\"We don\'t have a 504 for allergies, that\'s what the IHP is for\"

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 6:13am
notnutty's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

I know some of you have heard this statement in the past. I had the pleasure of hearing it today on my voice mail. The principal left the message. I did not try to get a 504 last year (my son was in kindergarten then) because I was thinking IEP instead. Well, in light of other threads and much discussion with my DH, we decided to push for a 504 while keeping IEP in mind as we go forward.

So, in an effort to document EVERYTHING, I asked the school nurse in an email if we could set up a meeting for next week to meet regarding my DS's IHP. I wanted to confirm what I already knew. Do any students with LTFA have a 504?

Well, apparently the email was forwarded to the principal, thus the phone call and that very disappointing statement.

The school was actually pretty good last year, but still some relatively minor incidents happened. I know that many of you are very passionate about pushing for a 504 for your children. I have read the many threads on this topic.

However, when it comes down to it, I just don't know if I have the advocacy in me to push for it. I guess my #1 reason for trying to put it into place would be in case there is a turnover in the administration or a school policy change. gvmom's thread forced me to confront that very issue.

So now what. Do I go into the meeting on Tuesday armed with paperwork or do I go into the meeting and gently explain why I would like to see a 504 in place.

Mind you, I have been in may IEP meetings before (for learning disabilities). This school is probably tired of dealing with me already based on those meetings. Do I want to inadvertently harm the relationship we have in place to push for this?

I need someone to help me get the courage up to start this battle and remind me "why" it is necessary.

Thanks all....

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 8:22am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

Just so my brain is sure it's understanding -- are they flat out NOT even letting you have your rightful, individual, formal 504 eligibility evaluation?

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 8:36am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

I'm learning about 504, but I don't think they are allowed to do that (just say we don't do that). Also, IHCP and 504 are not one in the same although they compliment each other. Additionally, don't end up like me, giving into the IHCP having it violated and no legal or other recourse.
Here's what happened to me....I was previously steered away from 504 by old principal etc. IHCP was violated several times last year and the SS lady told me that she thought it would be a good idea to get one. (saying, don't say I told you to ask).
I sent the request in writing on a Friday. That afternoon, a child from our school died in a freak accident in her backyard. So, the following week, he was dealing with the children in her class and that whole horrible thing.
He called frantic one day and said, I have your letter, I think its a good idea and I'm so sorry I haven't returned your call. I obviously knew why he hadn't called.
We agreed to a meeting the first week of school.
He asked me if I could send him a letter confirming the date he returned the call and with a short summary of our conversation and the agreement for the meeting date.
He said, by law, I have to document every step of this. Your initial letter, my return reply to your letter, the anticipated meeting date etc.
It's not an option for them to say no to an eligibility meeting. I think that if you show them how 504 also benefits them, educate them about it and not make it an adversarial thing, they will be open to it.
That's kind of what I did with ss lady, I explained how life is for my son and I at school with allergies. She was able to see how a 504 is relevant and changed her stance.
Maybe re read the "why not obtaining a 504 is a disservice to your child." That thread really inspired me and gave me the info I needed to present the reasons my DS needs one.
OMG, I am such a windbag today. Sorry so long.

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 8:36am
PA-Mom's picture
Joined: 09/18/2006 - 09:00

I would get a qualifying letter (some great examples on this website) from your child's pediatrian and/or allergist. I would give this to the school with a letter from you requesting a 504.
Good luck!

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 10:14am
lilpig99's picture
Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

ajas is right. They cannot deny you the right to have a 504 evaluation. The must evaluate your son to see if his condition meets the 'disability' status that the law requires (substantially limiting one of the major life activities). Many here will argue that anaphylaxis affects breathing, and allergist letter stating to that fact are quite instrumental. Also, argue your child's ability to care for herself.
I guess you're going to have to mull it over on how to proceed. But if I were you, I would first put in a formal request (letter or email) that you would like to schedule a 504 evaluation hearing for your child. If they deny, ask them to put it in writing. You can take their refusal of evaluation to the Civil Rights office and immediately file a complaint. It's up to you...but you are within your rights to get a hearing, they cannot legally deny you that right.
Document everything.

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 10:44am
notnutty's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

Thanks for the advice. Yes, I already have the qualifying letter from the allergist. It was very well written. However, it is over a year old...does that matter?
I think what I will do is go to the meeting on Tuesday armed with a request for an evaluation and a sumamry of why I think he qualifies and proceed that way.
You are the best! I think I just needed a little kick in the pants! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img].

