We are doing this backwards... how do we get it straight???

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Updated:
Original:

Short intro: Son, Mason in Kindergarten is Peanut/nut/sesame/mustard. I notified the district in March of last year to let them know he was coming. I knew nothing about 504 eligibility. The nurse spoke to me (retiring at the end of last year) and assured me that he would be fine, that the district had permissions that I needed signed by the Doc so his meds could be in school. WELL... half way through this year I decided we needed to prepare for full day problems... contacted the district about lunch service and was promptly told by the Caf Manager... "I won't change my menues for one child in the district". She scheduled a meeting with the Principal, the school nurses, his teacher and herself. I asked that the Special Ed director be present also. I personally invited him and he told me he would attend. Day of meeting... no Spec Ed director and I was informed that Mason did not qualify under 504 but that we would come up with a plan to keep him safe. That meeting was to enlighten them as to what a food allergy is and how dangerous it is... not just a child not liking his food!!!

On to the next meeting when we were supposed to write our plan for next year. LOW and BEHOLD... who shows up??? The 504 Coordinator who is also the Assistant Superintendant... and the BOSS of all those in attendance!!! Is this a conflict of interest?

She has in front of her the nice 504 Plan outline described here on this site.. She "reworked it to fit our needs"... She removed EVERY word or phrase that had the words 504 in it!

Now we have this half written document... do I say wait... I want a 504, Do I need to request a 504 evaluation and who should be involved if the 504 coordinator is the Assistant Superintendant and boss of all the other staff involved???

Please help

On Feb 25, 2006

Even if she is their boss, that doesn`t exempt her from following the law. At our school the 504 coordinator is the principal, but she still has to follow the law and she knows it. Your child is entitled to a 504. There are quite a few recent threads showing all the documents that show that a child with life threatening food allergies qualifies for a 504. And I would insist on the 504, because it is legally binding. Even if they provide all these accomodations without a 504, the staff could change and this way you have a 504 in place. I would insist on a 504 because then it is very clear that these accomodations have to be followed and that your child cannot be discriminated against. There are a lot of threads on this board from people who started without a 504, later regretted it, and ended up getting one. Sure, they don`t want to do it, because it legally obligates them so much more. But of course, you are going to do what is in the best interest of your child, and not worry about what is in the best interest of the school.

On Feb 25, 2006

Would you please post what you have given the school in writing (e.g. letter requesting 504 designation, doctor letter, etc) and any [i]written[/i] responses you have received from the school district?

On Feb 25, 2006

It sounds like you want a real 504 plan. If that is the case, do not agree to their proposed plan (whatever they are calling it!) You still have time to straighten things out before next year.

You say they told you your son is not eligible for 504. Did they put this decision into writing? If not, I would request a formal evaluation for 504 eligibility. To do this, make sure you have all your documentation ready including a letter from your child's doctor. Then make a written request for the 504 evaluation. For tips, check this thread:

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/002222.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/002222.html[/url]

Cathy

------------------ Mom to 6 1/2 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

On Feb 25, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]Would you please post what you have given the school in writing (e.g. letter requesting 504 designation, doctor letter, etc) and any [i]written[/i] responses you have received from the school district? [/b]

They have two letters from the doctor. One stating his allergies and one stating that he must carry his epipen and meds with him to all classes. I have no written documents from the district except the draft of this "wonderful" plan that is not complete. We have a meeting on March 3 to do the IHP piece.

Do I need to go back to square one and request a 504 evaluation?

I want to say what a wonderful resourse this site has been. I am glad all of you are here to share your expertise for those of us who have yet to go through this process. BTW our district says they have NEVER had a child with severe food allergies in their district before.

[This message has been edited by mommatomase (edited February 25, 2006).]

On Feb 25, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b] They have two letters from the doctor. [/b]

I know it's laborious, but can you post these?

Momcat, her meeting is Friday. Do you think she should reschedule to get herself time to get documentation together? Our IHP is a component of our 504, so theoretically she could meet on Friday to continue to make progress on the IHP document....

On Feb 25, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b]Do I need to go back to square one and request a 504 evaluation?[/b]

Yes. Just wondering when the best time is to make this written request....

What was the "504 Plan outline that is here on this site" that you refer to in your original post? Is it Rhonda's 504 outline at [url="http://www.allergysupport.org?"]www.allergysupport.org?[/url]

On Feb 25, 2006

We have just begun the 504 process, so we don't have much to offer, but here are a few things that might help.

1. I would regroup and request a 504 eligibility meeting. Don't sign anything that the school offers as a plan.

2. Take a look at this document: The Civil Rights of Students with Hidden Disabilities Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [url="http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq5269.html"]http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq5269.html[/url] It shows that allergy is considered a hidden disability and protected under 504.

3. Also, when you request the 504 meeting, ask for the school's 504 policies/procedures and your rights under 504. The school is required to have these by law. This will put you in a position to evaluate their 504 procedures. If they have no policies (like my school), that can be discussed in the future.

