Help in the classroom while living with cystinosis

IEP and 504 plans as educational support options for your student with cystinosis

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.