight A student.  Has MAP test scores that are within a range that he can qualify for gifted services and gets extra curriculum due to this.  He's not a behavioral issue.  

I was coached how to handle the paper work.  I had to have our pediatrician write a letter.  Basically, she said that he is diagnosed with SID and she supports any and all accommodations that would make him successful in school.  

Then I got a letter from his occupational therapist.  he was no longer in OT but had gone for almost 6 years.  He'd stopped a couple of months prior to our applying for the 504 plan.  She wrote one talking about some of the things that I mentioned his teachers thought he needed.  

Then I filled out my paperwork.  I was told to write it in a way that does portray my son as needing these accommodations.  and that when I read the teacher and school's input, my son would appear to have behavioral issues on paper.  That he is well behaved but his challenges can  make him stand out to a teacher.  And they would focus on the ways he stood out to help get the plan approved.  

He was observed by an occupational therapist for three days at school.  

We got his 504 plan approved on the first try.  

I wrote about what we did prior to my son doing his homework---  that he had to do sensory exercises to keep his mind clear, that it could take a long time, etc.  I wrote about what we did before school--- crab walks and push ups.  I went through his history and struggles.  

I think it is worth going for the plan.  I will say that I too mentioned to his kindergarten teacher that he could use a plan and she shot me down.  I didn't pursue it until later when it became very clear it would help and his teachers actually brought it up to me.  There reasoning was that he does so much better with the accommodations, he has a diagnosis, and he needs the chance to be as successful as he can be.  and that if he gets a teacher that doesn't understand his unique challenges----  they could derail him and they wanted to protect him from that.  

If you have a way to push it through now---  I say ---  go for it.  If you have the letters and support from a teacher, his ot and pediatrician---  go for it.  I was worried about our pediatrician because although she signed off on his going to Occupational therapy and such, she wasn't really that involved.  But when I spoke to her regarding getting a plan----  she was more than supportive.  

The accommodations don't really cost money.  So why would your school not want to provide them?  You aren't asking for a classroom aide or the things that cost money.

the only issue I can see now is that you don't have the full story of what he'll need as time goes on.  But in our school, they review once a year and add things or take away things----  so you can add the things in that he needs.

Happy to chat further wit you about this.  good luck
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