4. The letter from your allergist is very important for getting 504 designation. The letters you have given the school are important, but they probably lack the wording that is best for obtaining 504 designation. There are many examples of excellent Dr. letters on this website to borrow from. Hopefully your allergist will agree to write/sign one for you.

On Feb 25, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] Momcat, her meeting is Friday. Do you think she should reschedule to get herself time to get documentation together? Our IHP is a component of our 504, so theoretically she could meet on Friday to continue to make progress on the IHP document.... [/b]

Hmmmm... I'm not sure--I wouldn't make the formal request for an evaluation until you are ready. I think it would be ok to go to the IHP meeting on Friday either way, but I wouldn't sign anything and wouldn't discuss eligibility. The Friday meeting could be put to good use reviewing and updating the IHP for next year.

I'm really on the fence about this, but I don't think it really matters that much in the long run. All you have to do is follow the procedure, make the request, go to the evaluation and get their decision in writing. It shouldn't matter if you review the IHP now or not. I'm assuming your child already has an IHP since he is currently attending Kindergarten there, so there's no question about whether to do an IHP or 504 first. The IHP already exists, right?

Cathy

On Feb 26, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] I know it's laborious, but can you post these?

[/b]

Here is letter dated March 8, 2005: Mason is four years old and has a history of possible life threatening reactions to tree nuts, peanuts and other legumes, as well as seeds. He is strongly allergic by skinn tests to sesame, mustard, peanut, pecan, buchkwheat and almond and by blood test to sachew, sesame, buckwheat, green pea, peanut, soybean, almond, pecan, mustard, sunflower and walnut.

He continues on Singulair 4 MG in the evening, QVAR 80mcg, two sprays probably in the morning only, as needed. Albuterol MDI via AeroChanber with mask, two sprays, wait fifteen minutes, use another two sprays every four hours, prn, chest tightness or Albuterol Unit Dose Via Pari LC Jet Nebulizer with mask and to repeat in fifteen munuted if necessary.

And Epi-Pen Jr, benedril - two teaspoons adn Orapred - tow teaspoons should be given upon any systemic reaction to tree nutes, legumes,seeds, including peanute (including hives, difficulty breathing, cough, wheeze, shortness of breath, chest tightness, shock, etc.). With a few hives it may be possible to use Benadryl - two teaspoons and observe him carefully, but with any more ? severe reaction, the full kit should be given and he should be taken for emergency care to the nearest hospital.

Please contact me with any questions regarding Mason.

Sincerly,

Second letter dated December 5, 2005: (this letter was written after my first official meeting with the district)

Mason has sever food allergies to sesame, pea, peanut butter, soybean, almond, pecan, cashew, walnut, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, mustard and pobbley other foods.

Upon ingestion of any of these, and EpiPen regular strength (senior), Benadryl 3 teaspoons adn Orapred 3 teaspoons should be administered and he should be transported to the emergency department. If necessarey the EpiPen should be repeated in 10-15 minutes if his symptoms are not, or have not, resolved.

I do reccommend that the EpiPens be stored in the form of an EpiPen double pack at home as well as in his classroom. The other medications should be stored there as well. Ideally the Orapred shoudlb e refrigerated if possible, but if it is not, nonrefrigeration only affects the taste, not its effectiveness.

Please contact me with any questions.

Sincerely,

And to answer another post... NO we don't have an IHP in place for this year, at least not a written one. THANK goodness he has the K teacher he has... she has been great!!! I never heard of any of this stuff and the nurse told me he would be OK...

The 504 Plan outline is from Rhonda's site... thanks for that!! The district butchered it!!!

Do I wait until after Friday to request the evaluation or do I send the letter asap? Do I send a letter requesting there 504 procedures first or do I do it all together?

(sorry for any typoes... typist I am not)

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Feb 26, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b]The 504 Plan outline is from Rhonda's site... thanks for that!! The district butchered it!!![/b]

I'm zeroing in on this for the moment.

Did you provide the 504-C with Rhonda's outline? Or did she find it on her own and present you with an adulterated version?

On Feb 26, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Momcat: [b] I'm assuming your child already has an IHP since he is currently attending Kindergarten there, so there's no question about whether to do an IHP or 504 first. The IHP already exists, right?

Cathy[/b]

No IHP yet. It seems they are (verbally) saying her son Mason doesn't qualify for 504 so let's work on an IHP instead.

Rhonda would be sick to know that they are using her outline as an IHP....

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 26, 2006).]

On Feb 26, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Ohio: [b]4. The letter from your allergist is very important for getting 504 designation. The letters you have given the school are important, but they probably lack the wording that is best for obtaining 504 designation. There are many examples of excellent Dr. letters on this website to borrow from. Hopefully your allergist will agree to write/sign one for you.[/b]

IMO, the two letters mommatomase shared support this. I find the letters very confusing (is it epi junior? or adult?).

It seems Mason also has asthma? Yes?

I think you'll probably need to work with your allergist to obtain more detailed information before I would formally request a 504 eligibility meeting.

