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Your child may need help in the classroom. Look into getting a 504 plan or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) put into place. Special accommodations or services can be made for students who go to public elementary or high schools. These are provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. These are laws that protect your child from discrimination in the classroom. If you're thinking about putting a plan in place for your child, it's best to do so before they enter elementary school.1

The information contained in this section is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. The information contained in this section may or may not reflect the most current legal developments; accordingly, information in this section of the website is not promised or guaranteed to be correct or complete. Allergan expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this website.

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Members of the program are eligible to receive:

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Tips for completing a 504 plan (under the Rehabilitation Act1,2)

Under the 504 plan, possible accommodations for your child with CF include:

  • Taking his or her pancreatic enzymes during school
  • Reasonable access to snacks and unlimited access to water due to medication use
  • Special restroom privileges
  • Alternative activities if your child cannot participate in gym class (due to exacerbations)
  • Separation from sick children and others with CF
  • Modifications based on fatigue, health status, and workload
  • Homeschooling provided with proper documentation if need be

Getting started2

Step 1: Contact the school to request a 504 plan. A teacher or school staff member can also recommend a 504 plan for the student.

Step 2: You'll receive a notice 10 days before you'll need to attend a 504 plan meeting.

Step 3: The following people will most likely attend the meeting:

  • Student (if over 14 years old)
  • Parent/caregiver
  • Principal
  • Nurse
  • Teacher
  • Counselor
  • Case manager
  • Social worker
  • Physician

Step 4: The 504 plan is developed.

Tips to keep in mind for the meeting:

  • Write down any questions you want to ask during the meeting
  • Bring someone you trust
  • Share information about your child
  • If the discussion is going too fast or becoming overwhelming, it's OK to ask to slow down. Ask if you don't understand something
  • Take notes during the meeting
  • Don't be too quick to make decisions. Take time if need be
  • If needed, ask to schedule a follow‑up meeting

Components of the 504 plan include:

  • Documentation of your child's CF with updates as needed, provided by your doctor
  • History of your child's CF
  • List of specific health needs and/or difficulties your child may have while at school
  • List of classroom and/or school adjustments for your child
  • Written health emergency plan with contact information
  • Name of person who will monitor the 504 plan and inform school staff of the 504 plan as needed

IEP (under IDEA3)

If your child has CF and a learning disability, an IEP plan may be needed. An IEP is an individualized learning plan developed by a team to help your child in the classroom based on their special needs. Here are some other benefits of having an IEP:

  • By law, the IEP must include certain information about your child and the educational program designed to meet his or her needs. This includes:
    • Current performance
    • Annual goals
    • Special education and related services
    • Accommodations
    • Participation in state and district-wide tests
    • Transition services
    • Measure progress
  • Together, you and the school will work as a team to improve educational results for your child
  • By law, your child's IEP must be reviewed annually. It is a work in progress that's intended to grow and change as your child does. As your child's academic load increases and new accommodations become available, the IEP should be updated accordingly

Always talk with your CF care team. If you have questions, they will be able to help you decide what is best for your child.

Download the CF in the Classroom Brochure.

References: 1. Cystic fibrosis in the classroom. Cystic Fibrosis Research Inc. website. http://www.cfri.org/pdf/cfintheclassroom.pdf. Accessed May 1, 2016. 2. Taking cystic fibrosis to school: implementing a 504 plan for your child. Cystic Life website. http://www.cysticlife.org/downloads/504FlyerFINAL.pdf. Accessed May 1, 2016. 3. Understanding individualized education programs. Understood website. http://www.ncld.org/students-disabilities/iep-504-plan/benefits-individualized-education-program. Accessed May 1, 2016.

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