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504
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Can someone please explain the benefits of a 504 for a Celiac child as opposed to just having it on record that the child is a Celiac and requires a special diet? I don't have a good understanding of what a 504 is. Thanks.

Nicole

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It depends on how old a child is, what kind of services/accommodations s/he needs, and where your school district is. I go to school at a residential college where I am required to live in a dorm where I am not allowed to have toasters/george formans in my room, where I have to share a bathroom, and where I have to have a meal plan. I get a 504 so that the cafeteria will actually have to cook me food I can eat (we are working on the definition of "reasonable" in reasonable accommodations). I could also get it to stipulate that I may miss course work or that I need small appliances in my room that I can't put it in the communal kitchen, or that I have a private bathroom.

In a traditional k-12 school, where your son/daughter would be eating a packed lunch and you would supply snacks, generally there isn't such a great need for a 504. It is really up to you. I would recommend talking to other parents in your district/school about it and the school psychologist for their advice.

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For a K-12 kid, it can be a good idea if he/she is missing a lot of school because of gluten ingestion (i.e. cross contamination from school, or accidentally eating gluten food). Also, if they have bad g.i. symptoms when they get gluten (like my son), you can stipulate that he/she can use a private bathroom like the nurse's restroom whenever needed, no questions asked. They also may need separate soap depending on the soap they use, need to notify you of what craft products the school is using, keep gluten free snacks in the classroom for those unexpected parties, etc. Some on the board have even said that the school has allowed their child to use a microwave to heat up their food - this could also be stipulated in the 504 plan. We'll be completing one when our son is of school age.

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A 504 plan is used when your child needs an accomodation at school. It may be using the microwave, or using the restroom during class time. What it also does, is notify all personnel that have contact with your child that there is a medical issue that they need to know about. I think this is especially important to prevent accidental glutinization. It is confidential, so it is not broadcast to the entire school. If you only tell the teacher you may have some other personnel accidently offering your child a treat, like a health clerk, who doesn't know about the food issues. If you have a 504 the accommodations listed are required to be enforced. If you don't have a 504, they are not required to make the accommodation. You also might put in a parental notification for parties at school (like 48 hours advance notice) so you can send treats for your child.

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I also wanted to add that it's called 504 because that's the number of the section of the law that enforces school accommodations. :)

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How interesting. I had no idea that a 504 could be written for someone who is over 18. Is there any upper age limit on this? (Just curious.)

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You should also send in special nonperishable treats for your child for those times when unexpected "goodies" arrive in the classroom. Elementary schools are big on special events, some of which you may not know about in advance. For example, during "Right to Read" week, all the kids go to the gym for 20-30 minutes to quietly read. Each kid gets a package of animal crackers. During the week of standardized testing, the PTA provides a treat each morning before the testing begins (that's one you will know about in advance).

Among the teachers on my second grade team, we have a teacher who has a diabetic husband, so she takes any of the diabetic kids. Ask other parents about the teachers their kids have had. You might learn that some are more accomodating than others and you will also get a good idea of the teachers who might not be best for your child. Most schools won't let you choose your child's teacher. However, my son's school allowed us to write a letter stating what kind of teacher would best meet our child's needs. We did write a letter one time, because we had heard that one of the teachers had a passion for gifted kids and geared her instruction toward the higher end of the spectrum. Our son had had academic problems the year before, so we wrote a letter stating that our son needed a teacher who would take things slowly, etc.

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Greetings,

I am a sixth grade teacher and have a minor in Special Ed and a Master's in Math Education. You really should have a 504 for your child. I recently had a child that had medical issues, he had a 504. It was clearly written that he had special bathroom / nurse visits, extensions on homework if needed (this was helpful when the child was sick or missed school for doctor's appointments). It is also helpful if you have a teacher that doesn't understand this medical condition. As we know there are teachers out that do not have warm fuzzies so to speak. Many parents I have worked with have freaked out and thought that a 504 would label their child or make the special ed. This is not the case. Good luck. Please feel free to e-mail with any questions about 504. sedunk@yahoo.com

Sara D

Can someone please explain the benefits of a 504 for a Celiac child as opposed to just having it on record that the child is a Celiac and requires a special diet? I don't have a good understanding of what a 504 is. Thanks.

Nicole

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Thank you so much for posting! My son's going to start school in a year! How do I get a 504? Can he pediatrician request one?

Thanks.

