A 504 plan is a legal agreement between the school district and the student's family that is designed to plan a program of instructional services to assist students with special needs who are in a regular education setting. It is part of a federal law. Basically, it allows accommodations to students who need it.
I never met directly with anyone. Bratcat's guidance counselor asked what accommodations we thought she needed, the counselor suggested a few, she wrote up the plan, the correct people signed them in the district and then it was sent to me for approval. I wanted a change on there so I called, she had another one prepared and that was what I signed. It must be reviewed and signed each year (although we kept everything the same). DON'T SIGN UNLESS YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THE AGREEMENT!
As I said in a previous post, bratcat's doctor wrote a note saying she had ulcerative colitis. It said (in part) "...her symptoms have been medically managed with medications...currently doing well. ...intermittent flares and may need reasonable accommodations and as needed allow her extra time for testing and projects and bathroom privileges. ...allow her to self limit her activities and excuse her from physical education if needed. In addition she should be allowed food and drink in the classroom."
On the 504 plan paper, it asks how the disability limits learning or major life activity. The answer is "Anxiety induces symptoms. Bratcat is often absent based on symptoms and medication adjustments."
The accommodation plan list is: Unlimited access to restroom, no penalties for lateness due to use of restroom, drink fluids and snacks, separate location for test settings, extended time (50%) for test settings, self-limit her activities and excuse from physical education as needed.
At first, some of this seemed excessive to us (extended time, separate setting, etc). But for her, it has become peace of mind. If she is feeling good around test time (especially midterms and finals), she takes the test with everyone else (usually in a large room). If she is feeling under the weather (nerves, changes in her bathroom routine, etc), she has requested the separate setting. In some ways she prefers that. It is usually in a regular classroom, much smaller group of kids, and she knows she has the extra time (just in case).
As I wrote in another thread, down the road you may want to apply for accommodations for the major testing (SATs, Regents, etc). It is a one-time application for each company that administers the tests.
I think from your previous post, you have most of the things that I would suggest--unlimited use of bathroom (preferably nurses office), unlimited food and drink, extended time to complete tests, projects, etc., no penalties for any of these.
I would put as much accommodations in as possible to account for any curveball UC sends. I'd rather be overdramatic now in some ways than be behind the eight ball trying to get more accommodations when my child needs it.
Let me know if I can be of any other help. How was your daughter's first day back at school? I hope she had a good day!
--Mom of bratcat (16 years old)--
Daughter bratcat was diagnosed with pancolitis October 2006
Asacol - 3 pills/3Xday, 2 tabs 6-mp/1.5 tabs 6-mp every other day
11/14/06 - started prednisone; 1/28/07 - finished prednisone!
3/3/07 - began to taper off hydrocortisone sloowwly! Summer 2007 - slowly began tapering Rowasa. 9/07 -- flaring? Nightly Rowasa. 9/21/07 -- added hydrocortisone enemas. 9/30/07--added prednisone. 10/31--started 6-mp, stopped the enemas. Started lowering prednisone.