Does a 504 place your child in the special education program? (military please read)

Posted on: Tue, 03/13/2007 - 7:15am
Double Trouble's picture
Joined: 03/09/2007 - 09:00

So I was talking with my MIL about placing Jackson under the 504 when he starts school. Currently he is being evaluated to be placed in their preschool program to catch him up in time to start Kindergarten in Fall 2008. But if we are placing him into the school for this preschool, then I need to look into the 504 for him. I mentioned this to my MIL and she used to work for a school district in Utah until last year. She mentioned that all the children who had a 504 were automatically placed in the Special Ed Dept and that all testing and classes, etc were handled by those teachers. My husband and I are concerned about this because we don't want Jackson to be labeled "disabled" by his peers. He's very smart, and we fully expect him to be where he's supposed to be by the time he starts Kindergarten.

Also, are the 504's handled differently with the DODD's schools? I don't know if different regs apply with my son attending a military school, or if they have to abide by the same laws, etc. Especially in the situation where we are overseas but still located on a military installation. Thanks so much for all of your help. I plan on putting in a phone call to our school district tomorrow. I printed out the "How-To" guide, and plan on using that. Thanks so much.


Posted on: Tue, 03/13/2007 - 7:28am
Momcat's picture
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

Here is a thread that may help you:
For some kids, having a 504 means they need special education (for instance, learning disabilities). For a child who has a life-threatening food allergy and no other disabilities, that would not be the case. In fact, the law requires that your child be educated in the "least restrictive environment" or LRE. That means that unless your child needs special ed. they are not allowed to place him there.
As for Section 504 in the military, they do have to comply with Section 504, but they are not overseen by OCR, instead 504 is enforced by the DOD (if I remember the thread above correctly.)
Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 4 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

Posted on: Tue, 03/13/2007 - 7:57am
MattsMommy's picture
Joined: 07/29/2002 - 09:00

It's not that a child with a 504 is considered part of Special Ed, it's that often times, the staff person in the school who is "knowledgeable" about 504 is the Spec Ed teacher. They sort of lump it all together but it's not a "disabled" label that will follow him/her through school.
Here's what I know about DoDD schools. They do/will follow a 504 but they call it a DoDEA Accomodation Plan. It's the same thing (basically) but they are their own little entity.
They don't fall under OCR, but they are under the Dept of Justice. I got this after speaking to an attorney at the OCR in Boston. He was pretty incredible and had lots of info.
To be honest, it's going to be all about how knowledgable the school itself is in peanut allergies. If they are questioning things, MAKE them contact the 504 person in Alabama. The terms and names are escaping me at the moment but let me know if I can give you some detailed info. If the school is at least willing to work with you (and ours was) you will get what you want.
Don't worry about the "label" and concentrate on protecting your child. It's what matters most and it's worth the fight.
Matthew age 5, PA
Nathan 13 mos

Posted on: Tue, 03/13/2007 - 8:10am
Double Trouble's picture
Joined: 03/09/2007 - 09:00

It's definitely something that I would like to do concerning Jackson's allergies. We just wanted to make sure that Jackson didn't end up in special ed. classes. I want him protected, but I wanted to make sure that he wasn't being "held back" mentally, emotionally, etc. My MIL told me that all kids with 504's in her school were in the special ed. program and she hadn't heard of it being used for allergies. I just wanted to make sure that it was clarified. Thank you so much! The info about DoDD's is extremely helpful.

Posted on: Tue, 03/13/2007 - 8:21am
Double Trouble's picture
Joined: 03/09/2007 - 09:00

The school knows about his peanut allergies and were willing to work with us. The school nurse had said that they would make his classroom peanut free and she carries the Epipens but has a walkie talkie on her at all times. Should I request that the teacher carry his Epipen? I have no idea what to do and I am completely overwhelmed with taking this on. But the pre-k building is a seperate building from the school. So who do I contact and what questions do I ask?? I am terrified to let my baby leave me... [img][/img]
P.S. Oh, and reading the STOMP documents said that the 504 doesn't apply to us overseas because of the SOFA agreement. [img][/img]
My son used to be in EDIS but graduated this summer. I think I am going to contact his therapist and ask her who I should go through. We had to do IFSP's and everything with her, so I know she knows. Thanks so much.
[This message has been edited by Double Trouble (edited March 13, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 03/13/2007 - 12:42pm
Peanut Militia's picture
Joined: 03/06/2007 - 09:00

When you contact Family Advocacy I would ask them about overseas 504 plans. I think the trick will be contacting the base you are considering/being sent to and discussing your child with them.
I agree with MOMCAT. In our plan with the school we have an anti-harassment line that says she will not be harrassed in any manner by anyone (including school officials) due to her allergy and health needs. I would think that would include being 'labeled' as a special ed child because of her allergy. I know there are threads where people have discussed not getting a 504 because of the stigma some associate with the plans. I have felt our plan has done nothing but help us. If there is a conflict of care, it gives you an established starting point to spring off. This is much better than starting to put a plan together once a problem arises. It will also give you a consistancy if/when you get moved to another school (hopefully not in the middle of a school year). Your 504 gives you teeth for when you start meetings with the new school. We notified this school the day after we found out what our assignment would be. The school district guided us to a school where the classrooms had easy access to the nurses office and had a higher teacher to student ratio. It still didn't go smooth, but they were warned.
Yes, if your child has an EPI pen I would ask that the teacher carry it on her with benedryl (we use fast tabs for this to help get a proper dose-ask you doc.). We made a fanny pack for the teacher to wear so it would not be left behind (music, playground...). We put the instructions for use, copies of perscritions, a brief med history and our contact info so -in the event- it could be taken to the hospital. She took it everywhere she took her walkie-talkie.
I have to admit I stayed in the parking lot the first day of preschool--there were other mom's with me and there kids didn't have a PA! Chin up!!!!! I hated the first day!

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