504 for nut allergy?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by AnonyMS, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Not sure about this, please tell me: is a "504" designation nation-wide? Or is it just my state?

    I had always understood "504" designation to be a "Special Ed" designation. My daughter has a pretty severe tree nut (not peanut) allergy and we just received a packet and an information letter informing us that this is now a condition which warrants "504" designation.

    I'm not sure I'm in favor of this. Please comment... thoughts? advice?


    [My son, however, has a more severe allergy which affects him more on a daily basis than my daughter... a nickel allergy (basically any type of metal) and he did not get such a packet or letter :unsure:].
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    A 504 is not a "special ed" designation. It's a set of accommodations for a child with medical needs. A severe food allergy would definitely qualify.

    For example: My youngest son has large bone tumors that make writing very difficult. He doesn't have any learning/cognitive/behavioral issues, but he does need some adaptations because of the tangerine sized tumor on the wrist of his writing hand. His 504 ensures that those accommodations are in place.

    ETA: They are called "504's" because the section of the Americans with Disabilities act that deals with these issues is section 504.
     
  4. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    MMSWM - Hmm... okay... when I was in the classroom last (10 years ago), 504s had just started and from what I remember... those were the students who were coded "special ed" but who needed one-on-one instruction or small-group area to complete work... "content mastery" comes to mind, but I don't think that term is used anymore.

    Also, wouldn't my son need the designation more since his nickel allergy means that he can't use a classroom locker, the door handle to the classroom needs to be wrapped (or he just can't touch it), he can't go on the playground equipment, etc.? This is more of a daily alert than my daughter's nut allergy (although she once broke out with a reaction and her face started to swell b/c she walked by the class trash can where the teacher had just thrown out an empty can of cashews!!).
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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  6. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    It wouldn't surprise me at all if the usage of the term has changed over time. The ADA says that "no person with a disability can be excluded from publicly funded programs or activities". I'm sure, in the early days, that was the act most used to ensure kids in special ed programs got what they needed. Then other acts were put into place where IEP's became the norm for sped kids and 504's were used for kids with purely medical needs.
     
  7. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    We are posting at the same time. Thank you for your link.

    I had always had it on my mind to ask for "504" for my son if the school wasn't going to accommodate for him (he was constantly sent to the playground to play at recess where he sat and watched the other kids play on the equipment... granted, there are other things to do with friends at recess, but I thought he should have the option of going to the library if he wanted to... which he did [want to]... when his reaction was so severe that I had to get a doctor's note saying that he could not play on the equipment, the teachers did allow him to remain inside... but had to stay with a teacher, alone, in a classroom with nothing to do... as far as I know... it was 1st grade... sometimes, the teacher who watched him [it depended who was not on duty] would ask him to clean up the classroom).
     
  8. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Okay, so now IEPs and 504s are for separate issues... is that correct?
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    The way I understand it, yes. I would assume though, a student with severe/profound disabilities would qualify for both, though they may have the medical needs taken care of in just an IEP. I'm really only an expert as far as my own son is concerned though.
     
  10. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    I would say your son would definitely deserve a 504 as well...peanut allergy are so much more common know, that its just automatic to send the 504 paperwork home for her. I would ask for one for your son as well.

    We have a student with a peanut allergy in our school...and since their parents fought for them...they got a full time nurse that stays in the classroom.
     
  11. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Yes - and usually the medical condition is obivious, parents usually have to ask for one.

    My youngest daughter has a 504 also. As a result of brain surgery, she has a blind spot and her 504 allows her extra time on reading tests, larger font reading assignments if she requests, and she needs to always sit on the right side of the classroom. Like a IEP, the 504 requires a very similar meeting with staff, classroom teachers and parents. But an IEP and 504 are definitely two different and seperate processes.
     
  12. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    What does she do in the classroom on a full time basis?
     
  13. bros

    bros Phenom

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    IEPs are for students who need remediation along with accommodations

    504s are for disabilities and severe medical conditions. It provides accommodations.

    Here you go, a bunch of info on 504s:
    http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/sec504.index.htm
     
  14. Noel

    Noel Companion

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    My son has a 504 plan, he has Type 1 Diabetes. He also has an Individual Health Plan. The 504 allows him to have his medical needs taken care of without or minimizing the impact of those needs on his academic tasks. For example, he is allowed extra time on tests if he were to have to stop and start due to his Diabetes (the main reason for this accomdation was for standardized testing), additionally if he is unable to complete classwork because he is at the nurse or has to deal with a low or high blood sugar he is allowed to complete the work without penalty.

