A medical or outside diagnosis of Autism doesn't automatically qualify your child to receive school-based services, accommodations or modifications. The child must have a separate, school-based evaluation in order to determine what services and/or accommodations or modifications your child is eligible to receive. This evaluation process, as well as ensuring on-going, appropriate supports in the school system, can be a difficult process. Being familiar with the processes and your child's rights can help ensure they are getting appropriate supports and services.
In order to receive school-based services and/or accommodations, a child either needs to qualify for a 504 plan or an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). While both serve as a plan for what will help your child at school; an IEP is a part of Special Education, where as a 504 plan (or Individual Accommodation Plan/IAP) is not part of Special Education. An Individualized Education Plan dictates special education services and related services that are tailored to the child's unique needs. A 504 plan, or Individual Accommodation, is just how it sounds---accommodations that are tailored to your child's needs. The student's with IEP's rights are protected under Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), which is a federal law. A student with a 504 also has protection through federal law: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
For more information on the school evaluation process, visit
For more information about your child's rights at school, visit
For more information about the differences between a 504 plan and an IEP, please visit
School Evaluation Information