504 plan

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Hello, How does one go about getting a 504 plan in place? What is the process? Thinking about getting one for my pn allergic daughter who starts kindergarden next week. Thanks

By GrownUpLaurenMom on Aug 27, 2014

Public schools are required to have a 504 coordinator. Check with your child's school and if they don't have one, go to the superintendents office. They should be able to put you in touch. The process. I wrote my own. With minor tweaks they accepted it. There are many examples of them on this site and on the internet if you need help getting started.

Mine contained things like (and I"m paraphrasing): Myself, husband or approved 'representative' will be allowed to go on all field trips. Peanut-free table will be washed with a solution and a peanut-free sponge (e.g. that will be kept safely somewhere and not used to wipe down other tables thereby spreading PB to the peanut free one. This can happen. Happened to an acquaintance of mine. No urban legend) We had the ability to drive/pick up kids from school so we said we would do that so the school wouldn't have to provide accomodations on the bus. Sort of our way of giving back. Wipes will be kept outside the classroom door and all persons entering for any reason must wash hands. Letter will be sent home with general information on peanut allergies and the school's growing concern for them and while not asking to be peanut-free, alerting parents to fact that *requests* may be made at certain times to refrain from sending in PB Letter will be sent home to DD's classroom parents letting them know of the peanut-free classroom. They were smart enough to say in the letter that if they thought this was going to be a hardship, to let the school know and they would do what they could. Never had anyone complained. A statement of who would carry epi-pens A statement of how the peanut-allergy table would be handled (so she wasn't alone). Turned out they had two tables end to end, both washed same way, she was at one end. All PB at the other end so she stayed with her class. A statement that the DD's teacher would be hand-picked every year such that it was someone who was willing to take on this extra effort (and open up early communication with them!) A statement that we would be notified at least a day in advance of celebrations. If cupcakes are brought in for a birthday, we let in 'may contain' figuring that as long as she didn't eat it or touch AND kids were provided wipes to eat after the snack, the risk was so very low of contamination. The notification was to let us bring in something smiilar but safe. 'Parties' on the other hand, had to be free from cross-contamination. A line stating that DD would be registered 911 so that when given her name in an emergency situation, they would already know to make sure the ambulance had an epi-pen on it. This is good too becuase they get your home address. If you call 911, this info automatically pops up.

Remember this is a living/breathing document that you can change as your DD's needs changed. Once DD got into 5th grade, I remember changing her because she was just growing up and things didn't really apply any longer.

If you have any questions or would like to see our exact 504, let me know. I can send it to you. I think we just came across it again.

So anyway, you just bring in your plan and sit with the 504 coordinator. It was very informal for us. We redline, retype, all sign and it was a done deal.


By smithdcrk on Aug 28, 2014

Our 504 also prohibited the use of products that contained or may contain peanuts as instructional aids or rewards. For rewards, the "may contain" could be relaxed if alternative safe options were available.

@grownuplaurenmom: How do you register with 911?

By smithdcrk on Aug 29, 2014

You are a commited parent climbing a steep learning curve. As a parent who has been dealt the whole deck of acronyms, I can understand that it is overwhelming. I was right there with you in 2001 when I started my journey.

If the allergy is your primary concern and not any other learning differences, start with the 504 Plan. The 504 comes under Federal Law and guarantees access to a free and public education (FAPE). Traditionally, this has been thought of when a school or public (taypayer funded) building adds a ramp to their entrance. A child restricted to a wheel chair cannot climb steps and would be denied ACCESS to the school and education because of their disability.

Over the years, 504 has expanded to include not just access to the building but access to the education. For a children with peanut allergies, the presence of open peanuts would deny them access to the classroom and the education offered. A peanut allergy interferes with a life process -eating. Therefore, the school must make accomodations not just for the education but the food service.

How to get a 504 plan?

1) Sit down with your doctor and complete the form found at http://www.foodallergy.org/document.doc?id=234 This will establish a medical need and the impact on a life activity (eating, breathing, ...)

2) Here are the steps with links to supporting documents http://www.foodallergy.org/advocacy/section-504-plans

3)GrownupLaurenMom here also gives excellent advice on what goes inside. 507 Posts on the other "Why NOT ... 504" thread you posted on, no wonder you are overwhelmed! The first post on the "Why Not ... 504" discussion give excellent advice on what should be in a 504.

The 504 is not a magic bullet. If the wheelchair bound child has a class upstairs, the school is not required to install an elevator, they may move the classroom to a more accessible space. The enitire building doesn't need to be accessible only the education. Likewise, if you need a peanut free eating space, they are not required to make the cafeteria peanut free. They can set aside a table (use & care outlined by 504), a corner of the table, or even banishment to an school office for lunch. All those meet the letter of the law that assures ACCESS. ACCESS does not equal INCLUSION. [I posted this in both threads, but you have more comments here so I will look back here to follow up. It is also much shorter :-) so easier to find your updates.]

