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How can my child's school accommodate his special health needs?

Your child may need extra help for personal physical cares in regular education classes or in special education classes. A written Individualized Health Care Plan that identifies your child's specific health needs and the health care actions that must be scheduled during school is developed by the school nurse, your family, and the school team. Examples of accommodations that may be appropriate are time during the school day to rest or take medications, unlimited access to the rest room, or a shorter school day. It is important that you help educate the school personnel about your child's specific needs.

In addition, some students qualify for other specific accommodations in their classrooms, such as larger print worksheets. A written plan for such accommodations in regular education is called a "504" Plan. A written plan for special education services is called an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for health-related reasons. You may request an evaluation of your child for special services with your child's teacher, school counselor, or principal.

To determine services, school personnel will complete an assessment and a thorough review of your child's medical, developmental, and school history. You are an important part of the team. You should be prepared to present information about your child's medical condition and functional capabilities. When the assessment is complete, the school personnel will meet with you to discuss services.

You may also put a plan in place to cover emergency medical needs at school. Place emergency phone numbers for you and your child's doctors on file at the school.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.