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[IP] Re:Pumps in School
I can relate to your fustration concerning 504 plans.....My son TJ
started on a pump April 6, 1998. At that time he was in a private parochial
school. The school refused to supervise the lunchtime insulin bolus (at the
time TJ was 8, He turned 9 march 6th) so I had to go to the school everyday
at lunchtime to help him. Luckily at the time I was on sabbatical and
could do this. Since I knew I had to return to my teaching job in Sept, I
asked the local Committee of Special Education to evaluate TJ and label him
"other health impaired". That way a nurse would be provided under
IDEA....504 does not apply to religious schools. TJ, however was denied the
label because he is academically on or above grade level! I appealed the
finding of the CSE to no avail and on August 20th was informed that the
judge was upholding the CSE's finding that he was not eligible for special
ed because he is a bright child.
His parochial school promptly recinded his enrollment even though I
had arranged for my mom to supervise the lunchtime bolus. I was forced to
enroll him in our local public school and that has also been a total
nightmare! First off, they didn't have a nurse on staff, so TJ did not
start school until October 1st, when they finally hired an RN. Although I
had requested a "variance" for him to attend a different public school that
already had a nurse, I was denied because all the schools in the district
are overcrowded (the Bronx,NY).
Now that he was in the public school, his endo filled out about 8
pages of forms to get a 504 plan. Even though the nurse is checking his
glucose, and doing the bolus; TJ still doesn't have a formal 504 plan. The
reason for this has been the many problems we have had with the nurse. She
is not very familiar with diabetes and had no experience with a pump. She
also leaves everyday for an hour and keeps all TJ's stuff locked in her
cabinet to which no one else has a key! One afternoon, he felt low, and had
no access to his meter or his glucose tablets. The district got worried
and provided a health para but since she is not a nurse, she cannot do
bolus' or blood sugars. To make a long, long, story shorter the district is
fighting the CSE because they now want TJ to be labeled "other health
impaired" and to have an IEP.
I'm totally fed up with all of them and am going back to court on
Wednesday with a lawyer in tow. Hopefully all of this will be resolved and
TJ will have set a "precedent" for NYC.
As far as the parochial school is concerned, I have since learned
that while they were pushing TJ out the door, they accepted a 7 year old
girl on MDI.I was so angry that I had the lawyer contact them and suggest
that they reaccept TJ or we would take them to court also. But the school
is insisting that they cannot accept TJ unless I provide him with a nurse.
The reason being that he is on pump therapy and therefore a "much worse
diabetic" than the child on MDI. (She by the way, does not take insulin
during school time, nor does she test even though she's there from 7:30a.m.
to 5:30 p,m,). The lawyer wants four thousand dollars to pursue this case
with the parochial school so I cannot pursue it at this time. If you're
wondering why I would want to put him back at the parochial school, it's
because the Bronx public schools are pretty dismal academically.....TJ's
school has less than half the students performing on grade level and his is
one of the better performing schools in the city!!!!!
So I'm hoping that Wednesday will finally give him an IEP which
would then require the board of ed of NYC to provide a nurse at whatever
school he attends. I don't particularly like that he has to be labeled
"other health impaired" but at this point in this saga there are worse
things.( TJ was highly unhappy at being forced out of a school where he was
thriving and put into a school he does not like....I have had to take him
to a therpist, so things in that respect are a little better.) Once he has
an IEP, I can put him back in a parochial school.
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