Help in the classroom while living with cystinosis

IEP vs 504 Plan Image

When a child has a complex disease such as 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 plans can help students living with cystinosis by:

  • Giving them extra time to complete schoolwork
  • Providing preapproved nurse’s office visits
  • Reducing homework, and much more

Compare the two plans 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

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.


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