504 Coordinator wants to talk to allergist

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 9:41am
bandbmom's picture
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We requested a 504 meeting last week for our DS who is in 1st grade. The asst. principal called today to say the 504 coordinator would like permission to speak to DS's allergist. I said it's not a problem. I was told that I have to fill out a form consenting to letting the coordinator talk to the allergist. Again, I don't have a problem with it because we have full support of the allergist. In fact, I just met with him last week and he said he will help with anything I need and I can use him as leverage with the school. Has anyone encountered a request like this from their school? Anything we should be concerned about? Should I forewarn the allergist that they will be calling?

Thanks, as always, for the help and support!
Tracy

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 10:16am
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I have mixed feelings on this. Have you submitted a letter to them from your dr? In a way I feel that should be enough.
If your dr. convinces them to get with it and do what they have to then great. But I think I recall someone else here allowing their dr to talk to the school and they asked him if something like wearing gloves would cut down on contact reactions, the dr said yes, and that is what they wanted the child to do.
I guess I just wouldn't like them discussing my child without me present. It makes me feel like they are trying to weasel it out of him that you are making this up or something.
I don't know if this helps or not but there is just something that makes me a little nervous about it. Just my opinion and hopefully you will get some that are more informative.

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 10:34am
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I would invite the doctor to your next 504 meeting and discuss it in a group setting with all members. You might need to arrange the next meeting to his schedule providing he is willing. Our doctor was willing although it didn't pan out due to scheduling issues. Be sure to meet with him prior to the meeting to discuss your views.

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 10:45am
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The allergist did in fact write a letter. I'm hoping that they are just verifying the facts is all. I was told that the district has never done a 504 for food allergies. I had an hour long talk w/the allergist last week and he is very much aware of the situation and knows the school is not cooperating. He said plain and simple that they need to keep Brandon away from peanuts and nuts - period. I think I better most definitely have a chat with him before they call so they don't try to be sneaky.
As far as having the allergist attend the 504 meeting, gosh, I don't know. Is it too much to ask? That's a tough one.
I hope they are not trying to pull any garbage. I just have to remember, the law is on our side.
Tracy

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 11:34am
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We signed a consent form allowing the school to talk to the allergist but they never called.
I would talk with the allergist first to let them know and have the allergist do all conversations in writing. See if the allergist would allow them to "talk " that way and ask him to inform you before he informs the school about any communication. This way its all documented.
Its been my expereince, the school is often up to garbage. My school pulled something like this. They faxed a 4 page plan to the allergist and asked him to sign off on it. They used tricky legal babble and he signed off not realizing what they really meant. When I told the allergist the school tricked him he was less than happy. He happily fired off several well worded letters that sealed the deal in my favor.
Cover your heard, I hear a garbage can rattling.

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 12:05pm
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Personally, I would be extremely leery of authorizing this.
Have you posted you allergist's letter, bandbmom? If not, would you?

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 12:26pm
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My allegist had spoken with my school board and head nurses prior to my first visit- so I am lucky to have a willing doctor to root us on by going the extra mile. He offered to talk again and help with training the head staff on Epi-pen/ signs of exposure/ ER plans etc. He is very willing to educate and promote awareness- one of the reasons I choose him (first question I asked during my consultation.) Ironically, with having to deal with other patients in the same game and the school board- he wasn't aware of 504 plans until I mentioned it.
It wouldn't hurt to ask the doctor his feelings on attending a meeting. You never know, you might pave the way for others to follow and that might benefit more people in dr's practice. I realize it can be ackward.
Just sharing my experience.

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2006 - 8:50pm
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I would speak to the allergist first about this, then proceed possible to a conference call with you, the 504 coordinator, and the allergist.
I would not want to be left out of the loop with what is being discussed regarding my child.

Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 4:40am
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I would want to be in the room with the people from the school while they are on a speaker phone with the allergist. That way you can get a better feel of how they are digesting what he is saying. You will then have the opportunity to stop the conversation & veer it back on track if you see it derailing. Or stop him and ask him or them to re-explain themselves if you see that deer in the headlights look. Or you can just plain stop them if you see them rolling their eyes.
I am VERY lucky, we love our allergist, and we are having incredible luck in getting along with our school. But I still wouldn't want them discussing my child's health without me around - just my gut feeling.
------------------
Sherlyn
Mom to 6 year old twins Ben & Mike - one PA & the other not.
Stay Informed And Peanut Free!

Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 5:21am
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Gail W. asked that I post the allergist's letter to the principal. Here's what the letter says:
Dr. Mr. B:
Brandon has been a patient at the Allergy and Asthma Center since July of 2005. He has been diagnosed with peanut allergy on the basis of prior clinical reactions confirmed by skin testing for IgE antibody. Brandon also suffers from episodic bronchial asthma. Brandon should be considered at high risk for a possible fatal food allergy reaction and therefore should be in an environment wherein potential exposures to peanut allergen are strictly controlled. While an EpiPen Junior should always be available for the treatment of a reaction following an unattended exposure, prevention is the best treatment for Brandon. It is medically necessary for Brandon to be in an environment where the risk of exposure to peanut allergen is substantially reduced. With proper interventions and preventions, Brandon will do well in school and can be expected to participate in most activities without risk.
Thank you for participating in Brandon's Care.
Sincerely,
Dr. D

Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 8:23am
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bandbmom- Just curious... are you asking for your school to go peanut free?

Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 10:50am
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bandbmom,
I would definately think about authorizing this. The law does back you up, and your allergist's letter should be enough for them. I was requested from the school to have verbal communication w/my son's allergist and only would allow written. It is enough for what they need. They have a way of twisting the conversation to their needs.
Momma2boys is right - Synthias school spoke w/her DD's allergist and yes they wanted her to wear gloves b/c of what the allergist stated.
I think that the letter your dr. wrote is sufficient for what the law requires for the 504 designation...
If you do decide to allow them to verbally communicate - I would definately be there via speakerphone or 3 way conversation that I initiated - NOT them where they have an opportunity to speak to him prior to putting you on the phone.
JMHO - good luck and keep us posted!
Lana [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 12:15pm
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Is this the letter that you will be using for your Section 504 eligibility?
I would want to have my allergist primed/coached to answer these questions from the 504-C:
Quote:Originally posted by bandbmom:
Dr. Mr. B:
Brandon has been a patient at the Allergy and Asthma Center since July of 2005. He has been diagnosed with peanut allergy on the basis of prior clinical reactions confirmed by skin testing for IgE antibody.
1. Is Brandon your patient?
2. How many times (total) have you seen him?
3. What are the results of his SPT?
4. Would you forward us a copy of his test results?
5. Has Brandon had a CAP-Rast test? If no, why not?
6. How many times has Brandon been treated with an epi-pen?
7. How many times has Brandon experienced anaphylaxis?
8. Were those events treated/verified by a physician?
9. Has he ever received emergency medical treatment (e.g. ER visit) for anaphylaxis?
10. Has Brandon ever been admitted to the hospital for anaphylaxis?
11. How many patients do you have who have peanut allergy?
12. How do you compare Brandon's severity to your other patients with PA?
13. What is a "clinical" reaction? Are there other types of reactions?
14. Has Brandon undergone a food challenge?
15. Have Brandon's allergy symptoms ever required medical care or any kind?
Quote:Brandon also suffers from episodic bronchial asthma.
1. Does Brandon take asthma medication? What meds?
2. How do you describe Brandon's asthma? Moderate? Severe? Well managed?
3. Has Brandon even been seen or hospitalized for an asthma attack?
4. Has Brandon ever seen you or been treated for any complications due to his asthma medications?
5. Have Brandon's parents ever reported any side effects due to his asthma meds?
6. Have Brandon's parents ever reported that Brandon has not participated in any activities due to his asthma?
Quote:Brandon should be considered at high risk for a possible fatal food allergy reaction and therefore should be in an environment wherein potential exposures to peanut allergen are strictly controlled.
1. What do you mean by 'exposure'?
2. Do you have patients allergic to peanuts who you consider to be a 'lower' risk?
Quote: While an EpiPen Junior should always be available for the treatment of a reaction following an unattended exposure, prevention is the best treatment for Brandon.
What are your specific recommendations for 'prevention'?
Quote:It is medically necessary for Brandon to be in an environment where the risk of exposure to peanut allergen is substantially reduced.
What are your specific recommendations to reduce exposure?
In your opinion, does Brandon's peanut allergy significantly impact his ability to learn?
In your opinion, does Brandon's asthma significantly impact his ability to learn?
In your opinion, does Brandon's peanut allergy significantly impact his ability to attend school?
In your opinion, does Brandon's asthma significantly impact his ability to attend school?
-------------------------------------------------
Are you comfortable with your allergist answering these questions?
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited January 10, 2006).]

Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2006 - 11:21pm
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Quote:Originally posted by Cam's Mom:
[b]bandbmom,
I would definately think about authorizing this. The law does back you up, and your allergist's letter should be enough for them. I was requested from the school to have verbal communication w/my son's allergist and only would allow written. It is enough for what they need. They have a way of twisting the conversation to their needs.
Momma2boys is right - Synthias school spoke w/her DD's allergist and yes they wanted her to wear gloves b/c of what the allergist stated.
I think that the letter your dr. wrote is sufficient for what the law requires for the 504 designation...
If you do decide to allow them to verbally communicate - I would definately be there via speakerphone or 3 way conversation that I initiated - NOT them where they have an opportunity to speak to him prior to putting you on the phone.
JMHO - good luck and keep us posted!
Lana [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img][/b]
Yes it was my dd,that this happened to,I am not sure if anyone else had this happen?
When our family started this,I was new.
I allowed [b]*one*[/b] phone call to the allergiest,and only in ref to her Peanut allergy.I had wrote this in the conset form.
I tried to rely the info from *that* school to her allergiest.and was told everysingle time to ref back to a web site.
After that call I requested a copy of [b]*that* phone conversation.[/b](I still have that comunacation letter.)
The ? was asked from a staff (from a school that DH and myself choise not to send her to) member to the allergiest about the gloves.
The answer the allergiest gave back to the school was "If that is what the parents want".
Needless to say NO the parents didnot want that.We sent a letter to that school (I think that was my first letter I had ever sent to a school in ref to my children).
The letter stated that NO we the parents donot want ANY gloves put on her,and we gave are reasons not that the reasons matter the fact we said NO is what matters.DYKWIM
I would like to add that the staff member was only trying to keep *our dd safe*.
I did make sure that I told the staff member that I really am thankful that they where trying to keep her safe,but that was NOT what we thought to be best for *our* dd.
I think the letter you have is good.
I also think Gail W has a LOT of good ?'s you might want to ask yourself in re to *your* child.KWIM
[b]The asst. principal called today to say the 504 coordinator would like permission to speak to DS's allergist.[/b]
I am trying to understand this above statement! Does the 504 coordinator have medical background? I could see *other* staff members asking this of your Allergiest,
not the 504 coordinator? hummm....Good luck and keep us posted.
Careful.
HTH?
Waving hi to Cam's mom good to see you back,sorry there is a reason that brings you back.Is there anything *I* can do to help you Cam's mom? My E-mail is in my profile,
home # has changed.
------------------
Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 3:19am
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We haven't gone down this road yet...but your allergist's letter seems really clear as to what needs to be done.
Would it make any sense to ask them how many doctors they conference with? Do they also speak to doctors about diabetic kids?
Because his letter is so clearly written, I can only imagine that they want to try to get him to back off from some of what he wrote.
Most doctors that I've dealt with aren't crazy about phone consults...Maybe that could be your way out of one? Maybe ask them to write their questions down, and I agree with the others, communicate in writing and keep you in the loop.
Good luck! Keep us posted! Meg

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 7:06am
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I agree with Meg. And I think asking them to write their questions is a great idea.
The reason I listed those question is because I can see an administrator taking information from specific questions and then coming to their own conclusion. Or picking and choosing only certain facts that supports their belief that this isn't serious or isn't worthy of a 504 designation. Sometimes facts can are just omitted.
For example, my daughter has never been hospitalized for an anaphylactic reaction, and the school administrator tried to use that information as a rationale for her assertion that Mariah's PA therefore wasn't serious. Same for her asthma. She asked if Mariah had ever gone to the ER for an asthma attack, and I think she did so to gather 'data' to make a case that her asthma wasn't a significant health issue.
Beware....

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 8:41am
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Hi All! I spoke w/Brandon's allergist yesterday afternoon and the first thing he told me was that I don't have to sign anything. He said he doesn't understand why they would need to talk to him because he's already written them a letter, which is sufficient. He is also suspicious that they are up to no good. He told me he's never had a school ask to speak with him. His advice was to contact the 504 coordinator and ask her EXACTLY what information she is looking to obtain from him. He told me to then call him back tomorrow (Thurs.) and we would take it from there. I've already decided I'm not going to sign it. The allergist is right. They've got proof in writing of his allergy, what more do they need. The allergist also said that he is Brandon's advocate and is not here to look out for the school's best interest (I love this guy!). If they press further, I will offer the skin allergy test results I have from his original allergist, the letter that his old allergist wrote to the pediatrician stating that he tested positive for peanuts and should stay away from peanut and tree nuts and I have a letter coming from the pediatrician, who treated Brandon when he had his reaction, which I can also offer as proof. I feel like saying, "what, don't you believe he has this allergy?".
I'm not looking for the school to be peanut free, but I will probably ask for PB&J along w/the choc. chip and sugar cookies that are made in their central kitchen to be taken off the menu. The cookies are made on the same pans as the pnut butter cookies.
Tracy

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 9:45am
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[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Love this site
Synthia

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 9:55am
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That's great news bandbmom. You're allergist is a keeper. You can tell the 504-C that this is all coming from your allergist, not you. Perfect!

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 10:52am
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Yes, that's exactly what I did (forgot to mention that). I sent the 504-C an email and cc'd the principal and asst. principal saying that the letter from the allergist clearly documents his allergy, what else is she looking for and what exact questions is she planning on asking. I sent the email at 11:00 this morning and didn't hear anything back as of yet. We'll see what their next angle might be.
Thanks for the support!
Tracy

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 1:51pm
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Quote:Originally posted by JRsMami:
[b]I would invite the doctor to your next 504 meeting and discuss it in a group setting with all members. [/b]
Does anyone have a doctor who would actually go to a meeting?

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 2:07pm
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It would be pretty hard for a doctor to go unless the meeting was in the evening. If he/she went during the day, it would be time that he/she would be unable to see patients. And I am pretty sure they cannot bill insurance to go to a 504 meeting, not to mention lost patient time.