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Thank you so much for posting! My son's going to start school in a year! How do I get a 504? Can he pediatrician request one?

Thanks.

Greetings Jenny,

I would suggest that you begin with your pediatrician. Many school districts are much more responsive to a pediatrician request verses a parent request. (sad, but true) I would contact the SAU where your child is going to attend. Our guidance department takes care of the 504's, in some school districts they are implemented by special education. It really depends where you live. Your child should have a case manager, this individual will set up meetings with you and your child's teacher. Meetings may occur monthly or a couple of times per year, depending on your requests, teacher request, child's performance, etc.

Good luck! Have a happy school year

Sara

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Hi, being a teacher myself I have never had a student with a 504 although I have had plenty with medical conditions. I work in an inner city where most of the families in my school are under educated and live in the projects, they might not be aware it exists. For my own son, he started kindergarten last school year and we were very lucky because there is only 1 kindergarten teacher in his school and I happened to go to high school with her. I knew she would be very accomodating. She alerted me to any time food would be brought into the room with plenty of notice and also allowed me to keep a brownie or cupcake in the freezer just in case. Now that he will be going full time and I am not familiar with the first grade teachers I worry about him getting a teacher that is not as helpful. That is why I questioned the 504, I really think I should get it.

Nicole

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Hi, being a teacher myself I have never had a student with a 504 although I have had plenty with medical conditions. I work in an inner city where most of the families in my school are under educated and live in the projects, they might not be aware it exists. For my own son, he started kindergarten last school year and we were very lucky because there is only 1 kindergarten teacher in his school and I happened to go to high school with her. I knew she would be very accomodating. She alerted me to any time food would be brought into the room with plenty of notice and also allowed me to keep a brownie or cupcake in the freezer just in case. Now that he will be going full time and I am not familiar with the first grade teachers I worry about him getting a teacher that is not as helpful. That is why I questioned the 504, I really think I should get it.

Nicole

Greetings Nicole,

I would suggest that you do have a 504 for your child. It may also be nic to send a letter home with the parents in your child's class. I had a parent that actually did that. The child was allergic to peanuts and many other food products. The child was so allergic to peanuts that we had to have a peanut free classroom. The children and parents were very support. We always made treats that were healthy for everyone. It was truly a positive

year .

Good luck

Sara

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My youngest daughter was diognosed with JRA in first grade. She did not qualify for Special Ed but did qualify for 504 other health impaired. We talked with her counselor who got the paperwork going. A Dr. note of her condition was all that was required and it was the best thing we ever did for her. She missed a lot of school and as long as I sent a note with her relating it to her JRA then it was not considered an unexcused absence. Her meds caused brain fog and they were able to adjust some of her work by reading out loud to her so she could understand what the assignments were about. She was also able to take tests this way on bad days. We were able to put a special chair in her room so she could lay down on bad days and other students volunteered to help her and make sure she got to other classes. We also were able to get free wheel chairs for her as she needed them through the 504 program. We were signed out for a year for the wheel chairs and they provided bigger ones as she grew. I got teachers e-mail addresses and let them know if she was going to be absent and we were able to keep up with the class as they provided books for home and school. She got two sets so she didn't have to carry them around and stress out her joints. The teachers were wonderful and this went on for 8 years. It is a great program.

Yellow Rose

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Everything I have ever read about a 504 makes it sound wonderful and perfect for children like ours - celiacs and or food allergies. However, my childs elementary school nurse and district head of nursing are adamanetly against "labeling" my child a 504. Even my pediatrician, who I like, recomended working it out passivley first. My child has an anaphylactic nut allergy. The 504 would be used to specify who was trained on the epi-pen, protocol of when and how to administer the epi and when to call 911. Field trips, classroom parties, crafts, emergencies, etc can all be specified in the 504. They all make it sound like I am going into the school ready for a massive fight because I want a 504 for my child. In reality, I want to make sure the school steps up their handling of severe allergies and makes it so I do not have to worry every day that they will harm my child because they choose not to "get-it" or don't care for her medication correctly.

The really great part is in a few years they get my youngest child. She is on a gluten challenge and appears to be a celiac in addition to dairy and shellfish allergies.

School should not be this hard for the kids or their parents!

