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504 plan in kindergarten

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by acoppus, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. acoppus

    acoppus Approved members

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    My 5 year old is in kindergarten. I let myself be talked out of a 504 plan at the beginning of the year since the school assured me they "would do whatever we wanted." I gave the school written information including when to test,pump directions, CGM instructions, peanut allergy/epi pen directions, etc. The school has a health department nurse who is there once a week, and a secretary that takes care of the day to day treatments. It started out rocky. The nurse said my info wasn't good enough and insisted on rewriting it in the school format. We had a big blow up, because she gave the wrong directions for the pump, told staff to adjust insulin dosages and said if he was having an allergic reaction to just give him benadryl instead of the epi-pen. We had multiple meetings with the principal to resolve this.

    So now, we are fairly happy with most things. The secretary does a great job taking care of him and the nurse stays far away if she sees me coming. My sticking point is that he has to walk to the clinic to be checked every time. This is the way all the other type ones do it. There are 7, but Tyler is the youngest. They send him with a friend to the clinic. His classroom is the furthest away. He has been having issues with stubborn lows,so there have been times he has been to the clinic at least 6 times.we are working on this! He always goes before lunch, before afternoon snack and before the bus. He is getting very frustrated leaving class so much. He hates to miss anything, and is starting to complain. He is smart, and I am afraid he will start clearing his alarms so he doesn't need to leave.

    Our social worker at the endo's office feels we do need the 504, and with our permission is contacting the school. I am totally lost on what I should require. I know they will try to talk us out of it again, and will try to offer the least amount of accommodations that they can. Am I out of line to insist on someone walking to his room to check him when he is low? I don't really have an issue if he walks at normal times or when high. Can anyone offer me some advice? I want to be well armed so I don't back down! I also have huge issues with the school using candy and food as rewards and incentives. But that is more from the peanut allergy standpoint and not a diabetes issue.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I either had my kid go to the nurse (short trip in K, 3x as long in 1st and 2nd) or, when she was in 3rd, she started treating in the classroom on her own. I'm not sure how our otherwise responsive school would have reacted to my asking for someone to come to the classroom for a run of the mill low (not a glucagon low) I think most likely it would have depended on the staffing levels at the time and the logistics.

    Would you consider letting him treat moderate lows in the classroom with just the teacher's assistance?
     
  3. acoppus

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    I would be completely fine with him treating lows in the classroom with the teacher's assistance. They don't seem to want the teacher's to do anything, but maybe that is what I should push for.
     
  4. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I'm just thinking, "what is the least disruptive thing for everyone involved?" and "what's safest for the 5 year old?"

    Obviously, beyond interrupting his day, you don't want a 5 year old with low blood sugar wandering the halls alone. But as it is now he must hear the alarm, get the teacher's attention, get permission to leave the classroom, miss class, find the secretary (what if she's absent or in a meeting or bathroom some such?) then test and treat and wait? How about setting his low threshold higher and letting him treat in the classroom off the cgm? That would be very minimal responsibility for the teacher, especially if your son will tolerate a glucose tab (quick, easy, not enticing).
     
  5. Mo1

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    I requested that my daughter be tested in the classroom since her diagnosis last year in 1st grade. Students are required to be educated, and treated in the least restrictive environment, which is the classroom. They can miss a lot of instruction by leaving the classroom. My DD loved leaving the classroom, and hanging out with the nurse. Fight for the things you want, and always have a 504. Everything is a beautiful promise, unless it is written on your child's 504 plan. No one can backtrack on you when it is in that legal document. You can request a revision at anytime or as many times as you want if you are not happy with it. Become familiar with your child's rights in school so you can be their greatest advocate. Along the way you will find people of great competence and help, and then there's the complete idiots who through their own ignorance make life a little harder than necessary. The ADA also has advocates if you ever need one. Every situation will teach you the things you need to know to make things work for your child. And regarding the pump, my DD's nurse made major mistakes with it this year. I had the clinical pump rep. go to the school and train her. It has made a big difference. Good luck!!
     
  6. acoppus

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    I forgot to mention he always has a buddy when he leaves the classroom, so that is two children missing class. I have some things to think about now, before in talk with the school. Thank you both for your advice.
     
