Caring for a child who is battling epilepsy is a challenge for any parent. So many parents feel overwhelmed or feel they do not have the support needed being their child’s caregiver. At The Defeating Epilepsy Foundation®, we are here to support parents who need additional resources to be able to gain access to quality healthcare for their children and advocate to improve their quality of life.
It is essential for parents to advocate for their children on all levels. From healthcare to education, an advocacy plan, a care plan, and a seizure alert plan should be in place for any child battling epilepsy. When it comes to the educational system, it is important to understand the laws that are in place to protect your child so that they receive the resources they deserve and are entitled to.
504 vs. IEP
According to the University of Washington, an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is a plan or program developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives specialized instruction and related services.
According to the University of Washington, a 504 Plan is a plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available for free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children. The IDEA Act governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and services to eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities. To learn more about the IDEA Act, visit https://sites.ed.gov/idea/about-idea/ and see what resources are available.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II)
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, extends protection against discrimination to the full range of the state and local government services, programs, and activities including public schools regardless of whether they receive any Federal Financial assistance. To review the Americans with Disabilities Act, visit the Office for Civil Rights page at https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq9805.html.
For parents who have questions regarding 504 vs. IEP or need assistance with advocacy plans, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we are happy to assist in every way that we can.
The Williamsburg Therapy Group
The Williamsburg Therapy Group is an organization with locations in Brooklyn, NY, Montauk, NY, and Austin TX that provides child and adolescent therapy along with parent training and support. The Williamsburg Therapy Group also provides neuropsychological evaluations and assessments and helps children with conditions such as ADHD, learning disabilities, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. You can visit their site at https://williamsburgtherapygroup.com/wtg-child-and-family to learn more about their organization or contact their offices at (347) 580-5355 (New York) or (512) 866-5077 (Texas) for more information.
Learning Rights Law Center
Learning Rights Law Center fights to achieve education equity for underserved families in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. We provide free legal representation, advice, advocacy and training to families and communities whose children, as a consequence of disability or discrimination, have been denied equal access to a public education. Our vision is for all children to receive a meaningful and equitable public education which empowers them to grow into happy, productive, and independent adults. Through in-person, one-on-one meetings, Learning Rights counsels and advises parents and develops individualized action plans that each parent can use to address their child’s education issues. During this legal diagnostic session, a parent has the opportunity to discuss their child’s educational issues. To learn more about the Learning Rights Law Center, please visit https://www.learningrights.org/ for more information.
Innerbody Research: Mental Health Resources for Teens
Innerbody consists of a team of researchers, scientists, and medical professionals whose mission is to provide objective, science-based information and advice that helps you make health-related decisions and enjoy a healthier life. You can find information for mental health resources for teens at this link: https://www.innerbody.com/mental-health-resources-for-teens. You can also visit their website at https://www.innerbody.com/ to learn more about their organization, health topics to learn about, and services that are available.
U.S. Department of Education (n.d.). About IDEA. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, U.S. Dept. of Education. Retrieved from: https://sites.ed.gov/idea/about-idea/
U.S. Department of Education (2020). Americans with Disabilities Act. U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Retrieved from: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq9805.html
University of Washington (2021). What is the difference between an IEP and a 504 Plan. University of Washington. Retrieved from: https://www.washington.edu/accesscomputing/what-difference-between-iep-and-504-plan