A 504 plan is an accommodation given to students from any grade with a disability. This includes ADHD/ADD, OCD, autism, dyslexia, anxiety, and more.
Not all students learn the same way
Some students might have a hard time finishing their work and get distracted easily; therefore, they get accommodations like extended time on homework and assignments without it affecting their grades. Kids with dyslexia might get accommodations like being able to use text to speech when reading or use a calculator during math.
Other students might get accommodations like being able to turn work in late, being able to choose their own seat in class. The accommodation could vary from student to student depending on what they have. Most students with this plan stay in regular classes.
How teachers could help kids with 504 plan?
Teachers knowing their students and their accommodation they have could really help students a lot. Some students might have anxiety and not use their accommodation in class to avoid the awkward conversation of talking to a teacher.
Having teachers sit down with these students in private and letting them know they have accommodation in class could really help these students in class physically and mentally. Even if the student is aware of having 504 plan, knowing that the teacher knows and is there to support them always helps.
I’ve had teachers with different specific rules. One of my teachers is okay with me getting extended time on homework as long as I tell them ahead of time. Other teachers don’t mind when I turn in my work and will still give me full credit for the work.
My experience with a 504 plan
I’ve had a 504 plan for 4 years, and it has really helped me a lot with school. It’s really nice having teachers that understand but that’s not always the case. This year during online classes everything has been online. When doing a test teachers put a time on the test and once that time is over the test closes automatically.
I asked my teacher for extended time on the test, so she created a separate test for me with more time on it. I ended up not needing the extra time like a thought I would and finished just on time. The teacher got mad at me. She told me if I don’t need extra time, then why did I ask for it. I’m not always sure when l’ll end up on time or not so I rather have the extra time just in case.
Others’ experience with 504 plan
Rachel Rosado, a 9th grader with OCD and anxiety who has had a 504 plan for over a year now, also has struggled with teachers in the past. She used to have a teacher that would make it harder for her to manage her anxiety.
“She would get mad at me for small stuff,” said Rachel. “Like once she asked if there is an extra paper on the table to give it to her. I raised my hand to give her the extra piece of paper, but she yanked it out of my hand and said, ‘I already gave you a paper in period 2. You know, Rachel, sometimes I don’t understand what going on in that head of yours.’ Everyone was looking at me at that point, and I wanted to cry. That would make me have panic attacks. All she would do was scream at me more, therefore making my anxiety worse.”