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Is there anything in any of the Disabilities Acts that allows a child an IEP for school? We're experiencing some issues.

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I know you can do a 504 Plan. It is best to talk with your child's teacher(s) to make sure you are all on the same page and discuss what the school does for kids who have allergies. Good luck!

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Like the person above said, you're more likely to get something through the 504 plan. In fact, in the textbook I'm reading for my class on teaching students with special needs, it lists "severe allergies" as one of the specific things Section 504 will pick up because IDEA does not cover it (unless it somehow affects how the student learns, of course). Next time you have a meeting, you might want to mention Section 504 and see if that helps open the conversation.

What, exactly, are your concerns? What modifications are you asking for? How is Celiacs affecting your child's experience in school? Maybe if you're a little more specific, I can give you some more information since I've got that ridiculously huge textbook next to me right now. I'm not an expert, but I am in the process of learning, and I bet I could even ask my Professor some questions for you.

Hope things work out.

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Like the person above said, you're more likely to get something through the 504 plan. In fact, in the textbook I'm reading for my class on teaching students with special needs, it lists "severe allergies" as one of the specific things Section 504 will pick up because IDEA does not cover it (unless it somehow affects how the student learns, of course). Next time you have a meeting, you might want to mention Section 504 and see if that helps open the conversation.

What, exactly, are your concerns? What modifications are you asking for? How is Celiacs affecting your child's experience in school? Maybe if you're a little more specific, I can give you some more information since I've got that ridiculously huge textbook next to me right now. I'm not an expert, but I am in the process of learning, and I bet I could even ask my Professor some questions for you.

Hope things work out.

504 plan is the way to go. Speak to the teacher about it. If the teacher seems a little unclear, call the director of special education for the district. You will have meetings just like an IEP. My district has already been very supportive (Federal funds can be pulled if they don't comply.) The 504 plan will help you not have to explain every single detail to every single person that will be working with your child. You can put what you want on the 504 plan so make sure that you are prepared for what your expectations are such as.... I requested a 48 hour notice of any planned activities where food would be served in order for me to send a replacement (an extra baggy of gluten free goodies can be kept in the room for unexpected birthday surprise cupcakes, etc...) In general you will know about most parties , but sometimes other incidents arise (extension offices, junior achievement, other kids birthdays,etc...) and they may bring in items that your child can't have. I also stated that for art activities anything containing gluten can not be used by my child and that the area where he sits must be sanitized if the previous class used gluten containing items in the same area, and that the cafeteria cook and handle the food separtely, etc... I also requested that a food journal be kept daily and sent home.

I hope that this helps.

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I am planning on asking for a 504 plan for my daughter this school year. Her teacher last year was great.....the hard part comes when your child is involved with several different teachers, it's impossible to inform each and every one about the food issues. My dd's speech therapist wanted to treat the kids to an ice cream last year, and the lunch lady called me to ask why Emmie was saying she couldn't have one. I explained that she is not to have anything since I wasn't there to read the ingredients. They gave her food anyway, luckily it was safe, but they totally disregarded what I had told them. Needless to say, we were a little upset about the whole thing. Apparently, we didn't have the right "form" to block my dd from getting food....so my words of "don't feed her anything" meant nothing to them according to the snooty lunch lady! Sorry, that incident still blows me away.

My dd also has a learning disability, and is still too trusting of other people and will take food that they give her. She has a hard time discerning between her safe food that I have for her in the classroom, and other food that teachers give her. In her mind, it's all safe food. With my older son, even at her age, he understood and I never had any problems, so we didn't need a 504 plan. Ugh, just thinking about starting a new school year (with 3 gluten free kids this year!) makes me so nervous!

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I am planning on asking for a 504 plan for my daughter this school year. Her teacher last year was great.....the hard part comes when your child is involved with several different teachers, it's impossible to inform each and every one about the food issues. My dd's speech therapist wanted to treat the kids to an ice cream last year, and the lunch lady called me to ask why Emmie was saying she couldn't have one. I explained that she is not to have anything since I wasn't there to read the ingredients. They gave her food anyway, luckily it was safe, but they totally disregarded what I had told them. Needless to say, we were a little upset about the whole thing. Apparently, we didn't have the right "form" to block my dd from getting food....so my words of "don't feed her anything" meant nothing to them according to the snooty lunch lady! Sorry, that incident still blows me away.

That's simply unconscionable. I'm glad she didn't have any reactions, but that is so far from ok. :(

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Thank you everyone. I did not know about Section 504 and will do some research. My child has had very receptive and accommodating teachers up to this year. However, I can see that for the upcoming grades ahead there are some "old school" teachers that have been very sarcastic to some other students with similar medical situations. I am just trying to think ahead and set the parameters in place that no teacher or school authority will have an opportunity to ridicule or question & then make my child "eat" something unsafe.

I have Celiac myself and remember being a 1st grader 30+ years ago and a teacher ridiculed me and didn't believe me (even though all the appropriate teacher/parent/principle meetings had occurred). It really scarred me and I do not want my child to have to experience that. Like I said, up to now, we have been ok - but I know of some upper grade situations that I want to avoid. Quite frankly, my first idea was to find out if there were any federal acts that would allow me to specify my child to not have certain teachers that I know have historically ridiculed allergy / medical issue children. You would think in this day & age that teachers would be a little more scared of losing their jobs if they do something like that - but there are so many hoops & loops to go through with problem teachers, that I would rather just avoid those problem teachers all together. I just want the best environment for my child to learn to their fullest potential

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Here's another angle to add in: there will always be difficult teachers and/or difficult students. Certainly we all try to avoid bad matches with kids/teachers, and that's cool. But another thing to do, apart from 504's and vigilance, is teach your child to advocate for themselves. Model the words of polite, firm, compliance to a gluten-free diet, even with adults who insist they know better. My son knew that in any awkward teacher/student interaction, we would take his side on food related issues, but we also expect him to negotiate and educate. (He was dx in 4th and is now a sophomore in HS). But little kids also need to know that when Mr B is mad because you turn down the treat, that Mom will be cool.

With schools, more than most places, you will get much, much farther with honey than vinegar. Be obvious in your firmness with the guidelines, but friendly and cooperative with people. Go the second mile, and it's easier to demand that first mile from them. Enlist the aid of the teacher and make it plain you understand that while this is utterly essential, it is additional brain power and work for them. Exhausting? Yup. Irritatingly so :) and I work in a school!

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504 Plans and IHP's are good for allowing our children with Celiac other options when a class project or assignment calls for things our kids can't be around. For instance, in my son's school in 6th grade they do a huge project with paper mache. Of course, paper mache is a no no so I want him to have another option without being penalized. This year in my son's class they will make bread during their pioneer unit. I don't want him near the flour and all that gluten filled mess. I will request he be sent to another classroom during that time to work on something else and I don't want his grade to suffer because of that. A 504 Plan or IHP will protect our Celiac kids in those areas too.

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