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#13588 - 04/11/08 08:44 PM 504 plan with OT?
keet Offline

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 215
I wrote about my ds's trouble with writing in another post. I requested a 504 plan (and I told them I wanted him to get OT), and they insisted on testing him for Special Education services. On the form I signed giving permission, they said they were going to do psychological, medical, and OT assessments. After 65 days of waiting, our meeting is next week. I called to request the results of the tests (which I am legally supposed to be able to get 2 days in advance of the meeting), and they aren't ready yet. In addition, they won't do an OT assessment unless he qualifies for an IEP. Looks like they want to waste more of my child's education. mad

I know that if ds qualifies for special education, I can get the OT eval and probably OT services. If he does not qualify, I know that it is possible he may get OT services, but I don't think it's likely. Do you know under what circumstances OT services will be allowed? I'm having a hard time finding information about 504 plans.


Edited by keet (04/11/08 08:45 PM)

#13589 - 04/11/08 09:16 PM Re: 504 plan with OT? [Re: keet]
Cathy A Offline

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 1783
Loc: West coast, USA
To qualify for a 504 plan your child's disability must "substantially limit one or more major life activities." It sounds like you may not be able to depend on the school to supply you with evidence that your son is substantially limited in his ability to write and/or learn. Has he been formally diagnosed with a learning disability?

Here is some good info:

Read the text of the actual law here:

#13607 - 04/12/08 05:32 AM Re: 504 plan with OT? [Re: Cathy A]
keet Offline

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 215
I don't have the results of the psychological report yet (I should get them Monday), but I'll be surprised if he has a learning disability. I think he has a fine motor delay. He has had a private OT evaluation, that shows he is below average for manual dexterity and visual motor speed. His handwriting is sloppy, and he has a hard time maintaining his pencil grip. Also, his in-hand manipulation skills are poor. He can't flip his pencil around to erase without putting the pencil down or using his other hand.

The major life activity that is substantially limited is writing. He has received 2's (having difficulty meeting grade-level expectations) on his report cards both grading periods so far this year, but he meets or exceeds expectations in all other subjects.

Thanks for the links. I will study them.

#13610 - 04/12/08 05:50 AM Re: 504 plan with OT? [Re: keet]
Grinity Offline

Registered: 12/13/05
Posts: 7201
Loc: Connecticut
Good Luck Keet,
You may get services through the school, and you may not. My son got OT/PT through school, plus private OT, in 2nd grade and no one would address his sloppy handwriting there anyway! The private OT said: - You should see the way I hold a pencil, it's worse than his. ((fume))

Anyway - I took matters into my own 'hands' and got Handwriting without Tear's "The Print Tool" so I could see for myself exactly what was needed, and used their materials to do a bit of remediation at home. (I think 2 minutes a day 5 days a week would help almost anyone - I am going to try it on myself one of these days!) The Print Tool is fairly cheap - compared to private OT, and it's written in such a way that I could understand and do it - if inelegantly.

Anyway, by the time I figured all this out, my son at age 11 had a 'growth spurt' and is 90% of the way there to acceptable printing. Mysterious creatures these kiddos!

Best Wishes,
Coaching available, at

#13619 - 04/12/08 07:40 AM Re: 504 plan with OT? [Re: Grinity]
doodlebug Offline

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 433
Loc: Illinios
My experience as an OT:
OT is almost never a "stand alone" service. Under IDEA occupational therapy is a "related service" that is provided in conjunction with other special education, based on the need identified by evaluation and determined by the team. I have sat in IEP meetings where the educational staff have argued that OT is not necessary because the handwriting is addressed through the regular classroom activities. It is really just a matter of how the school administration and faculty view both the student and OT, as well as how they interpret IDEA.

As for a 504 plan, that falls under the ADA, not IDEA. It requires that the school provide accommodations for a student with a disability. I have seen a student receive speech and social work services under a 504 plan, have it outlined that they need pencil grips, slant boards, special seating, etc, but NEVER seen a student receive direct OT services under a 504.

One caveat. No matter how hard you fight, if you get direct OT services for your child they (the services) will only be as good as the OT who is working in the school. You don't get to pick the OT (in most circumstances). Not all OT's are created equal. Hopefully the one at your school is really good with handwriting remediation. Many schools are reluctant to put OT on the IEP because they have not seen improvements when the kids at the school receive OT. That's the OT's fault.

Best of luck. I do hope he gets the services and help he needs.

#13621 - 04/12/08 07:46 AM Re: 504 plan with OT? [Re: doodlebug]
doodlebug Offline

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 433
Loc: Illinios
I just checked out and found this:
"A Free, Appropriate Public Education Under Section 504

Does Section 504 require schools to provide the child with an appropriate public education?

