504 Plans for Students with Chronic Illnesses: A Guide for Parents and Students

When my son, Aaron was 11 and needed help in school to deal with his migraines and Crohn’s Disease, I didn’t know what a 504 plan was.  Aaron attended two different schools during the first two years of his diagnosis. In both schools, the guidance counselors were not sure whether or how 504 plans were used to help students with chronic illnesses. We were given a lot of misinformation, and little help for our son.  I researched 504 plans, and spoke with other parents, a social worker, and a lawyer—all who had experience with the rights of students with chronic illnesses.  We got a 504 plan in place for Aaron, which has helped him a great deal in school. I hope this guide helps other parents and students, so they do not have to dig as much for answers. (more…)

Aiming for an Equal Education…Despite Our Illnesses

Please share your comments, stories, and ideas!  I’d love to hear about your experiences dealing with a chronic illness in schools. Did you get the help you needed from the school? Did your school “get it?” Do you think anything needs to be improved on the treatment of students with chronic illnesses in their schools? — Rachel

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A growing number of students have chronic illnesses. If you count all types of chronic illnesses, at least 10 to 15 percent of American kids have been diagnosed with them, according to the National Institute of Health. Nine percent of children ages 5 to 17, have one or more chronic illnesses that limit their activities to some extent (2012, Childstats.gov).

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