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Why NOT obtaining Section 504 for your child is a DISSERVICE to your child...

509 replies [Last post]
By Gail W on Wed, 05-18-05, 16:47

Here's a start: A '504 plan' is a document that you (+ your doctor) and the school create together. It details the accommodations that the school will make to ensure your child's access to the learning environment.

From: [url="http://www.504idea.org/504resources.html"]http://www.504idea.org/504resources.html[/url]

[i]"A LITTLE HISTORY

A. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
In 1973 when the Rehabilitation Act was passed, little was being done on a federal level to encourage participation and equal access to federally funded programs by the disabled. While largely geared toward providing job opportunities and training to disabled adults, the Act also addressed, though very discreetly, the failure of the public schools to educate disabled students. The single paragraph we now refer to as

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By qdebbie1 on Wed, 05-18-05, 18:02

Beth C
I will tell you my view of it and I hope it is correct. Simply put it is like an action plan for the school that is backed up by law. The plan is written not as a suggestion of what a school should do but this is what you will do by law to keep my child safe and you will do it because of section 504 in the Americans with Disabilites act.
I think the first step is a letter from your allergist. I made an appointment for a "check up" and had the letter very simply typed out in the wording I needed and he put it on his letterhead and signed it. This way it was left to me to word it and less work for the Dr to do.
Do start now. I moved in august, had my very first meeting in January and have been all over them to get into this before the end of the year and am having my next meeting the day after the last day of school. Hopefully I will be done before he starts 2nd grade.

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By ryan's mom on Wed, 05-18-05, 21:01

Most importantly, it is a LEGAL document.

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By Gail W on Wed, 05-18-05, 21:45

Quote:Originally posted by ryan's mom:
[b]Most importantly, it is a LEGAL document.[/b]

FYI, an IHP is a signed, legally binding document as well. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Our IHP is signed by 4 staff: teacher, counselor, principal, and school nurse. And like the 504 Plan, our IHP was created collectively with input from our DD's allergist.

The difference is that an IHP and a 504 plan are each bound to [i]different[/i] laws, and therefore have different (legal) accountability.

An IHP is usually administered by the School Nurse, who is legally bound to her State Nurse Practice Acts (State laws that she legally must follow, licensing accountability, professional standards, etc.). In general, an IHP tends to look at PA as a health need from a medical perspective.

A 504 Plan is legally binding to a different law, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). This law addresses discrimination by ensuring a students' access to the learning environment. In general, a 504 plan addresses the aspects of "access" and "rights" in a "Least Restrictive (learning) Environment" (LRE).

For example, go here: [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001858.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001858.html[/url]

...the School Nurse realizes that Mariah would be exposed to peanut butter on the bus, that this is a health and safety issue, so she looks at it from a medical (for lack of better words) "isolation" or "exposure" perspective: [i]Mariah shouldn't be on the bus because she wouldn't be safe exposed to peanut butter.[/i]

...but 504 looks at the field trip from an "access" perspective, that Mariah must participate like her "non-disabled peers" in the "least restrictive environment". Riding in a car separated from her non-disabled peers is a violation of "LRE". [i]Solution: no peanut butter on the bus for Mariah to access the learning environment. [/i]

Does that make sense?

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 18, 2005).]

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By synthia on Thu, 05-19-05, 01:01

Gail Gail Gail,man Thank you! I am in your shoes right now.Field trip tomorrow,snacks was a issue,I look forward to going back to posting as soon as I can.

Thank you for putting it into [b]Black + white.[/b]
The paragraphs below make a lot of since to me [b] now [/b],I see this...

...the School Nurse realizes that Mariah would be exposed to peanut butter on the bus, that this is a health and safety issue, so she looks at it from a medical (for lack of better words) "isolation" or "exposure" perspective: Mariah shouldn't be on the bus because she wouldn't be safe exposed to peanut butter.

...but 504 looks at the field trip from an "access" perspective, that Mariah must participate like her "non-disabled peers" in the "least restrictive environment". Riding in a car separated from her non-disabled peers is a violation of "LRE". Solution: no peanut butter on the bus for Mariah to access the learning environment.

Does that make sense? [b]Yes as I jump for joy!!!! [/b]

Key Words...."isolation" or "exposure"
Versus........"access"

------------------
Love this site
Synthia

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By Gail W on Thu, 05-19-05, 03:57

Hi Synthia [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Some accommodations in our IHP addressed 'access' too. For example, in Mariah's IHP it stated that her classroom was "food free" to reduce exposure... and it was very successful. (This year we adjusted that and students were allowed to bring in a snack limited to fresh fruits and veggies. )

But it's the other, more social aspects where 504 seems to come into play. Do you remember this situation when Mariah's PF cafeteria table was different, [i]smaller[/i] thereby limited who she could sit with?

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/004077.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum1/HTML/004077.html[/url]

I posted there:

[i]QUESTION: how would you "feel" if ...[an allergic] reaction caused great bodily harm to your daughter?

MY RESPONSE: I would feel the haunting pain that I placed my dd in a situation that "harmed" her.