I think you need 4 documents from your allergist: 1. Food Allergy Action Plan (FAAN) 2. Asthma Action Plan (peak-flow form) 3. School District's Medicine Authorization forms for each med signed by physician/allergist (did you already provide theses?) 4. A letter specifically crafted for 504.

Thoughts anyone?

On Feb 26, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] IMO, the two letters mommatomase shared support this. I find the letters very confusing (is it epi junior? or adult?).

It seems Mason also has asthma? Yes?

I think you'll probably need to work with your allergist to obtain more detailed information before I would formally request a 504 eligibility meeting.

I think you need 4 documents from your allergist: 1. Food Allergy Action Plan (FAAN) 2. Asthma Action Plan (peak-flow form) 3. School District's Medicine Authorization forms for each med signed by physician/allergist (did you already provide theses?) 4. A letter specifically crafted for 504.

[/b]

To answer your above question first... District found Rhonda's outline. I had a copy of it with me also, but they beat me to the punch. They changed the title to say IHP - EHP and took out any wording that said 504. So it is a 504 with a different title, so to speak. Ridiculous! How dumb do they think I am... I had the copy I got and theirs was changed... I call that very unprofessional!!

He uses a regular EpiPen now. The first letter was written last spring and the second one in December... his weight changed.

Mason does have asthma, but is no longer on meds for it. Only his albuterol as needed. He mostly needs this med after we are around smoke, dust and cats. He has his albuterol at school but will probably never use it. He doesn't even do his peek flow meter anymore.

Of the documents you listed, I have the food allergy action plan and the district forms for the meds. We will be at the allergist tomorrow... Mason is challenging Soy! So any other things you think I need I can probably get tomorrow???

You just don't know how much I appreciate all your help!!

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

[This message has been edited by mommatomase (edited February 26, 2006).]

On Feb 26, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b]So any other things you think I need I can probably get tomorrow??? [/b]

What excellent timing! If it were me, I would [b]only lay the groundwork [/b]with your allergist tomorrow. I wouldn't attempt to obtain anything tomorrow. I'd focus on my child's challenge, and work on building the relationship with the allergist because you may need several things from him over time. I'd want to establish the groundwork for my requests because he may never have been asked by a parent to provide this type of detailed information before.

I wouldn't refer to "504" because anything "legal" would probably set your relationship with him back. I'd say that you are working with the school and that you really appreciate his willingness to provide accurate documentation to the school because accurate medical information will help them create appropriate accommodations for Mason. Tell him that you're meeting with the school in the next couple weeks, and that you'll send him a letter once you have a better understanding as to what the school needs.

I'd try to keep it open... just emphasize that you'll be calling upon him soon via a letter. That you really appreciate his cooperation because you think [i]the school [/i]might need a lot of specific information from him.

If it were me, I'd broach the topic of an Asthma Action Plan. Does your son use a peak-flow meter? Have you discussed using one with the doctor? While Mason's asthma sounds well-managed it is still an important health issue that will come into play.

Do you have copies of Mason's clinical testing? SPTs? Rast tests?

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 26, 2006).]

On Feb 26, 2006

I don't know... if your allergist has done 504 documentation before, it might be helpful to discuss it. Especially if your allergist also has an asthma specialty, this is somewhat likely.

I don't think it would hurt to take a few documents (print the page from AAFA's website about how 504 relates to asthma and allergy) and just ask if he's ever heard of 504 being used. I asked our allergist's nurse first. I was very relieved to find out that my allergist is VERY familiar with this process. In talking with him, he has even served on 504 committees for a large SD in CA... So as long as you don't use the word "rights" but instead stick to "written plan to protect" I think bringing it up is not a bad strategy. If he isn't familiar with it, give him the AAFA document (which is only a couple of pages long, but comes from a reputable organization) or even the one from the Food Allergy Initiative (their site now includes 504 information as well).

But I wouldn't do more than that. Let your allergist digest the information.

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

On Feb 26, 2006

Great advice, Gail!

I'm appalled that Mason has been going without an IHP and emergency action plan for 6? months!

Nurse: "Oh, he'll be ok."

EEEK! (Hair standing on end)

What was their plan if the nurse happened to be out of the building?

For Mason's safety, I think you should definitely work on the IHP (including an emergency action plan for allergies and asthma) on Friday. Make sure you get an updated version of the doctor's orders tomorrow. It sounds like Mason's asthma treatment has changed and his epipen dosage. Perhaps his allergen list, too. I'm crossing my fingers for you that he passes soy! Having asthma puts Mason at higher risk for a severe food allergic reaction (one that affects his breathing.) Make sure that your doctor mentions that in his letter.

Cathy

On Feb 26, 2006

Edit.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 26, 2006).]

