I have a high school son who has a 504 Plan. He has been utilizing it since he was in elementary school. As of late, the only areas of academic struggles are reflected in his tests or quizzes. He does a fine job independently for the most part on his homework & projects. His grades reflect that as well. My son is mildly dyslexic.

I am concerned about the upcoming years in 11th & 12th grade, since the academic load will be more challenging. In addition, the revised SAT is another challenge that awaits him. I really need advice in terms of what I can do to help him achieve academic success, especially in the area of standardized testing.

Moreover, I have already conferenced with his high school academic counselor about what procedures I would have to undertake in order for him to request accommodations for the SAT. I also realize if he opts for this route, he will need to be retested by his psychologist in order to provide proof to College Board.

Currently, my primary concern is: Does he need an IEP with regards to tests & quizzes? Please, if you could give any insight to the matter, it would be much appreciated.

Dr. Pierson's Response: 

His 504 Plan should be able to qualify him for accommodations for the SAT, but those accommodations will need to be stated on the 504 Plan. That said, I'm not sure of the exact timeline/requirements are for updated confirmation of his disability, so I'd check into that. Typically, students need to be re-evaluated within a year or so of taking the SAT or ACT.

When you ask whether he needs an IEP in regard to tests and quizzes, again, his 504 Plan should outline the accommodations he needs to level the playing field.

Students typically need IEPs because they need a different type of instruction to succeed. So, if your son needs intervention to learn how to study for tests, extract information from what he's read, remember what he's read, know how to write a persuasive essay, etc., then that would warrant an IEP. The school team would also have to ascertain that his disability was adversely affecting his school performance. They should be able to help you decide what is best for his learning needs.

I hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions.