When advocating for your child in the school system, food allergies are a new idea for many schools to grasp for needing a 504 Plan or an IEP or Individual Education Plan. However, food allergies do qualify for these supports. It’s just a matter of knowing your rights, what your school offers and what would be best for your child. For example, the 504 Plan is a protection plan for your child when it comes to food allergies. It really is just a part of the American with disability Act. It states that if your child meets certain qualifications and that if their food allergy is deemed a disability, then they can qualify for the 504 supports in the school system. They define disability as “"physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. This can include physical impairments; illnesses or injuries; communicable diseases; chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes; and learning problems.” This does include food allergies with the help of your child’s pediatrician. Once you meet the qualifications, you will need to request a meeting with your school and request to apply for the 504 plan. This plan will allow your child to have all the accommodations needed in the school environment that will assist them to stay on same academic and social level of their peers despite their needs associated with their food allergies. For my family, our school does not recognize the 504 Plan. Public schools do though. So, it’s a matter of finding out from your principals. I highly recommend that your family explore this option for your food allergy kiddo!.
This website has an amazing example of a 504 Plan for food allergies:http://multiplefoodallergyhelp.com/?page_id=828
Here is a great resource for additional information on the 504 Plan and the IEP:http://specialchildren.about.com/od/504s/f/504faq1.htm