On Feb 26, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b] To answer your above question first... District found Rhonda's outline. I had a copy of it with me also, but they beat me to the punch. They changed the title to say IHP - EHP and took out any wording that said 504. So it is a 504 with a different title, so to speak. Ridiculous! How dumb do they think I am... I had the copy I got and theirs was changed... I call that very unprofessional!![/b]

Unprofessional. I'm thinking of other words too.... such as [i]plagiaristic? legal?[/i]

On Feb 26, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]If she goes any further on her current path, this will be a mess and she'll never get her 504. She'll get into those ridiculous mitigating measures arguments. [/b]

They may make those "mitigating measures" arguments (i.e. argue that a health plan covers everything, so a 504 is not needed) whether or not a health plan is currently in place. I like the by-the-book approach, but I am concerned for Mason's safety. He needs a health care plan whether or not he ends up with a 504.

Cathy

[This message has been edited by Momcat (edited February 26, 2006).]

On Feb 26, 2006

I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart!! I am truly touched by your concern. It looks like I have my work cut out for me.

To be completely honest... I don't think this district has a clue about 504 and what the protocol is for anaphylactic allergies. It is not that they are being nasty, they are just uninformed... ignorance of the law is not excuse but I would rather try the diplomatic way and if that doesn't work... we play hardball! What was that I read on another thread about let the b*%#h come out?

After reading all your threads I think this is what I will do... what do you think?

I plan to keep the Friday meeting, like Momcat said... I gotta keep my boy safe! I am already beating myself up over this... (why isn't that in the parenting manual that comes with allergy kids?). I think that if I have all my documents for this meeting, they will be very receptive to the information. I think I am teaching them all about food allergies...

Why do I think they will be receptive? They are already allowing me to plan a food allergy awareness program for the ENTIRE school. Any thing I need! They have already trained the ENTIRE staff at Mason's school and the two other elementaries on use of EpiPen. His K teacher doesn't let him out of her sight except for special teachers and they all know how to use the Epi also.

So... I think we all just did this backwards and need to turn it back to the beginning.

Oh... our allergist works very closely with Mt. Siani Allergists and has been doing this for many years... He will help with anything we need... we have a great relationship!! Thanks for that heads up as well.

I am sooooooooo glad for the information and will take all the documents you suggested.

What is the USDA document? and NASN? I have a copy of the letter to Lehigh University.

PS: thanks for your mention of the soy challenge tomorrow... after three years...we hope this one can be X'd off! ------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

[This message has been edited by mommatomase (edited February 26, 2006).]

On Feb 26, 2006

Dear Mommatomase,

I want to be very clear. I did not say that you should not create an IHCP; I would never say that. The safety of any child is of paramount concern and should never be compromised. The intent of what I said was that parents involved in this type of situation must determine in a formal manner, in writing, what procedures and policies exactly the district has in place for Section 504. Then parents can use the SD

On Feb 26, 2006

Thank you for clarifying Rhonda.

On Feb 26, 2006

.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 26, 2006).]

On Feb 26, 2006

Rhonda:

Thank you for taking the time to post. I plan on getting Fridays meeting a 504 meeting whether they like it or not. I plan on mailing a confirmation letter to the person in charge. I will call it a 504 meeting in the letter. We'll see what her reply to that will be.

Like I said... this district is clueless! I am VERY frustrated and part of me wants to just homeschool Mason (I am a certified Elem Teacher)

I am upset that the superintendent would take your wonderful outline and butcher it her advantage! It will get set right with the right title on Friday.

Thank you again for your wonderful help for those of us who are new to this!!

PS: I was not in the least way upset by your notes to GailW. I appreciate any and all suggestions to get this in place by September. ------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

[This message has been edited by mommatomase (edited February 26, 2006).]

On Feb 26, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b]What is the USDA document? and NASN? I have a copy of the letter to Lehigh University.[/b]

NASN document: [url="http://www.nasn.org/Default.aspx?tabid=275"]http://www.nasn.org/Default.aspx?tabid=275[/url]

Highlight this sentence: [i]" For instance, students with life threatening food allergies will require a 504 accommodation plan. "[/i] in the section called Accommodating Children with Special Dietary Needs.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 26, 2006).]

On Feb 26, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b]What is the USDA document? [/b]

Try: [url="http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:kYbXht43T2oJ:www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Guidance/special_dietary_needs.pdf+USDA+Accommodating+Children+with+Special+Dietary+Needs&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk"]http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:kYb...n&gl=us&ct=clnk[/url] &cd=1&client=safari

This federal document states: [i]"In Cases of Food Allergy Generally, children with food allergies or intolerances do not have a disability as defined under either Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or Part B of IDEA, and the school food service may, but is not required to, make food substitutions for them.

[b]However, when in the licensed physician's assessment, food allergies may result in severe, life-threatening (anaphylactic) reactions, the child's condition would meet the definition of 'disability', and the substitutions prescribed by the licensed physician must be made.[/b]"[/i]

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 26, 2006).]

On Feb 27, 2006

I called the school district this morning to as for the 504 information. Within 10 minutes the secretary called back and said they needed several days to "find it". Could she mail it when they got it all together?