However, what I hope to convey so that you understand is that I already feel that pain now... for having placed her in a situation all last year that caused her great "psychological harm". "Harm" that she is angry and resentful for, "harm" that still causes her to cry in bed some nights, "harm" to her self-confidence, that has affected her relationships with classmates, that she now sees PA defining more of her identity than she wants because of the social implications that resulted for her, "harm" that may (on some level) be affecting her learning. These impacts are harmful as well, and I am not certain at this point in time how or if they will heal. I do not know how to measure or define their impact except that I know, as her mother, that they hurt her. They hurt her deeply. Are these hurts (i.e. "harms") not as serious or significant as the physical allergy symptoms or manifestations?

I see the "harm" on both ends of the spectrum. Certainly for the "bodily" harm that you ask about. But... am I not equally accountable for the harm that I allowed the school to impose on her last year under the assumption that is kept her "safe"? Is it not my burden to be accountable for any pyschological harm as well as bodily harm? [/i]
----------------------------------------------

That cafeteria experience is very much like the recent proposed 'segregation' or 'isolation' of Mariah driving in a car to the field trip instead of taking the bus with all the other kids. In both cases, the School Nurse tends to "err on the side of caution" (hi MommaBear [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) by having a PF table to reduce exposure. That's good, except her table was smaller and created social stigma. If Mariah had 504 protection when this occurred, I would have been able to show the school that Mariah did not have the same "access" as her non-disabled peers.

But instead, we put Mariah through the medical model and additional medical testing: the "touch challenge'' in the above link. We did that because we were using the IHP medical model, and we needed medical "proof" that she could sit at the regular table.

Had I looked at her situation using a 504 lens, the medical testing wasn't really relevant regarding her disability. According to the law under 504, the school must provide Mariah with [i]"related aids and services that are designed to meet individual educational needs of handicapped persons [b]as adequately as the needs of nonhandicapped persons[/b] are met..."[/i] I would have argued (correctly, I believe) that Mariah's PF table needed to be exactly like all the other cafeteria tables....

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 19, 2005).]

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By synthia on Thu, 05-19-05, 09:29

Hi Gail I feel your pain and your dd's pain (and I share that pain)
and it should not be this way.This thread has taught me a lot ,and it helps me understand where they are comming from.

Thanks again

You gotta love this site!!!!!

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Love this site
Synthia

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By Nutternomore on Thu, 05-19-05, 10:50

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b]In general, a 504 plan addresses the aspects of "access" and "rights" in a "Least Restrictive (learning) Environment" (LRE).

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 18, 2005).][/b]

To expand upon this slightly, Section 504 is civil rights legislation. The goal here in the language of the law is free appropriate public education (FAPE) in a least restrictive environment (LRE). The accommodations level the playing field by ensuring access to what a child's non-disabled peers access...

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By Nutternomore on Thu, 05-19-05, 11:12

I love Gail W's description about looking at situations through different lenses. Using that same approach, here's another example.

Looking at lunchtime - let's say that a child returns to his classroom to eat alone, while the rest of his class goes to eat in the cafeteria. Looking at this through an IHP lens, this can be sufficient. It certainly reduces the risk of having a reaction.

Now, look at the language in Section 504.

[i]104.37 Nonacademic services.

(a) General. (1) A recipient to which this subpart applies shall provide non‑academic and extracurricular services and activities in such manner as is necessary to afford handicapped students an equal opportunity for participation in such services and activities. [/i]

The accommodation doesn't meet the goal of FAPE in an LRE. The child is losing out on the opportunity to develop social interaction skills that are part of the school experience (developed during lunchtime). Although this is [i]non-academic[/i], it nevertheless is an important element of the school experience.

We were very concerned about social isolation should DS be put at a peanut-free table and only allowed to have 1-2 friends join him, at this young age where he is just starting to make friends.

In my case, our accommodation is that DS's entire table is Peanut and Tree Nut Free (his entire class sits at one long table). DS is free to sit in [b]any[/b] seat at the table (least restrictive environment).

As he gets older, this will probably be re-visited. Classes no longer have to sit together, so at that point, having a Peanut Free table with select friends joining him isn't discriminatory compared to what his peers would be doing. Of course, the possibility of the Peanut Table approach (people consuming peanut products eat at a special table) will also be considered....

[This message has been edited by Nutternomore (edited May 19, 2005).]

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By Gail W on Thu, 05-19-05, 12:33

Quote:Originally posted by Nutternomore:
[b]The accommodations level the playing field by ensuring access to what a child's non-disabled peers access... [/b]

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Nicely said.

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By Gail W on Thu, 05-19-05, 12:52

Don't get me wrong, I'm a [b]huge [/b] supporter of full-time of School Nurses. So much so that we sold our house and moved into a school district that had them.

But over the 6 years of elementary school, it was our experience that an IHP under that administration of a full-time RN [i]was not enough.[/i]

[b]Myth #16: A 504 plan is not necessary if you have an IHP administered by a full-time School Nurse. [/b]

Our IHP administered by a fabulous full time RN fell short for our daughter.

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By MommaBear on Thu, 05-19-05, 13:19

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b]Don't get me wrong, I'm a [b]huge [/b] supporter of full-time of School Nurses. So much so that we sold our house and moved into a school district that had them.