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 9:14pm
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Gail,
Regarding the following questions you posted:
1. What are your specific recommendations to reduce exposure?
2. In your opinion, does Brandon's peanut allergy significantly impact his ability to learn?
3. In your opinion, does Brandon's asthma significantly impact his ability to learn?
4. In your opinion, does Brandon's peanut allergy significantly impact his ability to attend school?
5. In your opinion, does Brandon's asthma significantly impact his ability to attend school?
I think it should be noted that most doctor's are not aware of what goes on behind closed doors in a school. Their expertise is only in the medical field, not education. Likewise, the educators asking the questions are not medical experts.
With this in mind, there are different perspectives AND perceptions of what's going on with how a peanut allergy is effectively managed.
IMO, it is imperative that a parent be privy to a conversation about one's child. Doctor's really don't have time to come to a school meeting, and I don't know one that has. It would likely be a phone conversation, and the parent (IMO!) *must* be present. I think of it this way. A court room where one is on trial. The defense and prosecuting attorneys will use various questions to get the answers they want. A question can easily be worded to support one's own agenda.
Therefore, when I look at question 2, I think there is a very pertinent piece of information missing--at the end of the setting there should be ...in an educational environment/public school (or something to that effect).
No, a peanut allergy does *not* impact one's ability to learn per se. It is the school environment combined with that peanut allergy that effects one's ability to learn.
Leaving out important wording can damn the line of questioning altogether. That is why parents must be there on behalf of their children to analyze, question, rebut if necessary.
I strongly feel we cannot be left out of this equation, and that no conversation can be made between school officials and an allergist without our presence. Words can easily be twisted and misconstrued, thus used against us.
Been thinking about this for the last 24 hours and it concerned me enough to post my thoughts.

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 10:15pm
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[b]I strongly feel we cannot be left out of this equation, and that no conversation can be made between school officials and an allergist without our presence. Words can easily be twisted and misconstrued, thus used against us[/b]
I agree rightfully so ,We (the parents)are *the* ones that are held accountabile for the health and *wellbeing* of our children.
The parents are the one that cares for the child.When that child is put in the hands of *other adults* then that is where take our *care hat* and pass it off to the adult in charge.
What I am trying to say is Yes we are the "middle man" to help relay the information to others with the help from medical,and others,
I don't think I made a CLEAR statement?
------------------
Love this site
Synthia
[b]Words can easily be twisted and misconstrued, thus used against us[/b]
I have seen sooooo many parents make THIS statement! It seem to be the norm?
[This message has been edited by synthia (edited January 12, 2006).]

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 10:58pm
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First, let me say that I am glad that your allergist is supportive and that you seem happy with his letter and what he has to say.
I also understand the caution many of you feel. But I must say, I am on the other side of the fence here. DS has several health issues, PA being only one, and quite honestly, as far as school is concerned, of less concern than other issues.
I have signed many forms giving the school permission to talk to DS's doctor (never an allergist, though). And, in fact, I got info through the school that the doctor shared with them but never told me! Of course, I don't think the doctor was keeping it a secret, it's just that it was technical enough that most non-health care professionals wouldn't understand, but I am more educated in medicine than a typical non-medical professional. It also came in handy to have the nurse call the neurologist herself when DS had a seizure at school. I was not in a condition to do it myself, and hadn't even witnessed the seizure. So I have been very happy to have given the school permission to talk with the pediatrician, the neurologist, even the eye doctor.
But I must add, that I have also been very happy with how the school has handled all of DS's medical issues. They are definitely looking out for his best interest, not just their own. Although, I have the impression that our school feels that the student's best interest is the school's best interest. And that is fine with me.

Posted on: Wed, 01/11/2006 - 11:00pm
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I really feel that the school wants to speak to the allergist to find away around anything that I request, maybe to even discourage us from proceeding with the 504. The consent they want me to sign would give permission to the principal, asst. principal or 504-C to call the allergist, which makes me even more suspicious. I have seen the principal use trickery to hear what HE wanted to hear before, so I know he'll do it again. We had an RN come to speak to the school staff during their staff meeting one morning about peanut allergies and give Epi training. Brandon's classmates mom - my friend and Partner In Peanut Crime - have been asking for additional help in the lunch room to keep an eye on the pnut free table so she and I won't have to continually takes turns coming up there for lunch. The principal asked the RN (who has a child in elementary school in another district with a peanut allergy) what they do at her child's school during lunch and do they have someone specifically assigned to the pnut free table. She said no, but went on to explain that there are four lunch aids, the principal and parent volunteers there everyday, so there are enough eyes to watch. But, he got her to say what HE wanted to hear, that being there is no one specifically assigned to the pnut free table. She told me later that she was driving home after the meeting and realized he tricked her into admitting that. THIS is EXACTLY what they want to do w/the allergist, I know it. I have firmly decided no matter what they say, they are not getting my permission to call him. If they need further documentation, I can provide it for them. The allergist even said that he cannot provide specifics for the plan for school because he doesn't know the lay out or the daily routine at school. Those decisions need to be OURS as his parents. The allergist simply said he just needs to be kept away from peanuts and nuts. Ugh, unfortunately, I'm the first in the district to request a 504 for food allergies. The allergist tells me I'm the pioneer for food allergies in the district. Never in a million years thought I'd be pioneering anything! I'm thinking about contacting anyone that I can find in the district that has a child with peanut allergies and asking them to start calling the 504-C to inquire about 504 plans, just to rattle some cages.
Tracy