  7. bisous

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    This is great advice! I would not be happy if my child was walking to the office during a low. It may seem like a lot to ask of the school but I really do not think it is safe for such a young child to be ambulatory and unsupervised while low. Good luck. I've been involved in this kind of battle with a school and ultimately prevailed. The school was very upset about doing it.
     
  8. Snowflake

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    Thank you so much for this discussion! We are currently kindergarten-shopping for next school year through our school district's open enrollment process. We've talked to a few principals, and all of our local schools use the same system of walking kindergarteners to the front office with a buddy. (One of these schools is a quite large and mazelike K-8, and frankly I could see two 5 year olds getting lost in a sea of big kids trying to navigate the halls.)

    I think our daughter could get the hang of it for lunch and a.m. and p.m. snack, but I agree with you, acoppus -- I wouldn't be that happy with her having to leave for low treatment either. We did ask one principal if she would be allowed to check and treat lows in the class, and he said he was uncomfortable with the "hygiene" aspects of blood in the classroom, and it sounds like the teachers also don't want to deal with food stuff. We won't actually write a 504 till this summer, but this discussion makes me think I should push back on the classroom low treatment piece. It just doesn't seem that unreasonable for such little kids, especially considering how quickly my daughter goes from 60 to zero when she's low.
     
  9. acoppus

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  10. dpr

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    My daughter was diagnosed 7 months before she started Kindergarten and is in 3rd grade now.
    I recommend reinstating your 504. Any Social Worker recommending you get rid of it is not looking your child's best interest! If that's the sort of advice they give find another one who is an advocate for your child. It does'nt hurt the school one bit to have it, and will only hurt your child if he ever needs it and doesnt have it. It's your childs insurance policy and it needs to be in place. The part about hygiene alone is enought to get a look at what they might try and get away with without a 504.

    Our 504 states my daughter can check and treat blood sugar anywhere at any time. The teacher and aides are responsible to ensure her safety and assist if she is unable to do it herself, and are also trained on Glucagon. We also bolus for lunch and highs in class. We don't believe our daughter should ever miss class to check blood sugar and definately should not leave during a low and thats the way we wrote our 504. The only time she's ever been to the office was when she tripped and skinned both knees and elbows last year.
     
  11. acoppus

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    Thanks! And just to clarify, the social worker does want the 504, it was the school resisting it. The social worker has been a big help. We should be having a 504 meeting soon
     
  12. Beach bum

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    We have had a 504 since pre-school. The main reason is our doctor encouraged it to say, get everyone's ducks all in a row and have it in place so that if something isn't followed it can be addressed immediately. Instead of going "oh no, we don't have one, we need to get one" all you have to do is say "we need to just reiterate x from her 504." The school can't tell you no, they may try to, but they can't. You are lucky you have a social worker to help you, the school will hopefully be more receptive to handing this in a "mature" manner. Plus, having it now, all you have to do is tweak it every year to reflect her current needs.

    As for testing, in K she was right next to the nurse, so she just walked in. 1/2 she was down the hall. If there was an issue the teacher would call the nurse and either a class aide, available adult or nurse would come to her. By 3rd grade she was treating in class and calling to the nurse to confirm. Now in 8th, she stops in at lunch to touch base with the nurse. I have always used the two as reasons for in class testing: 1)Safety (no hall wandering) 2)Little or no missed class time. The school has always complied with our wishes.
     
  13. Lakeman

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    My school has always been very cooperative and willing to do whatever was good. Nevertheless, we always got a 504 and I think it is just wise to always have one. You never know when there is going to be need for one.

    Regarding walking to clinic to treat lows. We have always had it as a part of the 504 that all diabetes cares can take place wherever needed. (Urine test strips were pretty much the only care that always took place in the bathroom in the nurses office. ) With that model in place our school nurse took it upon herself to figure out what worked. I made sure I knew what was happening but also trusted them to do what was right. Sometimes that meant the nurse went to the classroom and sometimes that meant having my DD visit the office. I like that there is flexibility and as my DD has gotten older more and more is taking place in the classroom by my DD. This year we got a new nurse and the good precedents set by the last nurse have continued. Without a 504 if the new nurse had been a nightmare we could have had problems.

    When there were field trips the school did prefer that I go on the trip and in all honesty I was better at managing the odd schedule, odd activities, and odd foods, that were a part of field trips. Still I was comforted to know that with a 504 if I ever could not go on a field trip the school would send someone.
     

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