But over the 6 years of elementary school, it was our experience that an IHP under that administration of a full-time RN [i]was not enough.[/i]

[/b]

Would you say a multidisciplinary approach potentiates each discipline? Each area of expertise? That [i]several lenses converging on the same area allows for a much clearer view?[/i]

[b]A bigger picture[/b]? A unique approach?

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By Gail W on Thu, 05-19-05, 14:06

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] Would you say a multidisciplinary approach potentiates each discipline? Each area of expertise? That [i]several lenses converging on the same area allows for a much clearer view?[/i]

[b]A bigger picture[/b]? A unique approach?

[/b]

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Yes, yes, yes, yes and [b][i]YES![/b][/i]

Have I told you lately how much I appreciate your effort to put forward so many fine questions?

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By MommaBear on Thu, 05-19-05, 14:23

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b]
Have I told you lately how much I appreciate your effort to put forward so many fine questions? [/b]

Have I told both you and Nutternomore how eagerly I look forward to discussions such as these? *To me* it's about PA [i]and more[/i]. I hang on every word.

Honestly? I'm always somewhat hesitant to mention names specifically since there are so many jewels here at Pa.com. Everyone sparkles. I don't say it very often, since I get a little queesy gushing. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] It's like Pa.com is in it's [i]glory years[/i]. Talk about [i]paving the way[/i]. Do your best. Savor it. Look back with no regrets.

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By solarflare on Thu, 05-19-05, 16:30

Our principal is the 504 coordinator for our school. I don't think we'll be able to get any further accomodations under a 504 than we're getting already.

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By Nutternomore on Thu, 05-19-05, 17:29

Quote:Originally posted by solarflare:
[b]Our principal is the 504 coordinator for our school. I don't think we'll be able to get any further accomodations under a 504 than we're getting already.[/b]

As I think you know, we had to go around that barrier and engage responsible parties at the District level in order to get an appropriate 504 in place.

All Districts need to articulate the steps involved should you seek due process. The 504 School coordinator is [b]not[/b] the final word...in your case, you would probably escalate to the Director of Special Services at your district. Preparation is the key in heading down that path....

[This message has been edited by Nutternomore (edited May 19, 2005).]

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By ryan's mom on Thu, 05-19-05, 20:39

Agreeing with Nutternomore. One would think the 504 coordinator would be the Director of Special Ed. That would make sense. But this seems to be the exception rather than the norm.

Just because your principal is the 504 coordinator doesn't mean he/she knows anything about the law regarding 504's.

This was probably especially evident to me when I was a high school teacher. Our principal was an absolutely wonderful guy who I'm sure knew nothing about 504's. Except to say that he would refer you to the Dir. of Spec. Ed., who knew almost everything on this topic.

[This message has been edited by ryan's mom (edited May 19, 2005).]

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By Gail W on Thu, 05-19-05, 23:06

Quote:Originally posted by Nutternomore:
[b] As I think you know, we had to go around that barrier and engage responsible parties at the District level in order to get an appropriate 504 in place. [/b]

Same here. We directed our request to the Assistant Superintendent who has the title "Director of Student Instructional Resources".

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By Gail W on Fri, 05-20-05, 01:03

Quote:Originally posted by Nutternomore:
[b]The goal ...in the language of the law is free appropriate public education (FAPE) in a least restrictive environment (LRE). The accommodations level the playing field by ensuring access to what a child's non-disabled peers access... [/b]

This is from correspondence that I received from the Office for Civil Rights:

"Related services are provided to qualified students with disabilities who require such services to have access to a recipient school's education program. If a qualified disabled student requires a related service, as reflected in the student

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By synthia on Fri, 05-20-05, 02:10

Quote:Originally posted by Nutternomore:
[b] To expand upon this slightly, Section 504 is civil rights legislation. The goal here in the language of the law is free appropriate public education (FAPE) in a least restrictive environment (LRE). The accommodations level the playing field by ensuring access to what a child's non-disabled peers access... [/b]

Nutternomore: Thank you expanding this

I am going to try this again lost post.

Maybe if my angle had a 504 she might not have had several reactions.

Maybe if my angel had a 504 she would not have been pulled from PE for fear of...

Maybe if my angel had a 504 she would not have been denied "access" to the playground!

Just maybe my angel would have loved to attend school.

and maybe if she had a 504 the school staff could have relaxed just a little and let the children be children.

the law is free appropriate public education (FAPE) in a least restrictive environment (LRE).

[b]Key words[/b]
free appropriate public education (FAPE)

in a least restrictive environment (LRE).

non-disabled peers access...

