504 eligibility meeting

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***this is going to be very long--sorry, but I have a lot to say!***

Well, after a battle, the 504 committee agreed that dd is eligible for 504. They tried to say no and end the meeting twice before I was able to convince them that she is, indeed eligible.

Things that worked for us:

1. Having info from the doctor: letters(2) and skin prick test results

2. Referring to the Guidelines for Managing Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Connecticut Schools In particular pages 5 and 6:

page 5 states: "Fatal anaphylaxis is more common in children who present with respiratory symptoms, or GI symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting. In many fatal reactions, the initial symptoms of anaphylaxis were mistaken for asthma or mild GI illness, which resulted in delayed treatment with epinephrine auto-injector."

page 6: "Every food allergy reaction has the potential of developing into a life-threatening event. Several factors may increase the risk of a severe or fatal anaphylactic reaction: asthma or a history of asthma; a previous history of anaphylaxis; peanut, tree nut, and/or shellfish allergies; presentation with gastrointestinal or respiratory symptoms, and delay in the administration of or failure to administer epinephrine auto-injector."

Dd had GI symptoms with both ingestion reactions. (vomiting)

They kept wanting to talk to the doctor first, but I pointed out that they had all the info they needed: a letter from him explaining dd's symptoms and the possible symptoms of anaphylaxis. They had her skin prick test results. They also had another letter the doctor had given me in the past. (We needed a letter giving us permission to carry the epipen into areas where your bags/purses are checked--like at a Wiggles concert! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] So he had written a letter at that point stating that dd's allergy was "potentially life-threatening".)

They showed me a form that the doctor had to help with, but they read part of it to me and I pointed out that the doctor had to read it to help with "accommodations" and so therefore he did not have to read it before we decided on eligibility. I also asked, "Do you think he would have wasted his time writing the letters he did write if he thought her allergy wasn't serious or if she wasn't eligible for a 504?" I said, "What more would you need? I don't think there is anything more he could say. 'Potentially life-threatening' is pretty clear to me. Why waste our time? That's why I ran around getting you the information first. What more could the doctor say?"

The guidance counselor said, "Well it says potentially..." I said, "That's because NO one can say if the next reaction will definitely be fatal or not. No one knows. Not me, you, or even the doctor." She accepted that.

I had other articles and arguments too, but the doctor's info and the CT guidelines are really what worked in our case.

They also tried to tell me that they had "lots of other students with epipens and food allergies that didn't have 504." I told them I didn't want to hear about Billy or Amanda's allergies. That we were there to discuss MY daughter's allergies. Each child is different and there would be no blanket statements because that is not how 504 works. I said that it must be determined on a case by case basis.

So she said, "Well, that's true and maybe your child will be one of the only ones in the district with a 504 for food allergies." I smiled and said, "Maybe."

After more discussion, they agreed that dd was eligible. They based it on breathing and learning. (I was pushing 'breathing' and 'caring for oneself', but hey--whatever--as long as she qualifies!) They said the learning could be affected during a reaction or if she misses school due to anaphylaxis.

Then they wanted me to sign a paper so they could talk to the doctor. I said that I wanted to be present if they spoke to him. The nurse handed me the paperwork and said she would be comfortable with me bringing the questions to the doctor and having him fill them out and then returning it to the school. So I signed permission for them to contact him for one year for "orders for treatment". (This can be revoked by me or my dh at any time if necessary) Then I took the forms the doctor should fill out and I'll have a phone conference with the doctor next week. I already faxed him the paperwork.

After they get those papers, we will meet again to discuss accommodations.

Whew! THANK YOU to all those who helped me!!! Gail W, Ohio, qdebbie1 thanks for letting me email you. Gail--so happy I had the results of the tests. Thanks for that advice in particular!!! Glad I had the CT guidelines too thanks to Rhonda and Rosemary!

And I'd like to thank the academy...you like me, you really like me.....oh sorry....lost my focus [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Seriously, I do appreciate the help and I'm so glad that we're done with this first part of 504 madness! I know it's important--for my daughter's sake.

On May 12, 2006

WooHoo!!!!!!!! Excellent!

On May 12, 2006

Way to go Lori Anne! You did a WONDERFUL job advocating for your child! Congrats on the 504 eligibility!!!

Tracy :-)

On May 12, 2006

(beaming, waving from audience...)

"Lori Anne's impressive work really deserves such an honor and I just couldn't be happier...." Oops... following your tangent... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Seriously-- good job! (And what a relief, eh?)

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

On May 12, 2006

Now don't you feel you have earned your law degree?

Cathy

On May 12, 2006

Thanks! Yes, it is a relief!!!! Thanks again for everyone's help. I really don't think I could have done this alone. You guys are great!

On May 12, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Momcat: [b]Now don't you feel you have earned your law degree?

Cathy[/b]

LOL that's funny--my husband told me I missed my calling. He said I should be a lawyer because he said I was like a bulldog in there! hee hee He loved how I kept throwing quotes and law and paperwork to support everything I said. I think I impressed him.

On May 12, 2006

You taught them how 504s apply to their students with LTFAs. That's something to be very proud of. They are fortunate that you taught them, and you are fortunate that they were willing to learn.

Quote:

Originally posted by Lori Anne: [b] I think I impressed him.[/b]

I'm sure he wasn't the only one you impressed. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Way to hang tough.

On May 14, 2006

Awesome Lori Anne! Congratulations! It sounds like you handled it really well, and you should be so proud of yourself!

I'm also in CT, and wondering how the process will go for me when ds enters Kindergarten in '07. I'm going to start looking at Kindergartens in the winter....you may have made it easier for me and many others in CT to pursue. Thank you! Thank you! Thank You! Meg

On May 14, 2006

Thanks. I do feel a bit proud. However, I'm nervous about talking to her allergist on Thursday.

We'll see how things go! One baby step at a time!!

Meg--Once we finally get a complete 504 plan, I'll post it so you'll have a copy of a CT 504 plan for food allergies. My advice...read those CT guidelines!

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

On May 14, 2006

Thanks Lori Anne for your update in this thread. You've definitely given me some good ideas that I'm sure will help. It would be wonderful if you could post your 504 when it's completed [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Thank you [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Good luck as the process continues and Happy Mother's Day to you! Meg

On May 18, 2006

The phone call with the allergist went well. I think he was trying to figure out WHY we were doing all this at first.

It started with him mentioning (again) that he has never done 504 for food allergies before.

He also said that the form he was given doesn't "fit" food allergies well. We actually agree with him. It isn't easy to fill out the physician's questionnaire for 504 with regard to food allergy. I told him this was our concern because we wanted the necessary accommodations to be clear to the school. So he explained that he wasn't going to try to make his answer "fit" their form. He doesn't do things that way. He would fill out the basic information on most of the form. Then to be sure he is specific enough, he would take a section of the form that asks him to mention other needs or accommodations necessary for the student and he will attach a paper to that with more details. He will fax it to us, we will look it over, call him back and tell him what we think, and he'll send it to the school after that.

He said that he was sure the school already makes accommodations, etc. I said, "I have no doubt that they want to accommodate my daughter. I just don't think they always know what that means. When I was a teacher, I thought I understood food allergies. However, now that I am a mother of a child with food allergies, I really and truly know that I was mistaken in the past. I know a lot about food allergies now, but I was clueless before!" Then he seemed to understand what I meant and where I was coming from. I'm not headed for lawsuits and I'm not against working with the school. I just want to be sure they really understand dd's needs and what better way to clarify this?

He also suggested that we change dd's plan of action. He said that when we signed the forms last year and agreed to do Benadryl, wait, then epipen if necessary, that dd was mostly home and we had more control. Now that she is going off to school, he doesn't want any mistakes--no margin of error. So he suggested that we do epipen--no waiting to see. That way there is no confusion as to when to use it. My husband and I agreed wholeheartedly. I also asked if he could put something on the form about contact reactions because we don't want her to get the epi every time she gets a hive or two from contact. He agreed and is altering his forms to put in an area regarding contact.

So we think it went well. He is going to work on it this weekend and we should get his answers early next week.

(Prior to this call, we sent him the forms, the CT guidelines, and a letter with our concerns so he could read over it to make our phone conversation easier)

Looks like we're another step into this. I will be so happy when this is finished (at least for this year!)

[This message has been edited by Lori Anne (edited May 18, 2006).]

On May 19, 2006

That sounds great. I have always thought that the allergist input is key to this whole process.

On May 19, 2006

His input is very important. I think they will be basing a lot of the accommodations on his input, so I asked him to try to be specific. So....step 1. initial doc's letter=finished.... step2. eligibility meeting=finished step3. doctor's input for accommodations= halfway there! step4. accommodations= still waiting

I see a speck of light at the end of this tunnel!

On May 21, 2006

Been in private school and will start next year at public school (3rd grade), so I'm trying to learn QUICKLY what to do regarding 504 protection for my PA daughter. Met briefly on Friday with principal, nurse, and school counselor. We did discuss the need for accomodations because my daughter's PA is life-threatening, extremely severe, but did not get into the details YET. I did emphasize the need to have whatever safeguards in place BEFORE school starts. I told them I'm expecting to receive the School Food Allergy Program from FAAN this week and will be sharing with the school; explained how it's supposed to detail responsibilities for us as parents as well as the nurse, school food service, teacher, etc. They seemed receptive, for the mostpart, but we did not discuss 504. I have not asked the doctor for a letter yet, not sure how detailed it needs to be. I'M ASKING FOR YOUR HELP! I've read the posts about getting accomodations without 504 (with the later regrets for having waited) vs. insisting on the 504 from the very beginning (with the negative perceptions many schools have). I just want to do this right, particularly to have the better accountability. We did NOT have that at our private school -- it was a constant thorn in my side. I guess I'm asking for guidance from those of you who are more experienced in this.

Thanks!

On May 21, 2006

Hello Em's mom and welcome! I will try to help you. We'll get more people helping though if you put this in a separate thread. Go to the school section of the boards and post a new topic. Then put your message there regarding 504.

Let me see....I think it would be best if you read some previous posts. I'm going to give you links to click on and read.

I think the first step (after reading through the info) is to contact your allergist and see if you can get your allergist to write a letter to the school regarding the severity/symptoms of the allergy. There are sample letters to doctors on these boards and even examples of letters that doctors have written as well. I also requested copies of my daughter's skin prick tests and I brought those to the meeting as well.

You've already taken the step of contacting the school. That's great. I think I would try to get the doctor's letter as quickly as possible and then I would request a 504 eligibility meeting by contacting the school.

Let me get those threads for you. Then please post your request again in a separate thread because we have a lot of people who can all help. They'll notice your request more if it's in a separate thread.

I wish you the best of luck and I'll help in any way that I can!

Here are those links:

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000431.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000431.html[/url]

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001705.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001705.html[/url]

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001492.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001492.html[/url]

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000497.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000497.html[/url]

[url="http://www.allergysupport.org/"]http://www.allergysupport.org/[/url]

I think that's quite a bit for now. If you have more questions, feel free to ask!

On May 22, 2006

bumping this up and hoping Em's mom will see it!

On May 22, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Lori Anne: [b]His input is very important. I think they will be basing a lot of the accommodations on his input, so I asked him to try to be specific. So....step 1. initial doc's letter=finished.... step2. eligibility meeting=finished step3. doctor's input for accommodations= halfway there! step4. accommodations= still waiting

I see a speck of light at the end of this tunnel! [/b]

Your hard work is fruitful. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Thanks for keeping us updated.

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