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 12:00pm
FromTheSouth's picture
Joined: 03/01/2000 - 09:00

Sounds all too familiar...We had a 504 meeting yesterday. Not too long into the meeting, the school staff started discussing the Indiv. Health Plan and quickly came to the conclusion we didn't need a 504 Plan. Afterall, they felt it was too much paperwork for them...Yes, they actually said that outloud...and besides everything would be covered in the health plan anyway...Right?? They were talking to each other like we weren't even there. Needless to say, I spoke up and said she will have a 504 Plan because of the legal issues involved. You could have heard a pin drop! They knew they couldn't argue with our request because I had a letter from the doc. that clearly documented her medical condition. They seemed rather put out...The room got quiet...but then the 504 coordinator actually spoke up and said, "Besides legal issues, she also needs a 504 Plan in place for college." 504 Plans follow you into college. We have requested she be allowed to carry a cell phone for emergency purposes and most colleges now ban them from classrooms due to cheating (text messaging.) He said it is next to impossible to get a 504 Plan in college because the assumption is if you didn't need it before then...you don't need it then. Read for yourself "The Civil Rights of Students with Hidden Disabilities Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973"...and I'm guessing you'll decide you need it.

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 1:05pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I just got a 504 plan in place for my peanut, tree nut, eggs, and asthma 6 year old. He just started 1st grade. Last year when he started I explained his allergies to the principal, nurse, and his teacher. I even talked to the lunch lady even though I was sending all of his snacks and his lunch. There was alot that happened last year. Reese's peanut butter cups in the classroom and my son throwing up. Breaking out from touching things that another child had touched after eating pb&j at lunch. My son missed school for 2 days because of it. He sat outside the lunch room by himself on several occasions because everyone was eating pb&j, cookies, or trail mix. The last straw was field day and everyone ate there pb&j lunch in the classrooms and not in the lunch room. I had to take him and leave so that he would not touch something some else had touched with pb&j on their hands. A school staff member said "You have his epi-pen if something happens right?" Yea but I don't want to use it if I don't have too.
So needless to say, after last year and so many instances like that and birthday parties and class parties, I felt I had to do something to protect my child and my next one that will be there. I started calling and talking to everyone I could. The first person I talked to was the director of student services. Which he was convinced by what I said but wanted to talk to some other people to see what to do. He never returned my phone call. Then I called and they put me off on someone else. Then that person put me off on someone else too. This woman did not know what to do and said she would check into it and call me back. Guess what she called back one time after me calling her and leaving her several messages and left a incoherent message. So I was fed up and called the School Superintendent. I told him my story and told him I wanted pb removed from the school to iliminate my sons biggest threat or so I thought. Right before the meeting I found out about a 504. I called back and asked if the person that did the 504 could be present. At first they were like no and then okay.
So I get to this meeting and there is the school super, the 504 person, the nutrionalist, the director of student services and the principal. I did not feel intimidated and when I had the floor I had the floor. So they agreed to the 504 and proceeded with "their" plan. It all sounded good then and I felt like everything would be better. Well its not!
Since this 504 has been in place, my son is now sitting at a pf table, letters have been sent to the parents asking to refrain from sending anything with peanuts or tree nuts in it. Well the parents are starting to balk. They can't find snacks with out anything like that in it. Welcome to my son's world! One girl was asked to move from the table because she had something in her lunch bag that was not supposed to be at the table. So her mom got mad and complained. There have been 2 violations against his 504 and I have no idea what to do because the 504 person said to work it out with the principal, but it was the school that made the mistakes.
After reviewing all the wonderful information on this website I have figured out that my son's 504 could be alot better. And I do not know what to do. Who do I call anyway to fix it. And I am mad at myself because I did not find out more about a 504 before I went into that meeting. Why did no one in the school system tell me to get this for my son? Is it because it causes them alot of trouble? I think so. So I am not sure what to do about my son's 504. They are training in the signs of anaphylaxis and how to administer an epi-pen. But what about the food and snacks that contain peanuts or tree nuts. How are they going to keep him away from that?
I have has a bad start at our school this year. My son told me for the 1st time yesterday that he did not want to go back to school. This from the boy who went to preschool this first day and said "see you later mom." This from the boy who even though had a tough time last year with his food allergies came through with flying colors in kindergarten. I just cry to myself and hope he can protect his self. But he is 6. He should be able to be like a 6 year old. Not having to watch out for himself and follow the rules and learn. What an added burden for him that I am trying to make better but not sure that I am.
Sorry so long. Bad couple of weeks.
#1 son - peanuts, tree nuts, walnuts, eggs, every weed, grass, tree, mold, dust, cats, dogs, horses, and has asthma
#2 son - peanuts, shellfish, eggs, every grass, weed, tree, mold, dust, dogs, cats, horses, cows, and has severe asthma

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