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When Schools Punish Sick Children Who Miss School: A Game Plan

by Pam Wright

(Moved from Community Helpline)

My child has an IEP. She has chronic health problems documented by three medical specialists and she has a Health Plan. Chronic health problems and medical appointments forced her to miss many school days this year. She made up all her work and has no incomplete assignments. Her grades are A’s and B’s.

The school told her that if she doesn’t make up the time she missed, she will not get credit for these classes. Can they do that? She would gladly give up her sick days for school days.

The purpose of laws that require children to attend a certain number of school days is to deter truancy. A law that is intended to deter truancy must include exemptions for children who have chronic illnesses or who are injured, not truant. Your child passed her classes with flying colors but the school is threatening to withhold credit for these classes because she was ill and unable to attend school.

Public schools are required by law to accommodate the health needs of students. The plan to accommodate health needs may be called a health plan or a 504 plan. Your child has a health plan but the school is not following it.

Call your State Department of Education. (You will find contact information for your state in the Directory of State Education Departments) Ask about your state’s attendance requirements and exemptions for children who have documented illnesses and health plans. Please let us know what you learn.

I spoke with the state department of education about the school’s punishment of my child for truancy when she has a chronic illness. Because the chronic health issues are noted in her IEP, and because her IEP states she will need special accommodations, her absences are excused. The representative thought our district is just not familiar with the laws that protect students with chronic illnesses.

Thanks for letting us know that you were able to resolve this problem. In our opinion, the school should give your daughter an award for courage and perseverance, despite the obstacles she faced.

For readers who have sick children, the American Diabetes Association has prepared excellent model 504 plans and health plans. These model plans can be modified to cover other health or medical problems that affect a child’s school performance. Download the model plan and revise it so it describes your child’s medical condition and needs related to that condition. Consult with your child’s doctor to make sure the plan is complete and covers all your child’s health needs.

To learn more about helping children with chronic illnesses, read My Child Has Health Problems, the School Reports Him Truant by Suzanne Whitney. Sue writes about creative advocacy strategies in Doing Your Homework. Review the legal and advocacy information and resources from the American Diabetes Society. This information is useful in advocating for children with other health problems.

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165 responses so far ↓

  • 1 R 03/05/15 at 7:24 am

    I’ve been very sick for a few months with severe abdominal pains to the point where I can’t move. I have been to the doctor but haven’t figured anything out. I know I’ve missed 20+ days of school and I am terrified of being in trouble, but two days ago I got an upper and lower gi and I’m still feeling pain in my stomach from that. Idk what to do. Should I make a 504 plan? My moms already told the school I am sick. But can they still try to take us to court or hold me back?

  • 2 Beth 02/22/15 at 12:36 pm

    I’m 17 and in epileptic. I have missed a lot school due to epilepsy. The school sends me home every time I have one there. Also theres a paper in my records that state if I have one the day before i don’t go. They are trying to call the cops. Is there anything that me and my mom can do?

  • 3 michelle 02/15/15 at 6:18 pm

    School told my daughter that she could not attend her morning classes and miss her afternoon classes(doing home study ) and still be enrolled in her high school. They told her she would be enrolled in a school that is for what my daughter calls “stoners” and bad kids . Independent study/gateway . She has been diagnosed with an autoimmune diseases and has a Doctors note for the guidelines of what she can do so she doesn’t push herself to hard . My daughter is on honor roll and we both feel we are getting railroaded into something she clearly doesn’t want . She said she would rather cut off her legs than go to gateway . I didn’t sign anything . I called her Doctor who also is amazed . She will now have a 504 meeting in a month. We feel the way it was handled was sneaky and don’t know what to do now .

  • 4 Michele 02/09/15 at 7:50 pm

    What can I do if my son school district keeps sending us harassing letter about my son missing so many school days? My son has a kidney disease call Focal Segment Al Glomasitis. FSGs and his school keeps sending harassing letters about him missing to much schools. He has a health plan.