Posted on: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 12:44am
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Actually, due to the difficulty I had with my school district, our allergist seriously considered meeting with our school district. He had DD's 504 Eligibility meeting on his calendar. But the letter he wrote supporting her 504 designation was so strong and thorough, it became clear that his attendance wasn't necessary. (I'll raise his letter for you. Have you seen it? Edited to link: [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001875.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001875.html[/url]
"The gloves" and your own story of how the principal manipulated information he extracted from the school nurse is EXACTLY what I fear could happen with your allergist. It was my experience as well that sometimes certain information was omitted by administrators in order to advance their own agendas... i.e. that my DD did not qualify for a 504 designation. I could definitely see how they could extract information from your allergist that they could misrepresent (purposefully or unintentionally).
What's that expression? [i]Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on [b]me[/b].... [/i]
Tracy, does your school district have a physician consultant? Our school district has a pediatrician on retainer. And they also, of course, have an attorney (probably more than one, actually) on retainer. They consulted with both regularly regarding our situation. You could probably assume that the same may be true for you.
Something to be aware of here, silly as it may seem, it that there is a medical hierarchy that can come into play. It was a factor in our experience, anyway. Our allergist is board certified in pediatrics [i]and[/i] allergy & immunology. He "trumps" the SD's physician consultant who is 'only' board certified in pediatrics.
Your allergist is a very key player. So are you and your husband. I think you are very wise to control the information flow and remain the gatekeeper.
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited January 12, 2006).]

Posted on: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 9:00pm
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I was working last night (I work from home doing medical transcription) and a call came in at 6:41 p.m. that I didn't answer because I was working. After I was finished with work, I checked the voicemail and it was the school's 504-C. She said she had received my email and was calling to "clear some things up". She said she had received a call from the principal about 504's because she is the 504-C and she wanted to talk to me because there must have been some "miscommunication as to what is going on". I don't think she knows anything about the consent form the asst. principal asked me to sign. I had my DH listen to the message and he thought the same thing. I think the principal TOLD the asst. principal to tell me that the 504-C wanted to talk to the allergist so HE could have permission to call. I thought it was odd that I was told the 504-C wanted permission to call the allergist, but then the consent listed the principal, the asst. principal and the 504-C. That sneaky you-know-what! I'm so glad I didn't sign! I'm going to call the 504-C today, but I don't think I can trust her either. My DH said not to let them try to get me off track from what is most important here and that's getting DS a 504. Can you believe these people?
Tracy

Posted on: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 9:45pm
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Its as if THEY take anti 504 training.
Do not trust any of them. They are probably talking this up without you all day. They probably have meetings without you to discuss this, ect.
I wouldnt sign it either. I would let them know they can request info from your allergist in writing.
Nothing says you cant have a 504 without a consent form.
When is the meeting?

Posted on: Thu, 01/12/2006 - 10:05pm
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Hi Debbie - I just requested the 504 last week, so there is no meeting date set yet. I'm sure they'll try to drag this out as long as possible. I guess I expected to get the run around. Everyone will probably tell me something different, to their benefit, of course. Another mom in our district was told that the principal is the 504 coordinator by the Director of Elem. Ed, so they all lie. The same Director also told my friend that she doesn't recommend doing a 504 because it will just cause the principal to resent you and close the lines of communcation. You are right about the anti-504. They don't want this, they will lose control of the situation. I'm willing to be the 504-C will try to talk me out of it as well. I was told by the asst. principal that there has never been a 504 for food allergies in our district, so they will try their very best to worm their way out of it. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? I guess this situation will help me develop a back bone. Ugh! I'll post again after I get in touch w/the 504-C or if anything else developes!
Tracy

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 8:12am
ajas_folks's picture
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The more I read of this & ponder, if I were in your place, I would refrain from doing ANY 504 business or discussion over the telephone in any way!
[b] This principal is NOT to be trusted. [/b]
ALL dealings should be in writing with cc's to appropriate parties concerned. If you must do telephone business with any of parties involved, part of your own CYA should be an immediate follow-up written memo regarding specific conversation details & your understandings as to discussion and actions to be taken(take good notes during conversation)
For Example:
[i] Dear Principal XYZ, Per our telephone conversation of January 13, 2006, 10:06 - 10:26 AM, it is our understanding as to the following procedures:
1. Any questions you, the assistant prin, and/or the 504 Coor may have of our child's physician will be made directly to us/parents, in writing.
2. We/parents will review those questions, forwarding on to the physician those questions which we feel to be appropriately answerable only by him.
3. Physician will consult with patient and parents as to questions and answers.
4. Parents will review and sign off on completed questions, with copy also being sent directly to principal (affected parties), etc.
5. Principal will acknowledge receipt and review of questions within X amount of time (obviously, use some sort of return receipt for snailmail & e-mail).
PLEASE NOTE: If you are in disagreement with any of the above, please reply in writing within 48 hours. If we do not hear from your office within this amount of time, it will be assumed by all parties A,B,&C that the above understandings are accurate and in place. Signed, Parents [/i]
Though the wording may not be perfect, my whole point is that I would CYA CYA CYA! If this principal is sooooo against a 504 itself & it's written legal requirements of him and his staff, he will need to have ALL requests/requirements/correspondence of/with him done in writing and his feet held to the fire.
Time to put "Principal Manipulator" in a box and keep him there.
Just my .02-worth anyway.
~Elizabeth

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 9:33am
qdebbie1's picture
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Now that is some good stuff.
I totally agree.
You should be in only document mode now.
I would still try to keep it light because you dont want them to think you are too smart yet. Just documenting so you have time to re-read it and understand everything.
Pedro offers you his protection.