------------------
Love this site
Synthia

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By Gail W on Fri, 05-20-05, 13:44

Quote:Originally posted by synthia:
[b]Key words[/b]
free appropriate public education (FAPE)

in a least restrictive environment (LRE).

non-disabled peers access

"equal access"
"accessible"

synthia, do you have internet access to your school district's School Board policies? See if your school district has a policy called something like, "NonDiscrimination on the basis of Disability". (Just an idea [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] )

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By synthia on Fri, 05-20-05, 15:56

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] "equal access"
"accessible"

synthia, do you have internet access to your school district's School Board policies? See if your school district has a policy called something like, "NonDiscrimination on the basis of Disability". (Just an idea [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] )

[/b]

ahhhh Yes and I see it,but I really don't think they understands how it applies to "PA"(Peanut Anaphylaxis),but I do see some hope for my angel.
Hummm I see a lot of buts in there,here is another,but it is doable and CAN have a positive out come[b]for ALL parties involved[/b]if and this is a big if we all keep a open mind,and allways keep in mind [b]why[/b] we are doing this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I have to be the one to take the heat,verbal assults,feelings of resentment,looked upon as a trouble maker then so be it. If I have to be the only one to stand up and have my voice heard,for the life of a child weather it be mine, yours or the guy across the streets child I will

THIS HAS TO STOP

I feel I have just begun this journey.This journey has sparked something in me I have not seen in a very long time [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
"What a long, strange trip it's been" [Gerry Garcia]
Where is AnnaMarie!!!

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Love this site
Synthia

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By synthia on Fri, 05-20-05, 15:59

Sorry double post

[This message has been edited by synthia (edited July 26, 2005).]

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By Nutternomore on Fri, 05-20-05, 18:59

[b]Myth #17: No matter what I do, my child is bound to be harassed/bullied by others due to his/her PA.[/b]

Although bullying and harassment is an on-going issue in the school system, and many schools have adopted anti-bullying provisions in general, you have additional protections if you have instituted a 504 plan for your child.

[i]Harassment based upon disability is not only wrong, but it's illegal.[/i]

Important info on this topic exists at the Dept. of Education, Office of Civil Rights website.

[url="http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/07-2000/0726_2.html"]http://www.ed.gov/PressReleases/07-2000/0726_2.html[/url]

This press release was issued back in 2000. You'll see that [b]the accompanying letter (linked from the press release) was sent to every school from the government on this subject.[/b]

So, if anyone here is ever in a situation where a school isn't acting forcefully, then give them a copy of this letter to refresh their memories re:their legal obligation.

As I mentioned abouve, many schools have general anti-bullying rules anyway. Tip: we put a statement in DS's 504 plan that indicated that if he reported any situations of bullying/harassment, the school would handle in accordance with its existing policy (just another way to keep the issue in front of them)...

[This message has been edited by Nutternomore (edited May 23, 2005).]

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By solarflare on Fri, 05-20-05, 21:39

My problem is that the Special Services coordinator (who I know from having to make arrangements for my nka son's IEP for a speech delay) told me that I need to talk to the principal first, and getting any absolutes out of the principal is like slamming my head against the wall. It really is annoying.

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By bethc on Fri, 05-20-05, 23:38

Getting clearer! Thank you for taking the time to clarify this!

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By Gail W on Sat, 05-21-05, 11:49

You don't mind if I re-number this, do you?

Quote:Originally posted by Nutternomore:
[b]Myth #17: No matter what I do, my child is bound to be harassed/bullied by others due to his/her PA.[/b]

Tip: we put a statement in DS's 504 plan that indicated that if he reported any situations of bullying/harassment, the school would handle in accordance with its existing policy (just another way to keep the issue in front of them)...

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Thank you.

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By Gail W on Sat, 05-21-05, 12:58

Quote:Originally posted by solarflare:
[b]... I need to talk to the principal first, and getting any absolutes out of the principal is like slamming my head against the wall. [/b]

Completely relate. My 'Coach' advised my to "stop talking" to them. When they said something stupid that I should reply, "That's very interesting. Would you please send what you just stated to me [i]in writing[/i]?"

My school staff were actually polite when they said stupid things like: "we're already doing everything that we can", "a 504 won't provide any added benefit for Mariah", "[i]learning [/i]must be affected in order for Mariah to meet the criteria for a 504 designation", "Mariah already had 504 protection because of her LD", "Mariah's PA doesn't 'significantly limit' her access to the learning environment so she doesn't qualify", "her allergist states here in this letter that in Mariah's contact challenge her breathing was affected in her 'upper airway' only" .... I could go on and on.

My relationship with school staff was based on trust, respect, and cooperation. It was [i]personal[/i]. We made the mistake of forging a very personal relationship with staff as the [i]basis[/i] to keep Mariah safe. That was a problem because the staff believed that the safeguards that they were providing Mariah were due to their [i]willingness[/i] to be trustworthy, respectful and cooperative. This is false.

It's great to have mutual trust/respect/cooperation, and I appreciate this motivation, but the fact of the matter is that the reason that they are providing safeguards for my child is because she is entitled to them, not because they are the nice people that they are. She is entitled to them because, under the law, she meets the criteria of a Section 504 Designation.

I heard all kinds of incorrect statements from staff about the law. [i]Major brick wall. [/i] In fact, I'd bet I [i]offended[/i] their sensibilities by asking for the Designation after they'd already clearly and respectfully explained to me that Mariah didn't qualify and that it wasn't needed. I could [i]feel [/i] the trust/respect/cooperation wane.... after all we'd been through together, after all they'd already done for my daughter. I can see them shaking their head in utter disbelief.

