How to Develop a Health Plan for Use at School
Provided by: The PACER Center and EP Foundation for Education
When Abby and Jason go to school each day, they need special accommodations for their medical conditions. In the case of Abby, a sixth-grader with epilepsy, it means leaving class at certain times so she can receive her anti-seizure medications from the nurse. Jason, a high-school junior with diabetes, has a permanent hall pass so he can go to the health room at any time if he is feeling ill.
An estimated nine million children in this country have health care needs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“Meeting a child’s health and medical needs can be an important part of providing an education,” said Carolyn Allshouse, coordinator of the Health Information and Advocacy Center at PACER Center in Minneapolis, Minn. “Your Individualized Education Program (IEP) team may be able to help you explain your child’s health needs to other school staff and suggest ways to meet your child’s needs in school.”
Allshouse offers these five tips:
Sometimes, educational success begins with accommodating a child’s medical needs. As a parent, you can play a key role in meeting those needs with planning, communication and having the support of your IEP team.
PACER Center is a national training and information center for families of children and youth with all disabilities: Physical, cognitive, learning, emotional, and others.
Looking for more tips about how to develop a health plan for use at school?
Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to fellow parents, caregivers, and experts about their experiences with school health plans.
Sample Health Care Plan for School
Student: John Doe, Age 12, Grade 7, followed by Dr. Smith
Primary Immune Deficiency: Requires IV medications administered through a central line called a Hickman catheter, located in the jugular on the right side of his neck.
Impact for school: John must avoid all collision sports activities, is susceptible to infections, requires monthly blood draws and periodically needs his dressing changed.
Accommodation: John will have a modified phys-ed schedule, including a private changing area. If an infection is suspected, the school nurse will call John’s mother, allow him to rest in the health room and monitor his temperature, pulse, heart rate and blood pressure. Space will be made available in the health room where a home care nurse can draw blood once a month. The school nurse will store dressing supplies in the health room and will repair or replace John’s dressing as needed.