504 eligibility meeting

Posted on: Fri, 05/12/2006 - 7:54am
Lori Anne's picture
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Joined: 07/13/2005 - 09:00

***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.

Posted on: Fri, 05/12/2006 - 9:24am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

WooHoo!!!!!!!! Excellent!

Posted on: Fri, 05/12/2006 - 10:36am
bandbmom's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2005 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Fri, 05/12/2006 - 10:48am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

(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]

Posted on: Fri, 05/12/2006 - 12:00pm
Momcat's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Fri, 05/12/2006 - 12:08pm
Lori Anne's picture
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Joined: 07/13/2005 - 09:00

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!

Posted on: Fri, 05/12/2006 - 12:15pm
Lori Anne's picture
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Joined: 07/13/2005 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Fri, 05/12/2006 - 1:09pm
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Sat, 05/13/2006 - 11:43pm
mommyofmatt's picture
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Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

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

Posted on: Sun, 05/14/2006 - 2:48am
Lori Anne's picture
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Joined: 07/13/2005 - 09:00

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!

Posted on: Sun, 05/14/2006 - 5:49am
mommyofmatt's picture
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Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

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

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