1/2 hour later the SUPERINTENDANT called me! He said he thought everything was going well with the plan we were working on. I told him it is going very well but that I thought the last meeting was to determine eligibility for Mason under 504. So that I would like their procedures and policies so that I knew exactly what I needed to do to get this done. He said he thought that the IHP would meet our needs and that Mason really wasn't eligible for 504. I said, "I have the law right in front of me, would you like me to read it to you?" (mistake, I know)

I said we could call Fridays meeting a 504 Evaluation meeting and go from there. I said that the plan we are using is taken from the internet as a 504 Plan and that the IHP is only one part of it.

Should I send a letter confirming that Fridays meeting will be a Section 504 meeting?

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Feb 27, 2006

Lisa,

Now that you've made it clear that you've requested a 504, you're behind the 8-ball and will really need to work very quickly to get that critical doctor's letter. Have you looked at some sample doctor/allergist letters here? and the sample request letter to the doctor/allergist? Really try to do that before your appointment today.

Gail

On Feb 27, 2006

Don't second guess yourself too much! It's all water under the bridge. Maybe your chat with the superintendent will get the ball rolling. I think you will have enough time to get ready by Friday.

For myself, I prefer to make requests in writing. It means there is a record of the request, plus it gives everyone more time to choose their words wisely. If you request 504 documentation from the school district in writing, and they don't give you anything, then there is a record of that violation. That would be evidence that the district is not complying with 504 and could be useful to you in the event of a hearing.

Cathy

On Feb 27, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Momcat: [b]For myself, I prefer to make requests in writing. [/b]

I think Momcat's right. I'd ask for ask for all information that the district uses pertaining to Section 504, including all 504 paperwork/forms.

You can easily modify my letter to state that, based on your conversation with the Superintendent, your meeting on Friday is a Section 504 meeting. My letter references a forthcoming letter from the doctor because, like you, I didn't have it in hand yet. The letter also references the documents linked above (you'll probably also want to include the NASN one above).

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001879.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001879.html[/url]

You could also state in your letter that "caring for self" is significantly affected in addition to "breathing". Do you think that's sufficient, Momcat?

How'd your appointment go today? Gail

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 27, 2006).]

On Feb 27, 2006

I think I would write a letter thanking the superintendent for taking the time to talk to you personally, and stating that you understand that Friday's meeting will include a 504 evaluation for your son. You can explain your reasoning: describe your son's allergies and asthma and how those affect his breathing and his ability to care for himself. Also, request that you be sent the 504 documentation as soon as possible since you want to review it before the meeting.

Include documents if you wish, but these should not be necessary. This letter is to be a record of your (polite) requests for an evaluation and for the documentation.

Don't worry about what was said on the phone. The letter is more important.

Cathy

On Feb 28, 2006

Again... thanks for all the support here!!!

I am working on a letter today and will deliver it personally this afternoon so it gets there in time.

AND Mason he one less food to worry about... the soy challenge was negative!!! One down, eight to go!!!

I also called the school district we USED to live in to talk to their 504 coordinator (I worked closely with him to transition kids from my program to his). He is clueless as to WHY my new district is dragging their feet for a 504! They just went through a PA 504 last year... their first and he said it was a wonderful learning experience and that it was a "no brainer" that this child needed a 504 designation! WHY DID WE HAVE TO MOVE???

I will keep you posted as things progress... thank you. Any thing else you can think of... please let me know!!!

Would an email be as binding as a letter?? ------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

[This message has been edited by mommatomase (edited February 28, 2006).]

On Feb 28, 2006

That's great news about Mason's soy challenge. Did you talk to you doctor about a new letter?

I don't know if an e-mail is considered binding. I would think so if you received a response from the intended recipient.

I regularly correspond by e-mail with my school, but whenever the topic seems to raise to the "official" level, I write a hard copy letter that both my husband and I sign. I would consider your letter to the Superintendent (regarding Mason's 504 eligibility) a correspondence that would be placed in that "official" category that you'd want your signature on.

On Feb 28, 2006

Well, I hand delivered a letter at noon and by 1 PM I had a phone call from the Assistant Super! She is getting the 504 infor to me tomorrow through inter-office mail and Mason will have it in his backpack tomorrow.

She also tried to convince me that she thought a IHP would be better than a 504 and that did I know... Mason will have to be labeled with a disability in order to qualify???? WELL DUH!!! I am not in denile that my son has a disability... someone is!!!

I think this will be easy on Friday... I have all my letters and documents and will soon have their policies... I can't wait to see them....

I just can't thank you enough for hangin' in with me to get this all straightened out.

BTW I am working on the document we started at our last meeting and I will present that on Friday also!!!

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Feb 28, 2006

That's good news. Things seem to be moving along. Don't forget that your doctor letter may still play a very important role.

I was also thinking about this:

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b]I also called the school district we USED to live in to talk to their 504 coordinator (I worked closely with him to transition kids from my program to his). He is clueless as to WHY my new district is dragging their feet for a 504! They just went through a PA 504 last year... their first and he said it was a wonderful learning experience and that it was a "no brainer" that this child needed a 504 designation! [/b]

Is your old school district near you or in your same state? If you have any problems, could your former school district's 504-C possibly be a resource to your new school district?

Good luck. Thanks for keeping us posted.

