Almost Ready Blogs

Monday, September 14, 2009

Section 504

The difference in a corn allergy and other food allergies, e.g. a peanut allergy, is that corn is found in so many "non-food" items. Dry erase markers, crayons, play-doh, kleenex, cleansers and more. Sending a child to school with a corn allergy is a stressful and highly involved proposition. In this case, I have found that it is best to get all teachers and staff on board. The best way to do this is by filling out a 504.

According to Wikipedia, a 504 is defined as...Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act created and extended civil rights to people with disabilities. Section 504 has provided opportunities for children and adults with disabilities in education, employment and various other settings. It allows for reasonable accommodations such as special study area and assistance as necessary for each student.

Essentially, a 504, ensures that all people who interact with your child at school are made aware of any special requirements and are held to a FEDERAL mandate which ensures that any reasonable provisions to keep your child safe will be followed.

So how do you fill out a 504? Call your school. Ask for the school nurse and/or school counselor. Explain your situation and how there are serious concerns for your child's health that are not limited to the lunchroom. They will set up a meeting for you to meet with any number of school personnel involved in creating 504 plans. You will have the opportunity to specify what actions need to be taken to keep you child safe. For instance, my 504, for Sissy includes that she cannot sit too close to the white board because the fumes from Dry Erase markers are mostly corn alcohol.

1.  No one will fight for your child if you don't, so don't be afraid to firmly assert yours and your child's  needs.
2.  Public schools are held more stringently to federal codes than private schools are. So in the case of food allergies and any disabilities requiring a 504, public schools are the safest option.