Ummm... after 6 years of working together, our personal relationship made it *tougher*. I think I should have insisted on the correct accountability (Section 504) from the beginning (preK) and [i]then[/i] forge all that wonderful trust/respect/cooperation that is so important between parent and school relationship. Horse/cart.

It wasn't until I put the request *in writing* and started applying my "parental rights" to apply 504 law that they began to understand how Section 504 protects Mariah.

Quote:Originally posted by solarflare:
[b]... I need to talk to the principal first, and getting any absolutes out of the principal is like slamming my head against the wall. [/b]

Chain-of-command is important in the school system culture. Start with the principal. But it doesn't have to end there.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 21, 2005).]

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By MommaBear on Sat, 05-21-05, 13:12

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] My relationship with school staff was based on trust, respect, and cooperation. It was personal . We made the mistake of forging a very personal relationship with staff as the basis to keep Mariah safe. That was a problem because the staff believed that the safeguards that they were providing Mariah were due to their willingness to be trustworthy, respectful and cooperative. This is a false.

It's great to have mutual trust/respect/cooperation, and I appreciate this motivation, but the fact of the matter is that the reason that they are providing safeguards for my child is because she is entitled to them, not because they are the nice people that they are. She is entitled to them because, under the law, she meets the criteria of a Section 504 Designation.

[/b]

I had the pleasure of speaking with an older Indian gentleman at a class picinic yesterday. (Grandfather of one of the children in our class). He shared quite a few cultural philosophies with me during what I consider to be a priceless conversation. Right time, right place. Not surprisingly, [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img], I found those philosophies rather [i]universal[/i] in my experience. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

One of them being: "The most [b]base[/b] (lowest) form of a [i]charitable act[/i] is doing what you are [i]required to do[/i]. In other words, not doing the act would be [i]immoral, unconscionable, [b]wrong[/b][/i].

In other words, as my [i]husband[/i] likes to say:

*******************************************

"What are you looking for me to say?:

[b]Thanks for [i]doing your job[/i][/b]?"

*******************************************

Amazing cultural similiarities. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited May 21, 2005).]

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By MommaBear on Sat, 05-21-05, 13:17

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] Ummm... after 6 years of working together, our personal relationship made it *tougher*. I think I should have insisted on the correct accountability (Section 504) from the beginning (preK) and then forge all that wonderful trust/respect/cooperation that is so important between parent and school relationship. Horse/cart.

[/b]

Where logic and for lack of a better description, [i]business[/i] affairs are concerned, that whole social scene really gets in the way?

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By Gail W on Sat, 05-21-05, 13:40

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] ... that whole social scene really gets in the way?[/b]

Yes, it made it more difficult. Definitely. The cart was before the horse, and so it was bound to fail, no matter how much *good faith*.

But now that's corrected. The horse (504) is pulling the cart as it should. I think they will respect me more for that. (I respect myself more for it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] )

And I think they will be just as relieved, liberated, as I am. Having the appropriate accountability (504) will better foster what we both desire: a parent/school relationship of trust/respect/cooperation.

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By MommaBear on Sat, 05-21-05, 13:48

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] Yes, it made it more difficult. Definitely. The cart was before the horse, and so it was bound to fail, no matter how much *good faith*.

[/b]

I can't have *good faith* unless people demonstrate to me they're [b]doing their job[/b]. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[i]bringing back that marriage analogy[/i]:

[b]Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?[/b]

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By MommaBear on Sat, 05-21-05, 13:56

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] I can't have *good faith* unless people demonstrate to me they're [b]doing their job[/b]. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[/b]

.............[i]earn[/i] my [b]good faith[/b].

Public servants paid with tax dollars I [i]earned[/i].

No popularity contests, no lunch dates. Business. If hubby and I happen to really mesh with such persons, then.............*Bonus*.

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By MommaBear on Sat, 05-21-05, 14:02

I've had downright [i]ornery[/i] patients. Some even threaten to kill me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] Very creatively, even.

Didn't affect my performance of [i]duty[/i] in the least. Not for a second.

.......[i]business.[/i]

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By Gail W on Sat, 05-21-05, 19:55

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
I can't have *good faith* unless people demonstrate to me they're doing their job.

I know. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Quote: Originally posted by MommaBear:
"What are you looking for me to say?:

[b]Thanks for [i]doing your job[/i]?"[/b]

I know. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
Didn't affect my performance of duty in the least. Not for a second.

I know. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

I'm still having a very hard time with all this. It's so disappointing. Regarding "duty" ...

...from here: [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001824.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001824.html[/url]

[i]But mostly I feel sad disappointment right now. I tried to fully "embrace my role as teacher" to the School District... to show them how to apply the 504 law. And, if receiving the Designation is the criteria, then I succeeded.

But I still haven't fully accepted my parental role as the SD's teacher without feeling angry and bitter. Angry because of the administration's resistance to learn and give it the attention that it deserves. Bitter that it took so much out of me and away from my life, my family. This became a power struggle, parent verses administration, and it should not have.

I get it philosophically, that my husband and I have the [b]duty[/b] to do whatever it takes, but it shouldn't have to be this way. I'm relieved to have the designation. But I'm profoundly disappointed about the process. There is something wrong here.[/i]

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited May 21, 2005).]

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By ryan's mom on Sat, 05-21-05, 22:26

I believe one of my personal fave quotes originated from the mouth of former President Ronald Reagan: "Trust, but verify."

I believe this applies to the 504 concept.

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By Gail W on Sat, 05-21-05, 22:30

Quote:Originally posted by ryan's mom:
[b]"Trust, but verify."[/b]

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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By Gail W on Sun, 05-22-05, 12:59

Recap:

Myth #1: Requesting a Section 504 will label me as a "difficult parent" and the School District won't want to work with me.

Myth #2: It is better if the school staff find me to be cooperative and likeable. It's better to avoid conflict with staff because if the staff doesn't like me, my child may not be treated as well by the staff.

Myth #3: My School (School District) is cooperating with me and I have the accommodations that I want. A 504 is not necessary.

Myth #4: Things have been going great. Why rock the boat with a 504 request?

Myth #5: If a School District is really resistant to a 504 Designation, the fight might not be worth it.

Myth #6: School Districts are familiar with Section 504. My School District has an administrator who is the District's '504 Compliance Officer'. This person knows all about how Section 504 works, handles complaints in the school district about 504 violations, and will help me regarding Section 504 for my child with food allergies.

Myth #7: There are lots of experts who will help you with obtaining a Section 504 Designation for your child.

Myth #8 - 504 plans are only for those who want significant risk reduction accommodations, like having the school go peanut-free. Also, they are a static document that once signed, is cast in stone.

Myth #9: My school has made some accommodations already and says that they have already provided all the accommodations that they can. So a 504 plan won't provide any added benefit for my child because my school has already made all the "reasonable accommodations" a 504 plan would require them to do anyway.

Myth #10: My school district and community are educated, progressive, and wealthy. Therefore, I will not need IDEA or 504 protection. They will know what to do, do it with compassion and out of moral/ethical obligation. They probably are very familiar with needs such as ours and if they haven't already, will set a precedent for other institutions.

Myth #11: The school my child attends is a private school, and therefore does not need to adhere to ADA legislation.

Myth #12: A private school, particularly one of my family's faith, or one that is affluent, is always a better choice for a child with disabilities or special needs. They will be more flexible and compassionate. They will try harder to accommodate. They have values.

Myth #13: School will work as promptly as possible to order to accelerate the 504 plan process.

Myth #14: A 504 plan is a tactical tool I need to use to help my child be safe this year.

Myth # 15: Getting all the PA families together and approaching the School District as one collective will be more effective. There is power in numbers.

Myth #16: A 504 plan is not necessary if you have an IHP administered by a full-time School Nurse.

Myth #17: No matter what I do, my child is bound to be harassed/bullied by others due to his/her PA.

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By synthia on Mon, 05-23-05, 12:35

bump!!!!!!!!
Thank you!

------------------
Love this site
Synthia

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By ryan's mom on Mon, 05-23-05, 20:44

IMO, this thread should be bumped every two weeks. It is too important to miss for (US specific) newbies or parents planning their child's entry into public school.

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By ryan's mom on Fri, 05-27-05, 21:25

After reading another thread, I just realized this is probably Myth #18.

Myth #18: Doctors are knowledgeable about 504 law, and will be able to create one for you based on the needs of your child.

From my experience, doctors are good with the medical stuff, NOT the legal stuff. I do believe that up until I handed him our draft 504, he had never seen one before, nor did he have any clue what one was. But I can tell you the office has called me to ask if they can use mine as an example.

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By Nutternomore on Fri, 05-27-05, 23:16

ryan's mom,

I think that they fall into two camps.

Camp 1) Doctors like Gail W's - who either are already knowledgeable, or willing to become so rapidly, and really advocate for their patients

Camp 2) Not particularly knowledgeable or pretend they aren't. As I stated in another post awhile back, unfortunately, some doctors are well aware of the controversy associated with their recommendations - they consciously describe the "what", but leave the "how" (i.e. implementation) up to the 504 team to handle. For others, they may not consciously give sufficient thought to all the considerations of the school environment (e.g. approach used by teacher in classroom, physical layout of school and degree of shared usage of equipment, supplies, etc.)

In any event, that is where we, as educated advocates, influence the doctor up front (to think through those considerations), as well as to advocate via the 504 process.

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By doreen on Sat, 05-28-05, 05:21

I haven't been here in a while. Nutternomore, thanks so much for your comments. I do usually think that about other parents, but I also think two parents I am thinking of might be willing to approach the school too. There are at least two others that I would not consider approaching.

GailW, "you can do it Doreen" almost made me cry. It's like I'm a little kid and I'm paralyzed because I'm scared to death. It's ridiculous. The other thing is like you said I have sort of mixed up the horse and cart thing and now that she has already finished kindergarten I feel like I would be betraying them in some way? I guess I fear it would show some sort of distrust. You know I did trust all last summer that they would contact me about a food allergy meeting, and they never did, so I guess it is about it a little bit. I also guess I realize that I have to do it alone -- no family help from DH either you know.

The other thing is my daughter's allergist is Dr. Rosen, who is on the FAAN board. I don't believe I'm confident in him signing off on many things that I might feel necessary -- such as a peanut-free classroom. I also happen to believe she is allergic to tree nuts now but hopefully he'll be okay with avoiding those because of cross-contamination. I don't know -- maybe I'm just thinking of excuses not to do it. I've also got so much on my plate. Well, hopefully by the next time I've posted I will have started before I can't reach them in the summer.

I always thought 504 was the right thing to do -- I guess I'm a people pleaser (sucker) at heart. Also, I think I wanted to trust people again being her first preschool experience was so bad and it is also that experience that doesn't want me to "rock the boat." Another thing is I'm still in denial. I always believed in my heart she would outgrow this for some reason.

Thanks again.

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By synthia on Sat, 05-28-05, 13:14

Hang in there doreen. ((((hugs))))

------------------
Love this site
Synthia

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By Gail W on Sat, 05-28-05, 14:50

You can do it, doreen. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Definitely. I, too, very much feel like "David" against the "Goliath" School District. It is a lonely and frightening feeling. I completely relate to feeling like a child. My School District treated me like a child, so it's no wonder...

I tried to intentionally put this thread forward in a provocative way, by making claims about "myths". I hope it's understand that I started this thread as a cathartic release of the anger and frustration I have toward my School District right now. I needed to create this thread for myself.... to reinforce the decision that I made, and to share my experience so that I might get the good feeling from possibly helping someone else.

I wanted to assert "the right" thing to do in an authoritarian, self righteous proclamation because, I believe, this is exactly how my School District put out their (sometimes false) claims about 504s. My School District was very [i]patronizing.[/i] They cloaked their "because I said so" mentality and successfully maintained an insufficient status quo by using the weight and power of their Goliath bureaucracy.

This is what I want for my daughter: I envision a model where the School Nurse advocates for my DD's medical needs (from a 'medical model' perspective), and where the 504 coordinator advocates for DD's normalcy needs (from a 'least restrictive environment' model). I understand that these two perspectives can be in conflict, the old "safety vs. normalcy" spectrum that we, as parents, struggle with daily. But this is a necessary conversation with members of the school staff who come to the table with these different perspectives.

I thought for sure that I'd get some slamming comments here. I deserve them. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I thought for sure this would evoke some angry responses, or at least experiences where not having a 504 plan has worked well. I'm sure there are many. Three years go I was a big advocate for IHPs and posted a lot about that here. I still want all the benefits of my full-time RN administering the IHP. But now, as I'm further down the road, I see how an IHP falls short. And I see the [i]need[/i] for a 504 in addition to what an RN provides.

One of the very most positive experiences I take away from this process is that I understand that as a parent I am a powerful player in the school system. Going through this ordeal has changed the way I view myself. I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but I view my role differently. I am now comfortable questioning the SD's assertions because I understand that they are sometimes wrong, and they are accountable to substantiate the assertions they make to me.

My "Coach" helped me practice phrases so that I was comfortable responding to the School District in meetings. I recited my responses to possible false logic from the SD. Over and over I rehearsed phrases like, "I've proved to you how my daughter qualifies for 504. I've provided you with x number of authoritative sources that proves my assertion. You need to prove to me that all of these sources are wrong." I thought about becca, and how practicing techniques to turn the power base around eventually became [b]integrated[/b] into my overall philospy/approach dealing with the school.

You know, I care for my 82 year old parents, and my father still says to me sometimes (grumpy old man expression and voice), [i]"because I say so". [/i] I try to give my father respect and deference as his daughter.

I mistakenly saw the School District as a parent. I made the mistake of deferring my parental rights and my parental responsibilities to them. It wasn't always appropriate and it didn't always serve the best interests of my child. I am my daughter's parent, not the school. [i]I needed to learn that.[/i] I think I am a better parent now, and that my daughter will benefit.

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By MommaBear on Sat, 05-28-05, 15:26

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] I, too, very much feel like "David" against the "Goliath" School District. It is a lonely and frightening feeling. I completely relate to feeling like a child. My School District treated me like a child, so it's no wonder...[/b]

At one time, *a* school district treated my husband and myself *differently* as well. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] [i]patronizing.....[/i], self assured, superior, [i]"I know something you don't know (or could understand)"[/i]. As if we were [i]disadvantaged[/i].

We had an extra burden: [i]to show *the potential* both my cubs have[/i]. I can't begin to say how excited both we and the district are about our children's progress and potential. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Apples, trees, and "getting it".

Quote:[b]I tried to intentionally put this thread forward in a provocative way, by making claims about "myths".[/b]

you've done an excellent job. "Myth Busters" was one of my favorite programs.

Quote:[b]I hope it's understand that I started this thread as a cathartic release of the anger and frustration I have toward my School District right now. I needed to create this thread for myself.... to reinforce the decision that I made, and to share my experience so that I might get the good feeling from possibly helping someone else.[/b]

[b]YES![/b] I know what you mean.