Yes. Under Section 504, an "appropriate" education means an education that is comparable to the education provided to students without disabilities. This may include regular or special education services. Students can receive related services under Section 504 even if they are not provided with special education services."

You might want to surf that page and see if you can find out more. HTH.

#13626 - 04/12/08 10:33 AM Re: 504 plan with OT? [Re: doodlebug]
snowgirl Offline

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 332
I know I'm pathetic in that I don't know all the rules (odd for a former lawyer to actively try not to read the rules LOL, I just don't want to go there; hence, pathetic), but my understanding was that OT was a subject for an IEP rather than a 504 plan. My DS5 has an IEP for speech and for OT for fine motor/handwriting. I don't understand the statement that they won't do an OT assessment unless he qualifies for an IEP - I believe that it may be the OT assessment that does the qualifiying! In our school district, we just have to call to request such an assessment - that's what I did, after discussing it with his preschool teacher. We just threw speech in there since I've had him in private therapy for that anyway. I believe he qualified for OT under an IEP because his score on the OT assessment reached a sufficiently low level, and he could have had OT regardless of his speech situation. Do you mean that if your child's overall performance is not below grade level, you might not get an IEP? That may be, but I think handwriting might be a discrete task in that sense and can be evaluated regardless of overall achievement - though I suppose this is one of those areas in which all school districts interpret the rules differently.

I'm a little crazy at the moment due to stuff going on at home, so I might not make much sense....

#13679 - 04/13/08 05:50 AM Re: 504 plan with OT? [Re: snowgirl]
doodlebug Offline

Registered: 10/04/06
Posts: 433
Loc: Illinios
You certainly aren't pathetic! The "rules" are put into action differently in each school district, from my experience. Hard to know what to expect.

In some districts, testing for special education simply doesn't get done if the child is achieving at or above grade level. The district balks, the teachers say there's no problem, someone says the child is "doing fine" and tells the parents to relax. I've never worked with a district that allowed OT to be the only service the child received under an IEP. OT services often depend on the availability of a therapist. Some districts employ their own OTs but many contract for services. It often comes down to a supply and demand issues or a financial issue for the district. Sad, but true. Sometimes I've seen a child with lots of issues that would respond well to OT but they only get 20 minutes a week written on the IEP because the school therapist is only at that school one day per week and already has 16 kids on her caseload there.

The other hard part is for an OT to justify that a gifted child who is achieving at or above grade level needs OT to remediate handwriting issues that are asynchronous but "average." When the child tests out with a large discrepancy you really have to make a case for how it impacts the child. Not all OTs know how. Not many educational people understand the impact of that on the school experience. So, basically, OT can be hard to get in the schools!

#13681 - 04/13/08 06:27 AM Re: 504 plan with OT? [Re: snowgirl]
keet Offline

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 215
Snowgirl, I think what your child may get Speech and OT is because of his age. If they label a child "developmentally delayed," the child can keep that label and get services until he turns 9. I don't know at what point they stop giving that label. I know they won't give an 8yo a DD label (since it wouldn't be good for very long).

#13782 - 04/14/08 02:42 PM Re: 504 plan with OT? [Re: keet]
keet Offline

Registered: 01/26/08
Posts: 215
I hope the test experts see this post. What I'm wondering is do you see anything other than handwriting problems? That's all the assessor seemed to mention. The "fluency" scores involve writing.

WISC 4 results:
IQ tests (normal is 90 - 109), p = percentile:
Verbal Comprehension: 126, p=96
Perceptual Reasoning: 145, p=99.9
Working Memory Index: 116, p=86
Processing Speed Index: 126, p=96
Full Scale IQ: 138, p =99

Achievement, p=percentage:
Oral Language: 132, p=95
Broad reading: 138, p=99
Broad Math: 145, p=99.9
Broad Written Lang: 130, p=98
Math Calc Skills: 136, p=99
Written Expression: 116, p=85
Academic Skills: 139, p=99.5
Academic Fluency: 132, p=98
Accademic Apps: 132, p=98

Form A (I think of WJ3)
Letter-Word Identification: 125, p=95
Reading Fluency: 148, p= >99.9
Story Recall: 135, p=99
Understanding Directions: 126, p=96
Calculation: 143, p=99.8
Math Fluency: 107, p=67
Spelling: 138, p=99
Wrigin Fluency: 107, p=67
Passage Comprehension: 121, p=92
Applied Problems: 144, p=99.8
Writing Samples: 119, p=89
Story Recall - Delayed: 138, p=99

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