It seems absurd to suggest that idea but, I am anticipating an unveiling of a disposition. Today, I will meet the school principal, nurse, and counselor at our new school. We will discuss my son's food allergy and his asthma. I will discover their attitudes and desired approach.
I am hoping for the best. I am praying for the best.
The school nurse called me last week to request a 504 Plan meeting.
What is a 504 Plan?
The 504 Plan takes its name from Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. It applies to all institutions, including public schools, which receive financial assistance from the federal government. The purpose of Section 504 as it relates to students with food allergies is to ensure that a child's education is not negatively affected by your child's food allergy.Did you know that a severe food allergy, one that can lead to anaphylaxis, is considered a disability? Students are protected by a law so that they cannot be discriminated against on the basis of a severe food allergy or asthma (included under the "other health impairment" section). Interesting, isn't it?
My husband and I are well-informed about food allergies. And yet, we sat up last night researching 504 Plans, Emergency Care Plans, Individual Health Plans and Individual Education Plans (IEPs). The bottom line is: My son will be kept safe. Beyond that, we have to determine the reasonable provisions that need to be made for him.
Parents of food allergic kids take many approaches to protecting their kids. I've been amazed by the lack of provisions for some and surprised by the extremely strict rules for others. So many factors come into play: the severity of the food allergy (or the perceived severity), the allergist's approach to managing food allergies, and past allergic reactions and experiences.
When you consider the dissonance between adults managing food allergies (parents and doctors, alike) and the way food allergies are covered in the news, it is no wonder that the general public doesn't know what to think about food allergies.
So, the big reveal... What will the attitudes be? How will the medication be handled? What provisions will be put in place?