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 9:53am
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Oh my gosh Debbie! You made me laugh with your statement about Pedro! You are so funny! I needed that! We love "Napoleon and Dynamite" as our 4 y.o. DD calls him.
All I have to say is this principal guy is an "Idiot!".
Thanks for the much needed humor :-)
Tracy

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 10:03am
bandbmom's picture
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AN UPDATE!
What a shock! I spoke to the 504-C this morning and it was confirmed that the principal was trying to pull a fast one. The 504-C doesn't even know anything about the form I was given. She did say, however, that she has her own form that she wants me to eventually sign, giving her permission to fax over our 504 plan to the allergist for him to approve. I don't feel comfortable with that either. When I told her that, she said it is her job to work w/the allergist and get the approval. She said we will work together as a team. She said the first meeting will be with myself and my DH, her and the principal to get an outline of the 504 going. She was going to call the principal to get a couple of dates that he would be available. Should be interesting.
Tracy

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 10:09am
bandbmom's picture
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Almost forgot - Thanks Elizabeth for the very wonderful and detailed reply on how to document conversations w/the principal. I really appreciate you taking all the time to help with the situation! This board is such a tremendous help!
Tracy

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 10:25am
anonymous's picture
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Tracy,
Don't let the 504-C fool you - she still works for the school district. Not saying that her opinion is the same as the principal, but I'd still be learly of her. Kinda like pulling the good cop, bad cop thing.
I think your allergist will have to approve the 504 plan BUT she doesn't have to work with him, it can still be done THROUGH you. That's how we handled it, I took my son's Heatlh Care Plan to his allergist and he had to okay it. But I took it too him, and it was "attached" to his letter - which was his approval on it.
We don't have a 504 - but I did have to initiate everything through the 504-C and what ended up happening was they made me "comfortable" with it only being a Health Care Plan - didn't realize that's what they did at the time though. My mistake, but looking back on it, that's exactly what happened.
Not trying to be a pestimistic, but please be cautious with her. Not saying they are all your enemies and she may very well have good intentions - but my thinking is that they are employed by the school district and they are certainly going to be looking out for their best interest and not yours.
Good luck and hopefully I'm completely wrong and you will end up with a fantastic advocate for your child.
Lana [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 10:57am
bandbmom's picture
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Lana,
Oh no, she doesn't fool me for a minute! I don't trust any of these people. They are not there to protect my son, only their own behinds! I have already been burned by the principal once and it's NOT going to happen again. Thanks for your insight!
Tracy

Posted on: Fri, 01/13/2006 - 11:19am
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mommabear has her disclaimers.
that one is mine
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 2:02am
ajas_folks's picture
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Happy to help -- I was just rather impassioned about your situation with uber-sneaky principal -- hoping to set up our own 504 for our son as soon as we know exactly which school he'll be attending after military move.
As to 504 C herself "working directly with allergist" -- NEGATIVE!! I say, stick to your guns as to your own rights within doctor-patient confidentiality laws [these people HAVE heard of that, have they not??!] AND your rights as parent to have control over this 504 set-up & implementation.
And the Protection from Pedro is the best laugh I've had today! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
~Elizabeth
[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited January 14, 2006).]

Posted on: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 4:48am
Jenna's picture
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Just ran across this thread and wanted to add my two cents. I haven't read the whole thread in entirety but only have a few minutes so will relate "our story". We signed an autho to speak with the physician a couple years ago. The result of that was that the nurse requested to the school district that ALL safeguards be taken away from our son because they weren't needed. She apparently had spoken with the physician and twisted everything he said. We had to re-document everything all over again, have additional letters written by the doctor, etc. It was hours and hours of additional work on our part and an incredible amount of stress.
When working with the middle school, a different nurse requested authorizations again. We said no because we wanted everything documented in writing so there would be no miscommunication. She just couldn't handle that and continued to ask for an authorization atleast 8 different times. We found out through someone else, who had good knowledge of the situation and worked for the district, that she too had alternative motives because of a staffing issue (too lengthy to explain but had to do with her wanting to work with her friends and a friend would be reassigned to a different building if certain safeguards remained in place)
From here on out, I will only have things documented in writing and will not allow any nurse to speak with the physician no matter how much I trust here. There is no reason they cannot ask you what they have questions about and you relay that to the physician so he can respond in writing. This is what we did. I do have to say though that the physician finally got fed up with all her questions and finally said enough is enough. We were advised that legally, you only have to provide a diagnosis and the school is required to provide a safe environment.
When it's in writing, it can always be referred back to support and clarify things.
Good luck and don't get pressured into signing anything.

Posted on: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 10:39pm
Gail W's picture
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Wow. Jenna. I've wondered about how things are going for you at the Middle School. Yikes.
Your experience is one we can all learn from.... Thank you for sharing your very powerful story.
Gail

Posted on: Sat, 01/14/2006 - 11:08pm
Gail W's picture
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In light of Jenna's and synthia's experiences, I just wanted to highlight ryan's mom words:
Quote:Originally posted by ryan's mom:
[b]Words can easily be twisted and misconstrued, thus used against us.[/b]
I was sorta open to [i]the possibility [/i]of a conversation with my allergist (and school admins) because I am so confident in my allergist. But I've changed my mind because a conversation isn't necessary, and having it in writing is the way to go:
Quote:Originally posted by Jenna:
[b]When it's in writing, it can always be referred back to support and clarify things.[/b]
Great thread. This issued has been clarified for me. Thank you all.