  • 5 Pam Wright 02/03/15 at 3:52 pm

    Jill, You need to request, in writing, that the school develop a 504 Plan (preferably) or Health Plan for your daughter. In your letter, describe your child’s medical condition and problems (seizures). Attach a copy of the neurologist’s report. Ask that the Plan incorporate her doctor’s recommendations.

    The school’s plan needs to be in writing. Every staff member who works with your child should have a copy of her 504 Plan or Health Plan. Be sure to read the info on this page about written health plans for children:

    If you don’t have confidence in your ability to write a good letter to the school, use our tutorial on “Advocating Through Letter Writing” – it will help you get up and running.

  • 6 Jill 02/03/15 at 1:52 am

    Our school will not follow the health plan outlined by the neurologist which states that the aides will contact us by phone with a description of our daughter’s seizure, time of the seizure and the length.
    The school does have a “School Cell Phone” which can be used if the aides don’t want to use theirs. Having a 3rd party call us with this information will not work as they did not see the seizure and we cannot ask that person the questions we need to accurately document the seizure and make next step decisions. Our daughter’s seizures are not severe but are frequent and we have letters from 2 docs and forms from the Epilepsy Clinic. She does not need a nurse-we only need a description of the seizure and a general check in afterward.

  • 7 Kara 01/26/15 at 2:16 am

    I think all parents on here having issues with truancy really need to explore home schooling. And the kids that im seeing on here having issues with their schools need to talk to their parents about home schooling them. Im contemplating the same thing.

  • 8 Marissa 12/19/14 at 4:07 pm

    Help. I’m going today to file a complaint and am going to ask the doctor for a note to get the 504 plan. The principal is not working with me. Now she says my child cannot go to camp because he’s too sick. I need help.

  • 9 Brooke 12/16/14 at 11:25 pm

    My son is in 4th grade and every time he is sick he goes to the nurse who then calls me then my dad to come pick him up from school when he has a low grade fever like 99.5 or 100.6. The nurse then tells my father that he has to stay home for 24 hours until he can come back to school that it’s policy. I read our school handbook front to back and no where in there does it say the child has to stay home for 24 hours. Does that mean if no policy in the handbook then there is no policy at all and they don’t have the right to send my child home?

  • 10 trinity 12/16/14 at 9:22 pm

    I am a child with really bad stomach problems and a lot of missed school but the teachers are thinking that I am doing on purpose

  • 11 Jean 12/05/14 at 12:06 am

    It seems that most schools even with a 504 Plan can send you to a court for truancy. Parents educate yourself about the law. Bring ALL documentation to Court. Present your information. I have seen all parents be faced with their children ‘s truancy because of their physical or mental issues. Schools do this to try to make up for the money they lose for the child’s absence. Learn how to present your case which should be dismissed, and go against the Judge who even takes your case. You win if dismissed and should not have to pay the Court costs. File charges against the school for using your child’s absences against them. Retaliation is usually a felony in most jurisdictions. Use your knowledge of the law against the school. and the Court. Parents can get slapped with a Criminal Class B Misdemeanor if you are not prepared.

  • 12 Kitty 12/01/14 at 9:16 pm

    Just moved to GA. Child gets sick from allergies and the germs she picks up at school from other kids. She misses 10 days due to a severe ear infection and now the county has sent the truant officer after me. Her teacher is pressuring her to do more and more make up work and has failed her for the work she could not finish during the time she was away. She had a fever over 100 for 10 days straight! Social worker accuses me of being a bad parent because I let her stay home from school when she is sick and threatens that she won’t be able to get into college. She is only in the 5th grade! I am appalled. They would prefer to keep sick kids in school so that the petty bureaucrats can have “bums on seats” to keep their jobs. They are not interested in the care or education of our children.

  • 13 Arizona1031 11/18/14 at 1:13 pm

    Okay, so lately I has been missing a lot of school. I get sick really easily. And I’m one of four kids and when one gets sick, we all get sick. I have missed about 10 or less days of school this year. I have already missed 2 this week because I have the flu. My mom called my school to tell them I was sick and they started talking about truancy officers. I’m a 6th grader in middle school and I’m scared. I’m scared that my teachers will be mad. I always make up my homework, but just the thought of truancy officers scares me. I have to admit, sometimes (I’m not faking), but I still could go to school (kinda sick). I have stopped doing that but I’m still scared. My homeroom teach got mad at me when I missed 15 min. of first period. Now I have an orthodontist appt. Any tips for school or life in general?

