Help in the classroom while living with cystinosis

IEP 504 plan

When a child has a complex disease, like cystinosis, it can be hard for teachers and school staff to understand. This is why there are special laws that allow a plan to be made for your child. These plans are called a 504 plan and an individualized education program (IEP). These programs can help students living with cystinosis by giving them extra time to complete schoolwork, provide preapproved nurse's office visits, reduce homework, and much more.

Compare the two programs to help you decide which one may be right for your child.

504 plan IEP

What is it?

A legal plan for any student in a public school who has a disability

A legal, written document that's individualized for a student 3 to 22 years old in a public school who qualifies for special education

Who is eligible?

Student can have any disability, including physical or mental issues

Student must fit 1 of 13 disability categories, which include visual, intellectual, and emotional issues

What is in it?

Doesn't have to be written or list specific goals but includes:

  • Certain accommodations for the student to participate in the classroom
  • Who will provide services and support
  • Who is responsible for making sure the plan is carried out

Document outlines specific and measurable goals and includes:

  • Current school performance
  • How educational services will be delivered
  • When services start
  • How the student will be able to participate in class

Who creates the program?

No legal standard for who is involved but typically includes:

  • The parent(s)
  • The general classroom teacher
  • A special education teacher
  • The school principal

By law, a multiperson team, including:

  • The parent(s)
  • The student's teacher
  • A special education teacher
  • A school psychologist
  • A special education services representative

How often is progress reviewed?

Not required but usually once a year

Required at least once a year

How much does it cost?

No cost to families

No cost to families

Take a look at these government websites to learn more about 504 plans and IEPs.