Posted on: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 12:51am
ajas_folks's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by Jenna:
[b] We were advised that legally, you only have to provide a diagnosis and the school is required to provide a safe environment.
[/b]
Jenna, did you have an attorney who advised you of this? Just wondering.
Does anybody have links to any official info that would also state this same or similar "rule" -- would be so great for all of us to have this to pull out if needed. . . Though, I personally might understand the possible need for LIMITED additional info about child's severity of condition so to make safety requirements stick.
You gotta *love* those personnel in our children's education system who are truly NOT there for the education, health, and safety of the children in their charge and care. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]
~Elizabeth

Posted on: Sun, 01/15/2006 - 3:34am
Jenna's picture
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Elizabeth --Check with your Department of Education. They are the ones that advised us that all we need to provide is the diagnosis.
Gail - It's always good to see your posts. You have provided alot of information that I have used - thank you!

Posted on: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 7:48am
bandbmom's picture
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Well, we had our first 504 meeting yesterday and thank goodness I got the great advice I did from some of the members on the board! But we are still having issues with the 504-C is pushing hard to get us to sign a consent to be able to contact the allergist and pediatrician in case she has questions. The consent gives permission to have access to all medical records. I talked to the allergist about this previously and he said I don't have to sign anything. He was just as uncomfortable with the idea of the consent as I was and felt they were up to no good. She is saying that they can't continue with the process of determining his eligibility until the consent is signed. I know this is a bunch of bologna and am trying very hard to find the appropriate defense to refuse signing it. Otherwise, the meeting went okay. She and the principal both attempted to discuss accommodations and I just told them I hadn't put much thought into that yet because I was focusing on the meeting we were currently having. I'm glad I was warned in advance not to discuss this with them until his designation is signed which, according to the coordinator, won't happen unless we sign the consent. I did consult an attorney and he said only give permission to call if we can be present for the phone call and limit access to his records only if it pertains to his allergy. I don't even want to do this because we have provided more than enough solid documentation from three doctors along with his skin test results. She was trying hard to find an excuse to give to call the doctor. She said she would need to call to confirm what it means to avoid tree nuts. She was really grasping at straws. I don't trust her one bit! She also told me at the end of the meeting (and I didn't pick up on this one but DH did) that I shouldn't email her because she gets 65 emails per day and it's too hard for her to answer all of them. She said it would be best for me to call her if I need to talk to her. DH said that she wants this so nothing is in writing. My thoughts on addressing the consent form is to write a letter to her saying that we've provided enough documentation to assist in evaluating his eligibility. Furthermore, I read over the district's evaluation procedures that the 504-C gave me yesterday. It states:
Evaluation: The school district will appoint persons to a 504 committee, which committee will include at least one person knowledgeable about the student, to evaluate the student and/or review and consider available diagnostic, medical and other pertinent evaluation information submitted by the parent(s)/guardian, adult student, and/or submitted by the school district's staff and the school district's designated non-employee evaluators.
The school district will invite the parents/guardian or adult student to be participants of the 504 committee and shall inform then by advance written notice of the dates and times of committee meetings.
The 504 committee in evaluating the student will draw upon information from a variety of sources including, but not limited to, parent/guardian or adult student input and recommendations, apititude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical condition, social or cultural background and adaptive behavior. The 504 committee and school district appointed evaluators including nonemployee evaluators may administer tests and other evaluation materials to determine the nature and extent of the student's need for regular education with related aids or services or special education and related aids or services provided: 1) the tests and other evaluation materials have been validated for the specific purpose for which they are used and are administered by trained personnel in conformance with the instructions provided by their producer; 2) the tests and other evaluation material include those tailored to assess the specific areas of educational need and not merely those which are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient; and 3) the tests are selected and administered so as best to ensure that wehn a test is administered to a student with impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the student's aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factor the test purports to measure rather than reflecting the student's impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills.
Eligibility and Placment: The 504 committee will, considering all evaluation information and other input, determine whether the student is qualified and handicapped within the meaning of the federal law, board policy and this administrative procedure.
I don't see anywhere that is states that you MUST provide consent for medical records or to contact medical personnel.
I was told that maybe Gail W. could help. I do not want these people calling the doctor's and, in talking with the allergist, he doesn't want them calling either. The allergist said, they know he's allergic by the letter that he wrote to the principal and that's ALL they need to know! If you can help Gail (or anyone else), please let me know!
Thanks a bunch!
Tracy

