Not Just a Convenience or a Crutch

Including Mental Health Accommodations While Developing IEPs and 504 Plans

Many (but not all) kiddos who have mental health concerns qualify for IEPs or 504 Plans. Join our panelists as we discuss how to add accommodations for mental health needs into those plans to help students access their education and be successful in the classroom.

Resources and Links from the Presentation

Please Note: The Idaho Parent Network has not reviewed these links for content or consistency of message. The views expressed are solely those of the individual authors and/or agencies. They are presented solely for informational purposes.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs and Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports – PBIS World

PBIS World is a website containing links to hundreds of interventions, supports, resources, and data collection tools. It is designed to help guide users through the PBIS implementation process, starting with behavior identification and offering suggestions for interventions and data collection tools.

National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations

The National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) is funded by the Office of Special Education Programs to improve and support the capacity of state systems and local programs to implement an early childhood multi-tiered system of support to improve the social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes of young children with, and at risk for, developmental disabilities or delays.

Youth Empowerment Services (YES)

Youth Empowerment Services (YES) is a system of care designed to help all youth in Idaho under the age of 18 who have serious emotional disturbance (SED). YES was created through a partnership between the Department of Health and Welfare, the Department of Juvenile Corrections, and the State Department of Education.

Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline

The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones.

Mental Health America

Mental Health America is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all.

How to Maintain Your Social Relationships During Online School (For Kids and Teens)

Anxiety in the Classroom

This website provides useful information, resources, and materials about anxiety and OCD as they relate to the school setting. In addition, it offers specific tools for teachers, administrators, and other school personnel who may work with students with anxiety and/or OCD. Parents and students can also find tools and information to help them advocate for school accommodations, as well as to educate their teachers and classmates about OCD and anxiety.

Sample 504s/IEPs for Teachers

International Bipolar Foundation

The International Bipolar Foundation focuses on mental health awareness, education, resources, and supportive connection for all who are touched by bipolar disorder.

Accommodations for Students with Bipolar Disorder and Related Disabilities

University of Florida Health

The Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida is a leader in the Southeast for innovative evidence-based treatment programs for mental health disorders, addiction, eating disorders and obesity.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
504 and IEP Teamwork: Establishing Collaborative Relationships between Mental Health Providers and Educators

The Inclusions Solution

The Inclusion Solution blog is a product of The Winters Group, Inc. The blog focuses on issues of diversity and inclusion and offers some solutions for a more inclusive world.
Equity vs. Equality: Eliminating Opportunity Gaps in Education


Since 1998, ADDitude is a source of strategies and information about ADHD and related condition such as learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, and oppositional defiant disorder.

50 High School Accommodations for Every ADHD Challenge

American Counseling Association – Knowledge Center

To help all professional counselors in their important work, the American Counseling Association offers an array of free resources.

Section 504 Considerations for Students With Internalizing Disorders Experiencing Academic Difficulties

Psychology Today

Psychology Today has gathered a group of renowned psychologists, academics, psychiatrists and writers to contribute their thoughts and ideas.

Educational Accommodations for LD and Mental Illness

University of Washington – Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology

The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through technology and education. It promotes awareness and accessibility—in both the classroom and the workplace—to maximize the potential of individuals with disabilities and make our communities more vibrant, diverse, and inclusive.

Academic Accommodations for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities


Refusal Hope was founded in 2014 in order to provide guidance and resources for families dealing with their child’s school avoidance.
IEPs and 504 plans

The Kids We Lose, Dr. Ross Greene, 2020

Weaving together moving interviews and rare archival footage, The Kids We Lose portrays, for the first time on film, the journey of kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges, their caregivers, and their collective struggles at various ages.

Session Presenters

Angela Lindig

Executive Director, Idaho Parents Unlimited (IPUL)

Angela has been with Idaho Parents Unlimited (IPUL) since 2009 working with families who have children with disabilities and special health care needs.  Her firsthand experience brought her to this work when her first daughter was born with a rare genetic condition. Angela and her husband are also parents to a son and adopted daughter. Angela is a former Chair of the Idaho State Independent Living Council, and she also spearheaded the effort to create Idaho’s first universally accessible playground – the Adventure Island Playground – located in Meridian’s Settler’s Park.  Angela holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services with a Concentration in Child and Family Services.

Renee Miner

Associate Director, Special Education Support & Technical Assistance (SESTA), Boise State University (BSU)

Renee has expertise in behavior, programming and interventions for students with Autism and low-incidence disabilities. She was a past state coach working for the Professional Development in Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities (PD-ALI) Project, the Idaho Autism Project through the Center on Disabilities and Human Development (CDHD), University of Idaho, and a state coach for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Renee is dedicated to help schools develop system-based supports for programs and individuals.

Charlie Silva, Ph.D

Director of Special Education, Idaho State Department of Education

Since moving to Idaho in 2000, Charlie has worked as an Assistant Professor at Boise State University, was the Administrator of Special Education for the Boise School District and for the past 5 years has been the Idaho State Department of Education Director of Special Education Services. In her capacity as state director, she and her team are responsible for providing guidance and support to the 170+ Local Education Agencies (districts)/Charters across the state.  She is passionate about making sure the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is followed and -“to enable all students to achieve high academic standards and quality of life, the Special Education department works collaboratively with districts, agencies and parents to ensure students receive quality, meaningful, and needed services”.

Laura Wallis, P.E.

Parent, Co-Director, Idaho Parent Network for Children’s Mental Health

Laura is a Professional Civil Engineer, Advocate for Children’s Mental Health, Member of the Region 7 Children’s Mental Health Subcommittee, a Professional Meeting Sitter-Inner, and Champion Dessert Sampler.  Laura loves speaking at events where she can share a bit of her journey as a parent of a special needs child in the hopes that her (sometimes hilarious) stories will help families feel less alone and the professionals who work with families like hers feel more confident and able to impact positive change. Laura is grateful to have been a part of the Youth Empowerment Services (YES) implementation process and  looks forward to the day when every child has access to the mental health supports they need.