504 ideas for school

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 10/8/2008 7:33 AM (GMT -6)   
I have an appt with my child's principal on Friday to hopefully begin a 504 plan.  Can I get some ideas from the experts on this? 
I have the:  1) extra set of books at home, 2) sitting at the front of class, 3) able to go to the nurse anytime.  I'm sure there are more.  If anyone could list
more ideas that would be so helpful :-) .  Moms/Dads in the NJ or Northeast school systems, are they helpful or do they give you a hard time?  TIA for any
info you can provide.    SG

Gretchen P
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1784
   Posted 10/8/2008 7:54 AM (GMT -6)   
  This is wonderful you are implementing a 504 for your child, it was the best thing I have ever done for my daughter!
  The things that are included in her 504 are study time right before a test and if she feels she is not ready to test at that time acommodations are made for testing later, peer tutoring....which has made her life so much easier having antoher student reteach her what she has learned that day or week, extra help from the teachers when needed after school and extra time to make up work she has missed due to absences.
   A 504 can be tailored to your child's needs, there is a family here from NJ that has a 504 for each of their 2 kids with lyme and they did not get a hard time, I actualy believe things got easier because before the 504 teachers and administrators were getting frustrated with the kids and thought the were just ADD.
   By law the school should not give you a hrad time, you will meet with a guidance counselor and a school psycologist who is there for the best interest of your child. Good luck....you will be happy you did this! Peace!
I'm gonna get that Lyme!!!!!!!!!!!
I have lyme and I've got the papers to prove it!! Take that Wormser!
Wormser, who is that????? OHHHHHHH that's right he USED to be on the IDSA panel!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 10/8/2008 8:01 AM (GMT -6)   
It is great you have your child classified. Any help will go along way especially for standardized testing etc. It should also be confidential and in now way should you child be "outed". Make sure to push the principal and teachers to spend some time to learn about lyme - no are doing them a favor to help them get educated.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 10/8/2008 8:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Thx Gretchen & ziggy, I actually live in VA and they aren't educated enough about Lyme down here as compared to NJ & the Northeast. I received my ABC's of Lyme Disease Brochures & will pass them on to the Educators. Anyone else with 504 info? :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 2671
   Posted 10/8/2008 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi skigal,

I'm not really familiar with 504 plans (I taught in private schools), but I am a private tutor and have some suggestions for helping kids with various issues. In my experience, lyme mimics various learning disabilities (or temporarily causes them), so I approach lyme-brain (which I often have!) the same way I would approach certain learning issues, like processing disorders and attention issues. Remind me again, how old is your child? Since you mentioned an extra set of books, I'm guessing at least middle school?

The second set of books is crucial, so it's great that you're getting that done. I think another important thing is being able to write in those books, underlining or highlighting or annotating so that the child can remember what he or she read and begin to sort through the information. If you can't write in these textbooks (which is usually the case), I recommend photocopying longer passages, particularly in information-heavy books, like history and science textbooks. The school should be able to do this for you (I think). That way your child can really mark up the passage and *use it* to get the necessary information. In most history textbooks, the headers and side questions and other "extras" can actually be really helpful...and I know most students ignore those. :)

Some children also have problems with taking accurate and complete notes, and also organizing the ideas in their notes. Is your son or daughter having this issue at all? To address that, you might need to ask the teacher for copies of his/her notes for the day, or for your child to have a "note-taking buddy" with whom he or she can review and check the day's notes (like what Gretchen was suggesting). Also, it might be important for you, the teacher, or a tutor to go through the class notes periodically and either rewrite them in a different form or highlight/annotate them for key ideas and points that the teacher made. This would help in organizing thoughts before a test, distinguishing key points or themes from supporting details.

Finally, you may be totally on top of this already, but -- especially for ME and my lyme brain -- it's crucial to be prepared and organized at home. That means packing the backpack the night before, making sure homework is in a certain place in the binder where it can easily be found, making lists of things to remember or do that day at school (and writing these in an assignment notebook), etc.

Sorry if some of this is common sense to you or you're already totally on top of it...I just wanted to throw out there some of the biggest suggestions I usually give to families. The funny thing is that having lyme has actually really helped me in my tutoring, I think, because now I really know what it feels like to feel confused/disorganized/behind all the time! And I know how important it is to have regular routines and systems that work!

Ok, I hope this helps. Keep us updated on how it goes.
Lyme and co-infections since approximately 2002. Diagnosed in 2005. Treated for two years solid. Diagnosed with Lymphomatoid Papulosis in October 2007. Currently back on abx.

Moderator for Lyme Disease forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 840
   Posted 10/8/2008 7:19 PM (GMT -6)   
It is great that you are jumping on this for your child.

The following is from a conference presentation I did last spring.

There are many potential accommodations for a student with Lyme or other tick-borne illness. As with any other child receiving special education services the accommodations or modifications should always be made based on the individual needs of the student. The nature of Lyme disease and other tick-born illnesses require that the accommodations and support be flexible and suit the changing needs of the child.

IEP and 504 teams could consider the following accommodations:
(a) Support level, increase the amount of personal assistance for a child. For example, assign a peer buddy or teaching assistant to the student with Lyme, or implement peer tutoring. Additionally, a teacher may have to check in more frequently about extended projects to make sure the child is still focused on his task.

(b) Learning volume, adjust the number of items the student is expected to complete to his assessed level of competency. For example, a teacher could reduce the number of social studies terms the student must learn at any one time.

(c) Time, extend the time the student is allotted and allowed for learning, task and project completion, or testing.

(d) Instruction variety, the teacher may adapt the methods by which instruction is delivered to the student with Lyme. This could be accomplished by using visual aids, planning out more specific examples, offering more hands-on activities, and using cooperative groupings.

(e) Skill level, adjust the skill level, problem type, or the rules on how the student may approach his work. For example, the teacher could allow the student to use a calculator, the teacher could simplify task directions, and change rules to accommodate the student’s specific needs.

(f) Response, the teacher could be willing to adapt to how the student responds to instruction. That could include allowing the student to respond verbally rather than in writing, letting the student show solutions, and granting the student the opportunity to use a scribe or assistive technology.

(g) Participation, shorten the student's schedule, where necessary, by adapting the extent to which the student is actively involved in a task.

(h) Alternation, adapt the goals or outcome expectations while using the same materials. For example, in geography class, have the student learn only state names and locations rather than state names, locations, and capitals.

I hope the process goes smoothly.

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