If your child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder does not qualify for an IEP (Individualized Education Program), it is possible that he/she might qualify for a Section 504 Plan. This plan, part of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. People who have a physical or mental impairment that “substantially limits one or more major life activities”, may qualify for a Section 504. Among the conditions possibly covered are difficulties: eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking or communicating. Also included are physical or mental impairments, physiological disorders, or performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. Major bodily functions that are included as major life activities are functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions (this is not a comprehensive list). A student who qualifies for a Section 504 Plan is required to be offered FAPE (free appropriate public education).
Here are some websites for more information:
Some books from our bookstore to help you:
From Emotions to Advocacy, Pete Wright
Special Education Law, Pete Wright