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Ginkgo100

Son Starting Kindergarten Soon, Want To Be Ready

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My son "Z" (dx with celiac in May 2011, at age 12 months) will be starting kindergarten in the fall.  I was talking to the school nurse yesterday about another of my children, and I asked her in a "by the way" sort of manner, what should I do to get a plan in place for Z next year? I was alarmed that she seemed totally unfamiliar with celiac disease. She said we could fill out a form when we enroll him to list food allergies, and for anything else I should just talk informally with his classroom teacher (note: we won't even know who his teacher is until a few days before school starts). I smiled and nodded, but on the inside, I thought: Okay, that is not good enough.

 

We don't qualify for free/reduced price lunch, and I would rather not gamble that the cafeteria workers will manage to avoid cross-contamination at every single meal, so we've already decided that he will be brown-bagging it.  But I do want him to be able to get milk at breakfast (free for all students in our district) and lunch (I think it costs 50 cents or something for milk). I also want him to be protected from gluten exposure in the classroom and art room (he LOVES art).

 

I found a "Model 504 plan" for celiac disease from americanceliac.org. One item on there states:

 

The school staff will keep the student’s celiac disease confidential, except to the extent that the student decides to openly communicate about it with others.

 

I hadn't even thought about that!  What do other parents think?  Is it a good thing for other kids to know that Z can't have certain things, or does it create potential for bullying and ostracism?

 

Other than that, I have a pretty good idea what should be in a 504 for Z. My main question is, How do I get started with the 504 process? Who should I call? Any other parents who have been through this before?

 

Robyn


Robyn

ds b. 7/2004, adopted 2/2005, ADHD dx 6/2009

ds b. 12/2007, no dx

ds b. 4/2010, celiac dx 5/2011

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You need to find out who your schools 504 coordinator is and send a WRITTEN request for a 504 evaluation.   At that time I would get a letter from your child's GI about what life functions are affected.  You should also get a list of accommodations you are hoping to have when you go in for the meeting because sometimes they go right from determining eligibility to the accommodations portion of the process.  

 

Some schools will do these meetings before summer vacation but that depends on the district.  We had DS's K 504 in May before he went into K after the summer. 

 

I prefer to keep DS's medical information on a need to know basis. Yes, teachers and admin but I don't want his medical issues discussed with anyone else.  They don't need to know.  Kids should not be sharing anyway (most schools around here anyway have a no sharing food policy).  One big issue to be sure to address are class parties.

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