504 Accommodation For Depression

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If your child is exhibiting sadness, anger or frustration for a long time, they might have depression. 504 Accommodation For Depression helps such students to lead a normal life and participate in school activities and academics. Let’s learn more about it here.

It’s normal for children to get angry or sad sometimes. But when that mood becomes a way of life for them, or lasts for a few days or even months, you should be concerned. 

Mood disorders can affect their ability to interact with their friends and teachers, participate in extracurricular activities, do homework, learn, or concentrate and focus in class. Perhaps this is a sign that they may be dealing with depression and may need medical and professional advice.

504 Accommodation For Depression

Depression is not uncommon in school students. The students dealing with depression may refuse even to attend school and usually give excuses of having a headache or stomach ache. Depression affects nearly 3 percent of children in the United States.

If you think your child is suffering from depression, you should inform the School counselor. Many parents hesitate to tell the school counselor because their child will be marked as mentally ill. Reporting to the school will help set accommodations like a 504 plan which will help your depressed child manage school successfully.

504 plans are created to help students with disabilities to lead a normal life and gain knowledge from school. A 504 plan outlines specific accommodations that greatly support academics and participation in any critical events in school. Let us discuss more about 504 accommodation for depression.

You might also like to read: How To Help Elderly With Depression?

Is Depression A Disability In School?

Most kids feel depressed or sad and lonely at some point in their life. But, if your child is suffering from depression and it affects his performance in school or has trouble thinking, concentrating, or communicating with his friends and teachers, it is considered a disability. 

Depression is quite dangerous for your kids if it lasts for a long time. Your child will find difficulty coping with studies, which leads to poor academic results. 

Depression impairs your childs memory. Consequently, you find it hard to remember new things and recall memories. They may find trouble focusing and finishing their assignments. Thus their self-esteem gradually lowers, and he doesn’t find himself comfortable talking to his friends, relatives, teachers, and family members. 

Your child may even try to drop out of school. Many schools don’t give good grades when a child remains absent for most of the days.

504 Accommodation For Depression

What Causes Depression in Children?

Your child may feel hopeless and lonely and can have suicidal thoughts while undergoing depression. Various factors can cause depression in young adults and children. You need to keep an eye out for these.

#1. Physical Health

If your child is suffering from some chronic health conditions, it may lead to depression in your child.

#2. Stressful Event

Your child can have depression if he is exposed to any stressful event. For instance, if there are changes in school or home, it may put your child in depression.

#3. Environment

If your child always has a stressful home environment, it can be the reason for depression.

#4. Genetic Factors

If the child’s family members have gone through depression, he is more likely to develop depression during school or college level.

504 Accommodation For Depression

#5. Biochemical Imbalance

An imbalance in hormones may be responsible for the reason for depression in your child.

You might also like to read: How To Overcome The Feeling Of Loneliness?

What Are The Warning Signs That Indicates My Child Is Going Through Depression?

  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Decrease or increase in appetite
  • Reduce in concentration
  • Talking about death or dying
  • Reduce performance in school
  • Increase or decrease in sleep.
  • Emotional outburst
504 Accommodation For Depression

What Is 504 Plan For Depression?

Section 504 is a law passed by the United States Congress for not discriminating against disabled students in schools. It is a federal law developed to protect the rights of a person with disabilities. It states that disabled students should get the same educational benefits and opportunities in school as non-disabled students.

A student is considered disabled Under section 504 when he is physically or mentally impaired, which prevents him from doing a major life activity. 

Example of major life activities can include sleeping, eating, walking, thinking, concentrating, class participation and communicating with friends and teachers. All schools that receive government funds are compelled to provide a 504 plan with their school system if some students have filed a need for them.

Some people think the 504 plan is the same as special education. But no, it is nothing like that. Special ed and 504 plans are totally different. 

Special education to a child means you need to give special instruction to a child to understand or learn any topic.It is different from the standard method of teaching. The 504 plans are designed by the school counselor to help kids who need a bit of support from the school. 504 plans do not mark out students for special methods of instruction or things like that.