Quote:[b]I wanted to assert "the right" thing to do in an authoritarian, self righteous proclamation because, I believe, this is exactly how my School District put out their (sometimes false) claims about 504s. My School District was very [i]patronizing.[/i] They cloaked their "because I said so" mentality and successfully maintained an insufficient status quo by using the weight and power of their Goliath bureaucracy. [/b]

Guilty here.

I've been told it's a very effective (and very temping) way to get one's point across. (or letting folk see themselves the way you do).

I think they call it "Mirroring". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

The world is full of "Goliaths" and bureaucracy. I've had plenty of practice.

[b] Quote:This is what I want for my daughter: I envision a model where the School Nurse advocates for my DD's medical needs (from a 'medical model' perspective), and where the 504 coordinator advocates for DD's normalcy needs (from a 'least restrictive environment' model). I understand that these two perspectives can be in conflict, the old "safety vs. normalcy" spectrum that we, as parents, struggle with daily. But this is a necessary conversation with members of the school staff who come to the table with these different perspectives. [/b]

This is called [b]"Balance"[/b]. It's a necessary part of life.

[b] Quote:I thought for sure that I'd get some slamming comments here. I deserve them. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I thought for sure this would evoke some angry responses, or at least experiences where not having a 504 plan has worked well. I'm sure there are many. Three years go I was a big advocate for IHPs and posted a lot about that here. I still want all the benefits of my full-time RN administering the IHP. But now, as I'm further down the road, I see how an IHP falls short. And I see the [i]need[/i] for a 504 in addition to what an RN provides.[/b]

I completely understand. I wanted a designation and eligibility under "OHI", because I wanted the school district to understand his need for safety and health were *just* as deserving and eligible as his educational, social, and emotional and other *traditional* school needs. [i]That the needs were [b]equal[/b].[/i] That there was an [i]obligation[/i]. The *same* obligation.

[i]That a *balance* would have to be found[/i]. The perspective [i]changed[/i].

Quote:[b]One of the very most positive experiences I take away from this process is that I understand that as a parent I am a powerful player in the school system. Going through this ordeal has changed the way I view myself. I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but I view my role differently. I am now comfortable questioning the SD's assertions because I understand that they are sometimes wrong, and they are accountable to substantiate the assertions they make to me. [/b]

AHA! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] And I give them the same respect. I provide rational and [b]substantiate[/b] even the smallest details (common sense stuff) when necessary. It's the only way I know how to be a "team member". To be *equal*. Maybe even [i]an expert[/i]. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

A [i]knowledgeable individual[/i]? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

Quote:[b]You know, I care for my 82 year old parents, and my father still says to me sometimes (grumpy old man expression and voice), [i]"because I say so". [/i] I try to give my father respect and deference as his daughter.

[/b]

warm fuzzy feeling. thank you.

General Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Just describing my own personal, highly individual, and unique situation. Individual Mileage May Vary.

[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited May 28, 2005).]

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By synthia on Tue, 05-31-05, 13:16

I was always raised to take one at thier word
until proven other wise.
In our case it as proven other wise,so verbal does not mean a thing.

It is to my understanding that under the IEP
the schools will err on the side of safety,IMO that means they will pull the child when safety becomes a issue.Unless you get a OHI and a seperate 504,Check with mommabear!

On the 504 [b]we balance it [/b]and it protects their rights.

I could be understanding this wrong?!Anyone?

------------------
Love this site
Synthia

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By MommaBear on Tue, 05-31-05, 13:19

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001877.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001877.html[/url]

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By MommaBear on Tue, 05-31-05, 13:30

Quote:Originally posted by synthia:
[b]It is to my understanding that under the IEP
the schools will err on the side of safety,IMO that means they will pull the child when safety becomes a issue.Unless you get a OHI and a seperate 504,Check with mommabear!

On the 504 [b]we balance it [/b]and it protects their rights.

I could be understanding this wrong?!Anyone?

[/b]

wrt "OHI":

This has not been [b]my individual experience[/b], maybe it's just me.

quite the contrary, I've found the school district to be [i]obligated[/i] to accommodate under OHI. Least Restrictive Environment thing, the school "pulling" [b]my[/b] child, from whatever, without my consent, maybe not being at the *top* of the options list.

At least not [i]indefinitely[/i]. I mean, once an issue is identified. (documented?)

Even *with* my consent, I think if the law indicated/implied/[i]implicated[/i] other [b]options[/b]/accommodations/action available, documenting my *informed consent* would probably be prudent for *my* district.

I mean, what are *truant officers* anyway? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] I mean, even without IDEA.....

[b]I could be very mistaken, my perception could be wrong[/b]. I could just have dumb luck.

General Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Just describing my own [b]personal, highly individual, and unique situation[/b]. I could be way off. Individual Mileage May Vary.

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By Gail W on Wed, 06-01-05, 15:48

[b]Myth #19: If a child has an OHI designation, he is not protected under Section 504, and he is not entitled to LRE.[/b]

OHI under IDEA entitles a child to LRE by law. IDEA's main purpose is to ensure Least Restrictive Environment for children with disabilities so that they are integrated fully with their non-disabled peers! Additionally, any child with an OHI designation is automatically covered under Section 504.

In my particular case, Mariah does not have the OHI designation for her PA. That is why we pursued a Section 504 Designation.

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