Question: What is Section 504 plan, and how can it help my depressed child at school?
Answer: School systems have a major role in helping children with depression.
First, as schools are invested in all children, they want them to be successful. If a child is having a depression, this school system can provide a number of supports. In a formal manner, families can request help from the school and this may result in either the development of what's known as a 504 plan that can offer accommodations for that child. These accommodations may include supports such as altering the amount of work, giving extended time, giving preferential seating -- those types of accommodations.
In situations where the depression is affecting the child's ability to make effective progress, the family and the school may work together to develop an individual education plan that will really provide modifications to the school's expectations for this child during this child's episode of depression. So the bottom line is really parents and schools are both very influential and important factors in the development of a child and that child's life and need to work together to support that child.