    His IHP is actually where all of his medical care is spelled out specifically. Things like when to test his blood sugar, what to do if he is high or low things like that....
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    You will not necessarily see a 504 used the same from even one school to the next let alone all schools nation wide. I see that your school is being cautious which is better than the alternative. Since your child has nut allergies, this can affect the school day. There really is no way to completely eliminate contamination when dealing with a population of students. The 504 helps lay out accommodations and what is to be done in the event this disability is inteferring with the school day. Just think about your child on a heavy dose of benedryl....or the day after a severe attack. Education takes a toll. The 504 can give guidance and protections from being given zeros for unfinished work or a plan of action if your child just needs a rest due to the tiredness from the medicine. This is just an example that may not apply to your child, but a severe allergy in an environment that can not be clean or with a child that may have to be heavily medicated can be a disability when it comes to education. We would all like to think that every teacher would be accommodating, but unfortunately it isn't always the case.
     
  16. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Okay, thank you for all the replies. I can see that my problem came from expecting 'common sense' to take over but I am understanding that - of course - it needs to be legistated (um... spell check... wrong word?).

    I would hope that if my child had a reaction to tree nuts during class time that the teacher would accommodate for her but I guess that unless she's coded "504" then it may not happen. Ugh.
     
  17. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    In my case as a high school teacher with 120 students, it isn't a matter of common sense. It is more a matter of I need to know what steps to take if your child has a reaction in class. For instance, my daughter's condition, like your child's, is not something that is visible to a teacher. I don't think my daughter's teachers are responsible for recognizing her condition. So, a 504 isn't a matter of legislating but making everyone that comes in contact with your child aware of the condition. As I said, I have 120 students. There is no way I can possibly be aware, common sense or not, of all medical conditions and the treatment necessary or accomdations.
     
  18. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I was just following this thread since all 3 of my children have non nut yet severe food allergies, and the 504's for that issue. You will request a "packet" for your son's metal issue, correct? You mentioned that it was more of a daily issue, even when you are being careful.
     
  19. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    I have a student with diabetes and she has a 504....

    I think it's basically so that the school is covered saying "we know about the allergy, or medical condition...this is what our teacher's are doing, this how we are helping the student so that they are receiving what they need to receive or how we are avoiding this type of food" so that the school's can't get sued.
     
  20. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I am grateful for those 504s! That way I know which of my students needs extra time because of his immune disorder and which needs extra attention because of a seizure disorder that affects her short-term memory. Neither of them have IEPs and are extremely bright students, but they might otherwise slip under the radar in my roster of 203 students (that's a 2, not a 1).
     
  21. SpecSub

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    The 504 informs all teachers who work with your child HOW to accommodate for her. They may not know, or others with peanut allergies may have different accommodations. All teachers who work with your child will probably get a copy of the 504, and it will follow your child to the next grade as well.
     
  22. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Another thing to consider is that a child might have an issue that people just flat out don't know how to handle.

    I mentioned before that my son has a bone disease. People see these HUGE tumors on his wrist, arms and legs and freak out. They have no clue what to do with him, and when to get concerned. This is what his right wrist looks like:

    [​IMG]

    His 504 lays out not only what accommodations he needs, but also how to respond in case of emergency, and even what constitutes an emergency.
     
  23. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Yeah, you definitely want something outlined in case of emergency.

    I had an IEP K-12.

    My case manager in HS decided to remove the fact that I have epilepsy from it for no reason whatsoever sometime during high school.

    Then I had a seizure in 11th grade in class.

    The math teacher (Who was a baseball coach) did much much better than the nurse, because he actually checked me for a concussion.

    And the nurse didn't believe me when I said I had epilepsy, despite it being listed on my emergency card.

    So it is always good to have something outlining what to do. Such as call X Hospital if Y happens
     
  24. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    She does help out students as needed when doing independent work, but that is not really in her job description. She is just there to ensure that if the student needs medical attention, there is a RN within footsteps. A little extreme, maybe, but you know what they say about the squeaky wheel getting what they want.

    If I were the teacher (and I am for 40 mins a week), I would be very happy not to have to worry about the epi pen in an emergency. 4 of my kindergarten classes last year had at least one student that carried an epi pen around with them and I hated the idea of having to administer it in an emergency (I have passed out from needles many times)
     
  25. bros

    bros Phenom

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    The nurse is justified depending on the severity of the reaction

    Some anaphylactic reactions can be incredibly severe. Some people can lose consciousness within a minute of being exposed to the allergen. The student could have a very severe reaction to peanuts or whatever the allergen is.

    My mom suffers severe reactions to bee stings. Depending on the type, she can lose consciousness in 3-10 minutes if not given an epi-pen.
     
  26. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    You are totally right, I'm not sure just how severe his condition is, but It must be severe. We have many other students with a 504 for peanut allergies and no nurse for them.
     
  27. bros

    bros Phenom

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    The student probably has an incredibly severe reaction, then.

    I apparently used to have a bad reaction to some naturally occurring substances. (When I was given a scratch test when younger, they did 20 things, I showed allergic reactions to all 20, so they stopped without testing any more)
     

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