You might also like to read: Dealing with Senior Depression – A Guide for Caregivers

What Are The 504 Accommodations For Depression?

Your child has the right to receive education in schools like a nondisabled student. For instance, if your child is suffering from depression, or other mental health issues, then the school should provide numerous supports to help the child complete his school works during school day. 

The parents should also request help from the school for their child’s development, also known as the 504 plan, which will provide accommodation to your child suffering from depression.

504 Accommodation For Depression

Accommodation is a technique that alters the academic environment in numerous ways without changing education content. However, the accommodation differs from one school to another and your child’s age and mental condition.

Depression can affect the child’s ability to progress further. In such a case, the school should develop an educational plan to help lessen the signs of depression and help the children manage their school day.

Section 504 allows the school counselor or 504 coordinators to create a plan that will give a student full access to the school campus and any important events that occur in school. However, most school personnel don’t invite parents to create a 504 plan. 

But parents have the right to get a notification when their child is evaluated as disabled. The parents can see all the evaluated records of their child. Moreover, they have the right to complain if there is a dispute with the 504 committee members in the school.

504 accommodations for depression

  • Allow extra time to complete writing assignments.
  • Allow frequent breaks like 15-20 minute brain breaks for a disabled student.
  • The school authorities should try to establish a nonverbal signal between teacher and student for behavior monitoring.
  • Provide supervision during field trips.
  • The oral instructions must pair with written instructions or class notes.
  • Have a separate place in school where students can calm down and relax.
  • The school should provide training to all the staff involved in teaching disabled students.
  • The school should appoint an organizer who will keep track of the assignments done by disabled students.
  • The appointed teachers should engage in students’ passion and can provide a hook while teaching a lesson.
  • Provide time for disabled students to release energy or move around and socialize.
  • Create a plan that will help the student cope with work when he is absent.
  • The school should break down large assignments into small chunks to be easier for disabled students.
  • The disabled students may leave class at least 5 minutes before the bell to have extra transition time and avoid crowds.
  • Extended time to complete quizzes, puzzles, and homework.
  • Provide a permanent pass so that a disabled can use it to visit a school counselor or other administrator when required.
  • Provide preferential seating in an area that is comfortable for a disabled student.
  • Record lectures in the class and, if possible, give the disabled students written form to make it easier for them to learn.
504 Accommodation For Depression

  • Ask students a few questions during teaching to encourage them and
  • Allow an extra set of books or give access to online books so that the disabled students can use them at home.
  • Involve the disabled students in some physical activities like walking on the track, shooting hoops, and others.
  • Don’t lower the grades of students for messy work.
  • Help the students to set up short-term goals either for one period or for the entire day.
  • Allow the individual student as much time as he needs to respond to any questions.
  • Allow the disabled student to be in a cooperative group without active participation.

You might also like to read: Is Major Depression Considered A Disability?

How Can I Request 504 Plans For My Child?

  • You can request 504 plans for your child in written form, or the teacher will inform the 504 coordinators or school counselor about your child.
  • You will receive a referral notice if your child’s teacher has initiated the request.
  • A meeting is held between you and the school counselor to discuss your child and to decide on further evaluation. If you choose for further evaluation, you must sign a consent letter. The school has 50 days to evaluate further and again hold a meeting to discuss the findings. If the evaluation is not needed, the committee will directly proceed with creating a 504 plan.
  • The school will work with you to create a 504 plan and implement it.
  • The 504 plan is reviewed by the committee every year, and if required, some changes are made to the plan.

A Few Final Words

If you observe some the signs of depression, anxiety symptoms, or mental illness due to which your child avoids school, then it is better talk to the school authorities like the school counselors or school administrators. A 504 plan can be implemented for your child to help improve his school life. 

The need for learning different subjects will be the same, but the teaching process will be a bit different for nondisabled students. For instance, a student suffering from depression will get a more flexible schedule in completing tasks or homework than a nondisabled student.

We thank you for reading this article and hope we were able to answer most of your queries about 504 accommodations for depression. If you have further doubts, please write to us in the comments section.