Posted on: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 11:25am
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Hi Tracy,
I would simply ask her to provide where it states in the guidelines/policy that medical consent must be provided in order to proceed. They can only go by procedure, period. If she can't produce it, which she will not be able to, then I would tell her that as far as you can see, they are out of line making that statement. I would do so IN WRITING...
"Mrs. X, You stated in our last meeting that the medical consent form being signed is required before we can proceed with X's 504 designation. Since that is a requirement, I will need you to forward me a copy of the guidelines that state this. This will also help me to determine and provide other requests that will be necessary requirements in the near future avoiding further delays."
Since she doesn't "want" emails, I'd put it in an envelope and mail it to her certified mail, fax it, drop it off at her office and have whomever takes it sign stating that they recv'd it. I know how the school's email systems work and unless she has 65 personal emails, she isn't getting 65 emails a day for work related correspondence. They have tight security systems in school computers and I guarantee you it's not spam...it's exactly as your DH said, she doesn't want it in writing.
They are required by law to provide you with the guideline even if you don't request them - Gail W. or someone can probably give you the exact name of them.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Lana [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 12:40pm
Gail W's picture
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Hi Tracy,
You were prepared for what they threw at you. Good job! I'm sure it was hard feeling pressured to sign the consent, but you stood your ground. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I'm sure the 504-C respects you for that.
You were right to decline and process the information she told you in the meeting. If her objective is to learn more information from your allergist that will help the SD determine appropriate [i]accommodations[/i], such as "avoiding nuts", then that can be discussed during the accommodation phase. This has nothing to do with the eligibility for a designation.
LOL! No written correspondence. Ya, right. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] Like you're going to fall for that! Just ignore that, make up an excuse (work/kids/blah-blah) to continue e-mailing her, and keep everything in writing. Document, document, document.
I need to think about this more, and I hope others chime in, but since you and your allergist seem to be on the same page that the 504-C is sniffing arond, I wonder if you and he can agree on a strategy whereby you let the allergist take the blame. This is sorta what you already talked to him about, so it isn't much of a stretch. I know this is a bit manipulative, and I haven't thought thorough the cons of not being completely forthright with your SD. But clearly [i]they [/i]aren't playing by the rules. So I'm wondering if you could give yourself an out here.....
[i]What if [/i]you e-mail the 504-C and say something like:
[i]Dear Ms./Dr. 504-C,
We spoke with Dr. X requesting that he speak to you regarding (child's) life-threatening food allergies. We told Dr. X that the X School District requires the 504-C to speak directly with the child's physician for the 504 eligibility process to continue. Dr. X didn't understand that, and stated that he doesn't think this is necessary since he has already provided the school district with a letter (dated x/x/06). We are requesting that (child) receive protection under Section 504, and want to cooperate fully with X School District by providing you with all the required documentation. We feel 'stuck in the middle'. We looked at the material you provided us at our meeting to find a statement to this effect that we could forward to Dr. X. We were unable to find anything that states that the X School District requires the 504 Coordinator to speak directly with the student's physician. Would you kindly provide us with a copy of the policy which states that the parent is required to sign a consent authorizing the SD to speak with the child's physician? and that the student's physician must speak to the X School District's 504-Coordinator for the 504 process to proceed?[/i]
Still thinking tactically how that would play out...
What do you think?
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 01, 2006).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 12:42pm
Momcat's picture
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You can also tell the 504 coordinator that if she has specific questions that need to be answered by the doctor she can put them in writing and give them to you and you will obtain the needed information from the doctor.
Cathy
------------------
Mom to 6 1/2 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

Posted on: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 1:42pm
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by bandbmom:
[b] She is saying that they can't continue with the process of determining his eligibility until the consent is signed. [/b]
I'm curious to see what OCR would have to say... It will take a couple weeks to get a response from them, and after you get it you can decide if you want to share it with your 504-C or not.
You could go to their website and ask them something like:
[i]I am the parent of a x-year old child with life-threatening anaphylactic allergies to nuts. I have formally requested that my child receive a Section 504 Designation. At an informational meeting held on 1/31/06, the School District's 504 Coordinator stated that we must sign a consent authorizing the School District to speak directly to my child's allergist. She stated that the School District cannot consider my child for a Section 504 Designation unless we sign a consent authorizing the School District to speak directly to our child's physician.
Here is a copy of the consent form that the School District requiring us to sign: (copy)
Our allergist has already written a letter to the School District regarding our child's medical condition. We therefor believe we have already provided the School District with the necessary medical documentation. Is it true that the School District can require us to sign this consent before our child can be considered for a Section 504 Designation ? [/i]
It might be nice to have something from OCR in writing in case you need it....

Posted on: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 10:41pm
synthia's picture
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[b]Is it true that the School District can require us to sign this consent before our child can be considered for a Section 504 Designation ?[/b]
I don't think so!
Anyone else?
------------------
Love this site
Synthia
[b]They have tight security systems in school computers and I guarantee you it's not spam...it's exactly as your DH said, she doesn't want it in writing. [/b] I agree!!
Some more advice....
After you have sent this in writing *I* would follow-up 24 hrs later with a call to the person( school or district) asking theses ?'s,If they have received the e-mail you sent and the letters you mailed or *hand droped off.Do all *three* Mail,call,hand drop.
Hi cam's mom
[b]I don't see anywhere that is states that you MUST provide consent for medical records or to contact medical personnel.[/b]
Because it is *NOT* there DYKWIM?
[This message has been edited by synthia (edited February 02, 2006).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/01/2006 - 10:49pm
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by synthia:
[b]I don't think so![/b]
No, of course not. Maybe the 504-C realizes that now. Maybe she doesn't really know this because this is the way the SD has always done it before.
But whicheve, the 504-C will surely realize the SD cannot "require" this when she can't produce policy that supports this assertion, OR when Tracy can show her authoritative "proof" from OCR.

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