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Everything I have ever read about a 504 makes it sound wonderful and perfect for children like ours - celiacs and or food allergies. However, my childs elementary school nurse and district head of nursing are adamanetly against "labeling" my child a 504. Even my pediatrician, who I like, recomended working it out passivley first. My child has an anaphylactic nut allergy. The 504 would be used to specify who was trained on the epi-pen, protocol of when and how to administer the epi and when to call 911. Field trips, classroom parties, crafts, emergencies, etc can all be specified in the 504. They all make it sound like I am going into the school ready for a massive fight because I want a 504 for my child. In reality, I want to make sure the school steps up their handling of severe allergies and makes it so I do not have to worry every day that they will harm my child because they choose not to "get-it" or don't care for her medication correctly.

The really great part is in a few years they get my youngest child. She is on a gluten challenge and appears to be a celiac in addition to dairy and shellfish allergies.

School should not be this hard for the kids or their parents!

Greetings,

As a teacher, I am so sorry to hear that your school district is being that difficult. If I were you I would request a nut free classroom. I once worked with a child that had a latex allergy. The classrooms he worked in had to be latex free. We also had to have a peanut free classroom for another child.

If your school doesn't step up to plate, I would suggest contacting the Department of Education in your state. As a parent, you have every right to advocate for your child. They should put themselves in your shoes.

Good luck

Sara

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The children I read about on here are perfect candidates for a 504 Plan. For your child's safety and your own peace of mind, you should insist upon it. There are so many parents out there who demand 504's for the most trivial things (child should be excused from timed math tests because he can't handle the pressure?), I would think that your school would be happy to write plans for both of your children. I certainly would be.

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I've already been informed that the teacher for this coming school year (two weeks away) knows about the Nut allergy in her class and is VERY nervous and concerned. Great! The school nurse and the Clinic aid are both new - that could be good news. They basically have one chance left and then the 504 firestorm will start.

For the number of epi-pens in that school, having a severely allergic child come into the school or the class should set off a process complete with checklists. Who needs to be trained? Who needs to be notified? What letters are printed and sent home? Field trips? Lunch room personnel need to be notified? Seems so straight forward to me. To the school, we have just entered uncharted waters. Going to be a hard few weeks getting the school set up again.

Sorry for the vent-it's a bad week.

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I worked for the Special Ed Dept when my daughter was 504 and if I remember correctly you can request a 504 in writing and it must not be ignored. They have a specific amount of days to get it done. Stand your ground and get copies of everything in writing. If they continue to give you a hard time contact your local ADA Avocacy Group and get help. Also contact your state education dept. and ask for the Special Ed. Dept. They have people who will contact the school and get the ball rolling if there are problems.

Yellow Rose

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I have a question regarding a 504 as well.......my daughter already has an IEP, and is in special ed for speech. Do I still need to request a 504 plan, or can I just address these issues at the next ARD meeting?

This stuff is SO confusing it makes my head spin sometimes. She is just starting kindergarten this year (tomorrow actually, sniff sniff), and I'm giving it a trial run. I'm all geared up to homeschool though if it doesn't work out. I really am not ready to send her off to full time school yet. She was so sick for the first three years of her life, and I feel like just as she starts to get really fun...I have to start letting go. I'm going to be a mess tomorrow, lol. Isn't is supposed to be the kids who cry on the first day of school????

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I have a question regarding a 504 as well.......my daughter already has an IEP, and is in special ed for speech. Do I still need to request a 504 plan, or can I just address these issues at the next ARD meeting?

This stuff is SO confusing it makes my head spin sometimes. She is just starting kindergarten this year (tomorrow actually, sniff sniff), and I'm giving it a trial run. I'm all geared up to homeschool though if it doesn't work out. I really am not ready to send her off to full time school yet. She was so sick for the first three years of her life, and I feel like just as she starts to get really fun...I have to start letting go. I'm going to be a mess tomorrow, lol. Isn't is supposed to be the kids who cry on the first day of school????

How exciting! You will be fine! IEP and 504's are tricky stuff. Depending on what your IEP states you should be covered. I would suggest reading it over before your next meeting. You can always add things to an IEP at any point if you are not happy with what is happening. An IEP is usually much more specific than a 504. I would make sure that your IEP states that you child has extra time to complete all assignments (This is very important if she is absent from school due to doctor visits.), bathroom visits and nurse visits as needed. You may also want to include snacks as needed. This may be done in the classroom or the nurse's office depending on the teacher.

I am a sixth grade teacher and have a minor in special ed.

Feel free to e-mail me at my home account if you have questions this school

year - sedunk@yahoo.com

Good Luck and Happy First Day!

Ms. D

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