Benefits of a 504 Plan for Children with ADHD

The issue of a 504 plan is not one in which it would benefit ADHD children. The 504 plan is an umbrella for all students with disabilities. Regardless of whether a child is in special day class, RSP classes or under the 504 it is the parents job to ensure that their child is receiving the most rigorous curriculum they [the student] are capable of. Being on a 504 plan still affords you the same rights and privileges of the Disabilities Act.

As an educator and a parent of a child with learning disabilities I was faced with having to make decisions about my child’s education that would be the best learning environment. It is important to keep in mind the attitude the child has about him/herself regarding the learning disability and whether he/she is confident enough to handle the 504. Even with my watchful eye, my child had to be his own advocate, both when he was in the RSP classes and when he was under the 504 plan. We made the decision to put him on a 504 not because he no longer qualified for RSP services, but because his opinion of being pulled out was negative. We must remember that even though we want to protect our children from the teasing that goes on in schools, we are not able to do so 100%. By allowing my child to be included in the mainstream class with modifications as stated on the 504, he was much more successful than he had ever been in the pull out situation.Other children on the other hand do much better in the small group setting.

It is my opinion that the biggest mistake we make is that we think as adults we know what is best for our children, but until you really talk and LISTEN to your child, you will not know what the best learning environment is for him/her. I did not allow my child to make every decision regarding the modifications on his 504 plan, but I did listen and I made the student study team listen to him as well. The teachers, counselors, and parents must give the child the right to voice what they feel works best for him/her. In doing so, the child will feel he/she has buy-in because of his/her input and the ultimate result is the child will be more motivated to learn. Students with ADHD often feel as though no one is really listening, therefore allowing him/her the chance to have a say on what should be on the 504 will help the child gain self worth and independence regarding his/her own learning. In addition, it will help the student to understand that a disability is not an excuse to not have to do the work. It will be very clear to the child what is expected of him/her. Therefore, I would strongly suggest giving any child with a disability the opportunity to be placed on a 504 plan.