On Feb 28, 2006

again poking my nose in here too. dr. letter is super key...get it asap I did mine backwards, not on purpose just out of ignorance and I still got the accomidations and the 504. I also requested the 504 after I gave my list of "demands". My school knew I was never planning to ask for peanut free and I think it eased thier minds a bit. I wouldnt suggest it the way I did it but you are on track now, stay after it.

On Feb 28, 2006

My old district is 15 miles away and they told me that this district could call them ANYTIME to help them with this... I will be sure to pass that on to them on Friday!!

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Mar 3, 2006

Well... today is the big day... I really feel ready!

BTW. The district did mail me their documents about 504... what a joke! No policy and procedures manual or document. The titles of what they sent me are: 1. Notice of Recommended Agreement 2. Procedural Safeguards 3. some paper that looks like it would be the cover sheet

YUP, they have a 504 down pat! Nothing stating how a PARENT can ask for an evaluation... nothing about how the district goes about an evaluation.... oh boy!

On Mar 3, 2006

The meeting was cancelled! We had a snow day yesterday and they said today is Dr. Suess Day and the schedule is mixed up... I knew about this day on MONDAY... why didn't THEY change it then instead of this morning at 8 AM??????

Just had to vent!!!!!!!

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Mar 3, 2006

[I knew about this day on MONDAY... why didn't THEY change it then instead of this morning at 8 AM??????

Because they are not ready. They are putting you off and hoping you will forget about it and go away. dont

On Mar 18, 2006

Mommatomase: how did this all work out?

On Mar 20, 2006

They just "realized" that Mason has an IEP for speech and OT. They were going to re-evalute to add a OHI to it. Then they called and said that we don't need OHI and can just put our "plan" on the IEP. I haven't heard from them since!!! Mason is home from school today... sick. So I will call them again when he is back in school. Dh and I have made a decision that we will not discuss any of this in front of him... he is an extremely sensitive child and this has really turned him upsidedown!

This is sooooo frustrating!!! I am sorry I didn't post sooner but I really had nothing to report...

On Apr 7, 2006

Did Mason receive the OHI designation?

On Apr 7, 2006

We were told by a third party resource that in Pennsylvania a child does not need an OHI for the plan to be attached to his IEP.

Sooo, we have a meeting on April 10 to finalize the plan. I must say, the teachers and building staff "get it". It is the assistant superindendant that thinks I am over-reacting! She asked me if I was seeking professional help to help me deal with this situation... Dh will attend the next meeting. She just doesn't understand that my son could DIE from this... it is not milk intolerence!!!

Thank you for your continued concern about this... I do have this linked to my email so I know when something is posted here...

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Apr 7, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b]We were told by a third party resource that in Pennsylvania a child does not need an OHI for the plan to be attached to his IEP.[/b]

I would like to hear more about this. My DD has an IEP for LD and her 504 plan for PA is separate.

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b]Sooo, we have a meeting on April 10 to finalize the plan. I must say, the teachers and building staff "get it". It is the assistant superindendant that thinks I am over-reacting! She asked me if I was seeking professional help to help me deal with this situation... Dh will attend the next meeting. [/b]

How offensive. I'd be tempted to tell her that your stress level will go down once she does her job.

On Apr 7, 2006

I was "informed" by this lovely woman that a child CANNOT have both an IEP and a 504!

I called another Special Education director in another Intermediate Unit (this is how Penn does their SpEd) He told me that a child does not have to have a OHI designation in order to attach his Health Plan (this is what Ms. Wonderful is calling it)to the IEP. I really trust this man and he has been in this position for many years.

Remember, she used Rhonda's 504 plan and changed the title to Emergency Health Plan, so all the bases are covered as if it were a 504 alone.

The meeting in on the 19th not the 10th... typo on my part... sorry.

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Apr 18, 2006

I know your meeting is tomorrow and wanted to send you good vibes. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Hope you'll let us know how it goes and that you keep us posted.

Gail

On Apr 19, 2006

They have blown me off again!!! They never returned my call that the meeting would take place. I told them that Dh had the day off from work and would like to attend. They never called me back!!! I don't think they want him there!

I will keep you updated...

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Apr 26, 2006

We finally had our meeting yesterday (4/25). They redid what I had given them deleting some of the things we had in our Plan.

The Plan will be added as a "related service" to his existing IEP. That meeting will be on May 15.

I am sooo discusted with this district. I know that the teachers will take very good care of Mason... I am worried about administration!

Also, they will not let me go into Mason's classroom to show "Alexander" next year! The assistant superintendant says that I am NOT a doctor and even though I am very knowledgable about the subject she can not have ME tell the kids about it... She also wants a letter sent home to the parents prior to the showing to let parents know that they will be discussing it! How crazy is that???

They teach personal safety without parental knowledge!!!

So... that was our meeting in short!

BUT.. there will be a Plan in place and being attached to the IEP is a good thing. (the unwritten discrimination stuff under IDEA is what is most important)

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Apr 26, 2006

Look at your paperwork. Does it state that Mason's food allergies and asthma are covered under IDEA?

I'm worried that there may be a technicality if his LTFAs aren't declared in the IDEA paperwork and therefore not protected. KWIM?

On Apr 26, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b]Also, they will not let me go into Mason's classroom to show "Alexander" next year! The assistant superintendant says that I am NOT a doctor and even though I am very knowledgable about the subject she can not have ME tell the kids about it... She also wants a letter sent home to the parents prior to the showing to let parents know that they will be discussing it! How crazy is that???[/b]

So, will she have a medical professional (e.g. school nurse) come into the classroom to provide the information?

On Apr 26, 2006

In our school, the nurse comes into the class to explain food allergies to the kids. It was part of DD's plan, and we discussed beforehand whether or not to single DD out. We decided not to, but some kids may want to be involved in the presentation. Also, additional information about food handling and hand washing, in which food allergies were mentioned, was taught to the kids during health class. I loaned training videos for kids and adults to the school for use by the nurse and health teacher. So maybe that would be a way to get them to show Alexander?

Cathy

------------------ Mom to 6 1/2 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

On Apr 26, 2006

On the front sheet of his IEP it states in the "Other Information" section: "Severe life threatening allergies - peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, mustard, seeds and most legumes"

The Speech Therapist put that on in November, she thought it was important.

The school nurse will show the video next year...

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Apr 26, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b]On the front sheet of his IEP it states in the "Other Information" section: "Severe life threatening allergies - peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, mustard, seeds and most legumes"[/b]

But what does that mean? from a legal child right's point of view?

Unless Mason's allergies and asthma are specifically designated as an "Other Health Impairment" under IDEA I don't think he is entitled to any protections under IDEA.

Momcat? Do you know?

I'm afraid that the way the school district has the paperwork, Mason's LTFAs are not protected by either 504 nor IDEA. Can you go back to your other school district's 504 Coordinator and ask him/her if they are?

I think this is hugely important because it might mean that there are no safeguards for Mason.

On Apr 26, 2006

I called the Director of another counties IU, who I trust very much. He told me that by attaching the "plan" to the IEP it is legal and binding. He is protected, he does not need an OHI designation.

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Apr 26, 2006

I just found this on the NEA website:

"An IHP is best incorporated into a student's IEP as a clearly identified special section of that document. There are two reasons for this. First, everyone in the school setting who works with that child should know about and have access to information about any special health-related needs and services the child has. Were the IHP a freestanding document-not part of the IEP-the chances are greater that school employees who work with the child will not know about his or her needs. Second, by incorporating the child's IHP as a section of the child's IEP, school employees and parents will be better placed to take advantage of the legal requirement that related services identified in a child's IEP must be provided by the school district. If the child's IHP is not a part of the IEP, then this federal requirement would not be in effect, and there would be no legal basis for a claim that services identified in the IHP must be provided."

[url="http://www.nea.org/esphome/nearesources/safecare-sec1.html"]http://www.nea.org/esphome/nearesources/safecare-sec1.html[/url]

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

[This message has been edited by mommatomase (edited April 26, 2006).]

On Apr 26, 2006

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

Thank you for sharing that information. I didn't know if that was the case or not, and I'm certainly glad that is it.

On Apr 27, 2006

Does anyone know: is this specific to Pennsylvania? Or is this always the case due to federal laws? If anyone could provide more information I'd really appreciate it.

On Apr 27, 2006

Gail... the NEA is the National Teachers Association so I am guessing that this is national.

JMHO

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Apr 28, 2006

Lisa,

Don't mean to upset you, but I am concerned that you've possibly been misinformed. I am definitely not an expert on IEP's in combination w/food allergy, but we're talking Federal law here, regardless of some nuances of your state educational code.

It may be that checking the "other" box on the IEP and listing a health need covers you in a legal binding way [b]if the health need is directly related to the disability being addressed by the IEP[/b], but I share GailW's concerns that for food allergy, you may not be covered by 504 or IDEA the way this is currently constructed (if push were to come to shove).

Let's say that your child is a frail diabetic, misses school, and you establish that learning is impacted. You get an IDEA designation, and need hourly blood sugar testing as part of the IHP while in school. In this case, it's a related service for that disability of diabetes. So, let's say the school nurse fails to give the hourly glucose testing, the child bottoms out b/c he needed meds, then the school is in violation of the IEP of the related services listed in the IHP that it did not provide. In this scenario the IHP is a legal and binding because the related service [b]is directly connected to the identified disability of diabetes.[/b]

What you really need to understand is whether you truly have legal protection here.

If a teacher violates a food allergy accommodation in the IHP, let's say the kids bring peanuts in a peanut free classroom and the teacher allows it repeatedly, are you due all the rights and procedures that IDEA and Spec. Ed. in Pennsylvania require? It's possible that the SD will say, well you don't have a disability designation for food allergy, just to X instead - we don't consider food allergy a disability. So, what do you do? You can check back with your contact in another counties IU, but even so, remember they are not in the business of advocating for parents - they serve school districts. You need other alternative resources to tap into.

