Sep 9, 2013
It's been a heavy research week for me - talked to lots of folks about 504 plans and such. Everything has been calm, although we had to switch to dinnertime dosages so that we have 2 uninterrupted hours to keep an eye on Patrick. On workdays we don't always have 2 hours of blocked time with him, so we are now keeping doses in the car (in case we go out to dinner or are running REALLY late), and trying to adjust our schedules.
Things of interest:
Discovery Channel documentary on the epidemic of food allergies in America - you can view this online which is awesome. They have some good stories (and some very scary ones), and talk about OIT therapy at about the 40 minute mark (which is what we are doing with walnuts right now)
State laws for allergies/asthma by state - NC summary and links to the actual legislation
North Carolina law, Section 115C-375.2 (2005), requires local boards of education to adopt policies authorizing students with asthma or anaphylactic reactions to possess and self-administer asthma medication on school property, at school-sponsored events, and in transit to and from school. These district policies must include certain provisions:
- written authorization from the student’s parent or guardian permitting the self-administration of medication
- a written statement from the student’s health practitioner verifying the student’s health condition and prescription of medication
- a written treatment plan for emergency protocol provided by the student’s health practitioner
- back-up asthma medication to be kept on file in the school in the event of an emergency
Some salient points about the NC law and why I care:
-We are at greater risk because asthmatic kids are more prone to anaphylactic reactions
-We can let P self-carry his epinephrine injectors - this is unclear in all the Wake County school documents and varies widely by school. But if we have to fight for it, we have the tools now.
-If a teacher forgets to move his injector around the school with him, he can always have one on him. They might not have minutes to run and get it. And if it's not on hand, they are less likely to use it as fast as they should.
-He can carry to/from school, for sports, and field trips.
-schools have to have school wide policies in place for asthma and anaphylaxis (we need both so this is positive and means the staff are more likely to be trained)
-They don't stock unprescribed epinephrine (yet) - but the bill S.B. 700/H.B. 824 is still pending.
I'm sure it won't be a walk in the park, but having help navigating the minefield of rules has been fantastic.
504 notes - I talked to a GREAT lady from the POFAK (parents of food allergic kids) forums who helped me to start a list of accommodation requests that seem reasonable for a 504 plan. Having a tree nut allergy but NOT peanuts changes the list pretty dramatically. The risks aren't quite as great for us. (He might not NEED to sit at a nut free table). I won't send him to school with peanut butter (but he can eat it at home). Erin doesn't get PB anymore either, there is one boy in her class with a severe peanut allergy. Sunbutter works just fine, but we have to watch packaged foods. (Kashi cereal bars, squeeze applesauce, annie's cheddar bunnies, and seed trail mix packs from peanut free planet are all favorites. We try to pack our own foods but sometimes you're in a pinch!).
The current idea list - modifying as we talk to more folks and figure out what makes sense: