First off-- thank you to everyone who commented on my previous post.
Armed with all of your excellent suggestions and many words of encouragement-- I sent off the following email to the school psychologist (whom I've discovered is the on-site coordinator for 504s):
L____,I then receive a note back saying that they are "waiting for a letter from Joseph's doctor."
Could you give me an update on the status of my son's 504 plan? Did you receive the paperwork I signed and sent back to you?
It's been nearly three weeks since I've heard anything, and I'm extremely anxious to get this thing put into place before the end of the school year. Is there anything I can do to help facilitate this process?
If you haven't yet received the medical information you requested from Joseph's endocrinologist, I could give her a call.
I'm sure that Dr. C____ would be happy to help expedite your receipt of Joseph's relevent medical history-- given that many of her diabetic patients have 504s and she strongly agrees that Joseph needs one as well.
Thanks for all of your help!
You see, I already got a letter from Joseph's doctor-- in October.
Back when the school nurse balked at my insistance on including accomodations for academic testing in Joseph's Health Management Plan.
(She just didn't see a need-- expressing disbelief that, for example, a very high blood sugar could affect Joseph's academic performance.)
At the time, frustrated by the nurse's response, I'd gone to Joseph's endo and asked her to review the plan I'd prepared.
And to write a letter approving its contents.
Here is what she sent me:
Dear School Officials:The school nurse knew I had this letter, yet she told the school psychologist that she was waiting for Joseph's endocrinologist to send a letter describing "what needs to go into a 504 plan" for my son.
Attached please see the individualized diabetes care plan for Joseph ___. I have reviewed and approved this plan for his school time diabetes management. Recent research has underscored the significant effects of both low and high blood glucoses on learning retention, mood, and academic performance. Diabetes care must thus be individualized to maximize glucose control in each child with diabetes. The attached plan meets Joseph's care needs.
I call the nurse.
"Hi, B-- I'm just checking in on the progress of Joseph's 504. I got an email back from L telling me that you're waiting for a letter from Joseph's doc and-- "
"Well, Sandra," she says, "Dr. C was very busy when I called her on this, and since spring break is next week, I told her there was no rush."
Hearing this made my blood boil.
(Just last week, Joseph's teacher made it clear to me that if we don't get a 504 in place soon, folks at the District will see no point in going through this process until next year.)
"B-- there is a rush," I say firmly. "We need to do this now if we want something established before middle school- "
"Well, I don't know... Joseph's been doing really well with his Health Management Plan-- and there are plenty of other kids with diabetes out there in middle school who are doing just fine."
"Yes, you're right-- Joseph has been doing well with his current plan. But that's precisely why we need to do this now.
"Because if something goes wrong-- there isn't going to be any grandfathering 504 protection."
I go on to describe some of the worst case scenarios, and then:
"B-- what exactly are you looking for from Joseph's doctor?"
"Well, we need to know what she thinks is necessary- "
"But I already have a letter that should cover that-- "
"Well, I'll be getting something back from the doctor sometime after the break... we'll let you know... "
She's not hearing me.
I tell her "thanks," hang up-- and call the psychologist.
And read her the letter.
"Sandra-- that's exactly what we need in order to move forward on this."
"Beautiful-- I''ll bring it by in half an hour."
And despite the fact that one is sitting in the nurse's office (just down the hall from the psychologist), I decide to bring along yet another copy of Joseph's plan.
Shortly after my arrival, I hand the psychologist both the letter and plan. She quietly looks through the latter document, commenting that she's "never seen it before."
(Yet another "hmmm.")
"Sandra," she says finally, "would it be possible for you to send me an electronic copy of this? Then I can just cut and paste the whole thing right into the 504."
"You bet I can."
Then I smile for the first time at this wonderful, wonderful woman.
"And, when we have the 504 meeting-- which should happen the week after spring break --" she continues, "we'll only need to discuss possible additions to what you already cover here."
"Awesome," I say, unable to stop smiling.
So there you have it.
I'll let you know if we hit any more bumps, but so far, things are looking very good.