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Assist With 504 Plan For High School


Mamabear
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I have a 14 year old daughter starting freshman year with a diagnosis of POTS and CFS.

I am in need of assistance with pulling together a 504 plan for her. An old forum noted a website that is no longer available:

pediatricnetwork.org. If my daughter partakes in on-line high school is the school required to provide the learning coach? We were told I would have to provide transportation if she goes to school at a latter time, yet we work. Does anyone have examples of 504 plans that really worked for them? Can anyone share there experience and what worked?

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My son had initially had a 504 plan, then we moved up to the IEP. They should all be specialized to what your daughters needs are. For example, my son did not need permission to go to the nurses office whenever he needed, could carry a water bottle to every class, extra time given to make up work,etc. Look at the Dynakids website, I think there is information there. The IEP is even more extensive.

For a brief time, my son was able to attend school for a shortened schedule, we did have to provide transportation. He now takes 3 on line classes and 3 homebound classes. The school provides a homebound teacher for 5 hours per week. Our school has done everything possible and bent over backwards to help my son get his education. He will be a senior this year.

Here is the link to dynakids school page: (they also have resource printouts for schools)

http://www.dynakids.org/schools.jsp

Christy

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Schools can be tricky. It all depends on the district as to how accommodating they will be. Technically, it is the school's responsibility to provide Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to all students, no matter what sort of issues and considerations they have. They ARE supposed to provide transportation for students on an IEP. (I have 2 children on an IEP currently and one in the process of getting either a 504 or an IEP, choosing which one will be best for him) Have you requested a meeting yet? It needs to be done, in writing and they have 10 days to set up and hold the meeting.

504 is best if you need permission for medications at school and limited accommodations, like extra time for work to be completed. If your child is missing a lot of school, I would recommend the IEP, because that protects them from being held back/allowed to graduate, due to missed time. Our state is cracking down on the days missed for school. An IEP will also give you much more leverage for getting additional services and support at the school if the child is still able to attend.

You'll want to call the school, and request to speak to the special education department. You'll tell them that you want to have a meeting to discuss a 504 or IEP plan for your daughter due to "other health impairments" (It's one of the IEP categories) If you launch into all her medical issues, they will be lost and this way you sound like you know what you are talking about and they are less likely to blow you off. Then either set the meeting on the phone with them, or fax in a request for a meeting (I'd send a fax in anyway of confirmation if they set it on the phone, so that you have a physical copy of record)

Good luck, and please keep updated on how it's going. I hope they are receptive and helpful and get your daughter what she needs.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I had a meeting with my daughter's counselor and the assistant director of the special education department. I explained Rachel's desire to return to school full time but that i wanted a backup plan in case she is unable to achieve her goal.(which I am sad to say will probably be true) I explained issues including the fact that the CFS coupled with the POTS resulted in cognitive impairment at times. In the end all that I understood was that as she is unable to keep up they will slowly wittle back her classes until she ends up at home on line. (and by the way they said they would probably not allow dual enrollment) Last year I was not even provided a written 504 and I don't expect one now. I see the counselor tomorrow and I have written down my understanding of the meeting and specific needs with copies for the nurse, counselor and special ed dept. Anything else you can share with me so my daughter is not left without an education.

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By law they are required to put it in writing and have a short deadline after the meeting to complete it.

My son is enrolled at his school with 3 homebound classes and 3 on lines classes. When he was able to attend school for a brief period of time 2 years ago, he was going to school for 4 classes and did 2 on line. You can go on line and print out the 504 plan guide lines and show them to your school about was is required of them.

Fortunately our school district has been wonderful, but while at the Mayo Clinic PRC program many parents had bad stories about what their schools had put them through. Many were sent to court for truancy even after having a medical diagnosis.

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I have had so many issues with my school. It really makes me sad, because they don't seem to care what so ever. When I was undiagnosed they said the truancy officer could come drag me into school. I'm sorry you have to deal with this. We have found the only thing that really helps is if you find a good cardio who will talk to them and explain the needs of a POTS patient and everything they go through.

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Our school would allow on-line and in school but not in school and part time homebound. They do not pay for the online though so I guess they wouldn't care (although the district does offer some online classes themselves which are free to us).

Puppylove is right, do you have a Dr. that will back you up? That could help a lot. Every district will be different in how they go about offering the free and appropriate education, but there are basic legalities and guidelines they need to do.

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Oh it sounds like they are going to play dumb and give you are hard time. Did you request a formal meeting in writing? If you request it in writing they have 10 days to schedule and hold the meeting! Your daughter should qualify under "other health impairments." A 504 is not going to be enough if they are playing hedgehog right now. What sort of documentation do you have on her issues? I love helping other parents with IEP issues, since I've dealt with it for 10+ years and several kids. Please message me if you want further assistance.

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I am so sorry that you and your daughter have to go thru this - the illness itself is bad enough but having to deal with ignorance from the people that are supposed to help you and her thru this just adds insult to injury. It is clear that they are either very uneducated on their responsibilities OR they are playing dumb to try and get out of helping. Depending on how severely this affects your daughters ability to learn, she may qualify for special education. I had my son tested early on because his SOL scores and grades dropped like a ton of bricks in 6th grade and he was diagnosed on the last week of school that year a age 12. At the beggining of the next school year we started the testing process and the results were shocking. His "verbal comprehension' scores were near genius levels and his "working memory score" was borderline mental retardation level. This qualified him as special eduction under OHI (other health impairment) and we have been set ever since - the hjave to do whatever you ask for to educate her properly if you get this qualification. My son gets picked uo at 11am and goes to school for one block (90 mins.) and lunch for the socialization and they bring him home at 1:30. He does hios other classes with a homebound teacher and the SCHOOL bought him Rosetta stone to do spanish. He is on track for a normal advanced studies diploma. They CAN NOT by law deny you a 504 or an IEP if you have a good doctors note that describes the illness, how it affects her ability to learn, and some of the accomadations that would help her. If they do you can get a lawyer that will help you own the school and then you can name it after your daughter and fire all the idiots that discriminated against her - sorry this just makes me so mad. They are violating the law by not giving you what you need for her and you need to let them know that you know that. We are so lucky that we have had very few problems but I am sad for those who have to struggle to get what they need. You definitely need to start by contacting the Head of the special education department for the entire school system. If you don't get results then go higher and higher even if you end up going all the way up the local government - they will listen eventually. Feel free to PM me - I would love to help any way that I can. Good luck and hang in there.

Serena

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