Try these instead:

✧ Special Education ConsultLine, Office for Dispute Resolution (800-879-2301 V/TTY) Statewide service of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education that provides assistance to parents and advocates of eligible or thought-to-be eligible children with school-related concerns, special education regulations, and the special education complaint process.

✧ Parent Education Network (800-522-5827 V/TTY) (800-441-5028 Spanish) Coalition of parents and professionals providing technical assistance, on-site parent training workshops, and literature regarding early intervention, special education, and transition to the eastern region of Pennsylvania.

✧ Parent Education and Advocacy Leadership Center (412-422-1040 V/TTY) (866-950-1040 V/TTY toll free) Coalition of parents and professionals providing technical assistance, on-site parent training workshops, and literature regarding early intervention, special education, and transition to the western region of Pennsylvania.

BTW, the NEA is the National Education Association. Their members are anyone who works for a public school district, a college or university, or any other public institution devoted primarily to education. I would not be looking to them as a definitive source of information. It's partly right, but it doesn't address the fact that in order to get what you likely need here (since I believe the food allergy isn't specifically linked to the disability designation that got you the IEP in the first place), that you still want to pursue the OHI designation, or establish a separate 504 for the food allergy disability, and outline accommodations in this manner (as GailW has done).

Please use the resource list above to delve deeper into this topic...I don't think you've been given the complete picture.

On Apr 28, 2006

Nutternomore... thank you for this information, I truly appreciate it! I will have to look deeper into this... I truly thought we had finally seen the light at the end of the tunnel... silly me!

I will be making some phone calls today... Thanks again.

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

On Apr 28, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b]I called the Director of another counties IU, who I trust very much. He told me that by attaching the "plan" to the IEP it is legal and binding. He is protected, he does not need an OHI designation.

[/b]

If he doesn't need an "OHI" designation, but you are attaching the IHP to the IEP and it is "legal and binding" then why not [i]just give him the "OHI" designation?[/i]

Make sense? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

no advice, just wondering. Don't even know if an IHP "attached" to an IEP without an "OHI" designation is "legal and binding" or not. KWIM?

On Apr 29, 2006

Thank you Nutternomore for adding here. I think you and I see this the same way. I still fear that Mason's food allergies have no protections under either IDEA or Section 504 until they (asthma/LTFAs) are technically and formally declared as either a 'disability' (under 504) or 'OHI' (under IDEA).

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]I'm afraid that the way the school district has the paperwork, Mason's LTFAs are not protected by either 504 nor IDEA. . . . Unless Mason's allergies and asthma are specifically designated as an "Other Health Impairment" under IDEA I don't think he is entitled to any protections under IDEA. [/b]

That's still how I see it. Mason is eligible to receive IDEA services (an IEP) because a multi-disciplinary team determined that his speech condition met one of the 13 disabilities (speech) and that he needs special education for it. So, currently, his IEP is deemed for the disability of speech. In order for his LTFAs/asthma to be protected under IDEA, a multi-disciplinary team would have to determine that his LTFAs/asthma qualify as one of the 13 disabilities.. OHI. But that has never occurred. The IHP that is attached to his IEP is not a "related service" to the "disability" because the only disability that has been recognized is speech.

[b]Ask this question, [i]"If Mason's IHP is violated by school staff (i.e. food allergy precautions are not followed as specified in the plan) are we afforded the safeguards and protections under IDEA?"[/i][/b]

I [i]hope[/i] the answer is yes, but I think the answer is [i]no[/i].

Quote:

Originally posted by mommatomase: [b]I was "informed" by this lovely woman that a child CANNOT have both an IEP and a 504![/b]

That would ONLY be true if the 504 plan and the IEP were for the SAME condition. Mariah has an IEP for a disability in reading, and a 504 plan for LTFAs/asthma.

I know I've told you this before, but Mariah has an IEP for a disability in the area of 'basic reading' (dyslexia) and receives Special Education services (an IEP). AND she also has a 504 plan for her LTFAs/asthma. So you can certainly have an IEP and a 504 plan. . . just not for the [i]same condition. [/i]

< > I'm sorry this isn't 'over' as quickly as you'd wanted. I hope you'll get answers from sources that are unbiased and authoritative.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited April 29, 2006).]

On May 1, 2006

Parent Education Network (800-522-5827) and Special Education ConsultLine, Office for Dispute Resolution(800-879-2301) have returned my calls.

Both have said that no matter how they decide to attach the IHP Plan (aka 504 Plan with name changed) to his IEP, it is legal and binding and that he is covered by IDEA. He will be afforded the safeguards and protections under IDEA? He does not need a seperate OHI designation.

Thank you Gail for that great question, it really helped me get to the point when I called these people!!!

Thank you Nuttermore for the phone numbers... they will be in my file for future use!

Thank you all!! I will let you know how the IEP meeting goes... can anyone think of anything else I need to do??

Our IEP meeting is on May 15...

------------------ Lisa Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

[This message has been edited by mommatomase (edited May 01, 2006).]

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