If your child is falling behind in school due to medical issues like Inflammatory Bowel Disease it might be time to look into a 504 plan. A 504 plan is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The act prohibits discrimination based upon disability. The 504 plan goes on to offer accommodations for children who have an impairment that substantially limits major life activities and thus their ability to learn.
When the school writes up a 504 plan for a child they will identify the issue and come up with modifications to give the child an equal opportunity to education. These modifications might include things like providing more time to take tests or make up missed work, providing a set of text books for use at home, or more feedback from the teachers.
If your child is doing well in school and is having no issues with learning then it may not make sense to do a 504 plan. However if your child is falling behind the principal, counselor, your child's teachers and even your child's doctor can help determine if your child would benefit from the 504 plan. They may look at grades, doctor's reports, absences and test scores to decide if a plan is needed.
Children who are under a 504 plan will still be expected to perform and it in no way insures that your child will get good grades. The children under a 504 plan will also be expected to behave in accordance with school rules and appropriate discipline, as related to their disability, will still be doled out.
Most schools will have one person in charge of administrating the 504 plan process. Often it is the school principal or counselor. If you have questions about whether this plan might be beneficial for your child get in touch with your child's school and set up a meeting to discuss all of your concerns. Proactive parenting can help a child who might be struggling and make all the difference in their educational experience.
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