By smithdcrk on Aug 29, 2014

About the reaction, has your daughter done a skin test or had any blood work done at the doctor's office? Only a doctor's office skin challenge, blood work and oral challenge can give "proof."

Without measurable results (Mothers don't like hives, but the principal didn't see them or deal with the itchy-scratchy child). Your principal and doctor may feel it is "oral allergy syndrome" which is not as serious as anaphylaxis. For more information visit http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/oral-allergy-syndrome-foods

OAS can be a precursor to the more severe allergy, so you are correct. It is best to be prepared and have an EPI pen handy at all times.

My daughter had similar symptoms in pre-school. So, we did a skin challenge. She reacted so fast, that the doctor felt it would be unethical to do an oral challenge. He was relieved we had met in an office visit and not post ER! What a blessing, not a hypermom, but a vigilant mother.

A year later we did bloodwork that detected significant antibodies to peanuts in her system. With recent bloodwork (https://uknowpeanut.com/) we hoped to narrow down the specific proteins she would react to - she obviously thought she needed to keep her straight A average and "earned" a 100% reactive and a place in the "Severe" hall of fame.

You are a vigilant mother. You will see the doctor, schedule the tests and discuss the findings with him. In the midst of all the back to school prep, most Kindergarten moms are not dealing with this too. This weekend, along with binders, folders and pens we renewed the EPI pen for the School's kit. On the first day of school, we delivered.

By cdnsmith on Aug 28, 2014

Thanks for the reply. I went to my daughters open house at school today and know im even more stressed!! Not sure how to handle this. Her teacher said that they have a mid morning snack in the classroom that they bring in themselves. When i asked her if it would be pn free she said they do not request parents to not send that stuff in. So not pn free classroom. She said if someone had a pn snack that they would sit them at a different table. She cleans the tables everyday.This is kindergarden. They have a pn free table in the cafeteria. So i decided to go have a chat with the principal who is new this year. He said that he would have to know how severe her reaction would be, ie if she reacts with contact or air bourne and / or injestion and how severe this reaction would be. And have her allergist write them telling them how severe her reaction would be. Offcourse i told him that we really do not know how severe it is b/c she has never been exposed that way,the first time i gave her pn butter she spit it out. She never actually swallowed it. She broke out with a red face and neck with tiny little hives. I gave her benadryl which cleared it. And one other time i had a bit of pn butter one day and later kissed her on the cheek later not thinking and she got a big red hive in that spot. Wouldnt that be a severe enough reaction? And plus isn't it possible that reactions can change from mild to severe over time with different episodes?? At least thats what i always thought. I tried to tell this guy that and he basically wants the same thing, a letter from the doctor stating how severe her reaction is. How can anyone including the doctor predict that??? Am i right. This is the doctor that believes that b/c hives and redness was her first reaction, that will be her only reaction. I do not agree b/c she never swallowed it. So i don't know if he will support me in saying it is severe enough to keep pn products out of the classroom. Im going to call him tommorrow and find out. Also when i asked the principal about her epi pens he said they keep it in the office looked up. Ok so if they are allowing pn in classroom and she has a reaction they have to run down two long hallways to the office, unlock it and run back. That makes no sense. I asked him why the teacher cant have it in the classroom?? He said b/c it could danger the other kids! What? Wouldn't the teacher know to keep it away from the other kids??? Im so frustrated right now!!! Why dont people get it??? He seemed more concerned about the other students.

Last year she was in pre k 3 hours a day and i never had a issue. The teacher was awesome! No pn products in the classroom. I would give her the epi pen when i dropped her off and she would give it back when i picked her up..it was kept in her classroom. I assumed it would be the same way in all the classrooms in that school. I guess i was way wrong! If the doctor doesn't support me in this then what do i do?? I am going to email the super intendent too.

Any advice?? I still don't really understand what a 504 plan is. What is it? What doez it do?And how do i go about getting one? Does it mean i can request all these things for her? And they have to follow it? Thanks..sorry so long

By GrownUpLaurenMom on Aug 28, 2014

These are NOT reasonable accomodations. Your rights are being violated!

Mind if I send you an instant message?

By Mrsdocrse on Aug 30, 2014

Hi There,

Just a comment: One thing that struck me that in the post is that the school is locking up the medicine! They shouldn't ! It is meant to administered in an emergency situation and should be readily available..... What if the the key isn't there... what if the key is lost? It is not like other medication and I would also have the Dr. address this! While most meds have to be locked this is an exception and is written into the guidelines for our school.

good luck..