  • 14 Vicky 11/15/14 at 10:29 am

    Okay I have missed in total this year probably about 14 days of school. I have been sick for 3 weeks with mono and a teacher is refusing to giving me full time to do my missing assignments and is even not letting me make up the assignment at all. This is honestly childish and ridiculous. I can not control when I get better or worse I have been bed ridden all week and I think as a student I should get my rights. I am 13 years old and i dont appreciate being screamed at and treated like an adult by an adult. What do i do ?

  • 15 Andra 11/03/14 at 3:44 am

    My son has to go to court for missing 10 days of school. But the School has doctors notes for over half of those days. Why does he still have to go to court for it. He had surgery on his ears.

  • 16 carmen 10/17/14 at 10:45 pm

    My child told me today that the school made him sign a paper stating that he was a witness that saw an incident that happen in school with 2 other kids that were not even from his class room, i am concern because my son is autistic and I had knowledge about this in to today because my son had such an anxiety that I ask him what was wrong and he told me ,Is this even legal for him to sign with out his parent know

  • 17 Christine 10/07/14 at 3:13 pm

    My son suffers from Migraines, gerd,& insomnia. Basically he wakes up with severe migraines. Last year(10th grade), he stopped attending school in December 2013. I went in for an IEP in January 2014. He was put in hospital homebound. He did most of his work for almost 2 semesters as paperwork slowed things down. He did not pass any core class for his 10th grade year because the school and teachers counted his time missed in 2012 as relevant to his grade. This year he started off as a 10th grader again. He attended school up until 3 weeks ago; when his migraines came back full force. His doctor works with us. We increased one medication and tried 2 immediate relief migraine medications ; which did not work. His doctor said she would fill out HH form. I feel lost after his experience last year. I live in small town FL. What to do?

  • 18 Gladys 10/02/14 at 1:43 pm

    My daughter goes 4 hours to school to take her main courses. This is doctor recommendations based on her chronic condition. She isn’t on a IEP program because she takes her main courses at school and electives on FL virtual school since the RIP program doesn’t provide electives. The thing is Florida virtual is as or more demanding as regular school. She is always falling behind on school work. She is going through a period where her condition is unstable and her lymph nodes are getting swollen every two weeks making her go through nasty colds due to her stress. She is an over achiever. She isn’t a lazy student and right now she has all B’s but with a bunch of late work to turn in. I’m asking if is possible to take her electives away. The school says that’s not an option. They aren’t working with her. What I should do?

  • 19 nathalie 09/21/14 at 1:14 am

    My daughter has been to court already for “truancy”. In the first semester there was some “discipline” problem. She made up all the hours she had missed in school;it was my decision she made them up at the school even though the school offered to take into account the 2 hours of tutoring she was doing every day. The second semesters she has some real health problems. Altogether she was within the requirement in hours.
    I have all of the documents ready to show to court to have her case dismissed except the most important:the sheet signed by the teachers showing all the make up hours. Now the school is trying to say, don’t have it, don’t know about it. My daughter ended up being put on 6 months probation for no reason.The probation doesn’t bother me on itself except that it would be on her record and could be a problem.

  • 20 Wendy4 09/17/14 at 4:52 pm

    What do you do if you’ve requested a medical plan from the treating MD and they refuse to write one. I’ve asked two different doctors and they state that my sons needs should be taken care of in his IEP. Why would an MD be reluctant?

  • 21 Randy Henson 09/11/14 at 6:21 am

    My wife and I are both working parents. My son has had stomach issues for a few years now. We have taken him to childrens mercy and they scoped his stomach and found nothing just saying he has a slow digestive tract. He vomits up to 10 times a day. Our family doctor is in touch with his school, we even met with his teacher and principal. They said they would do what they can to help. He does not run any fever. In kindergarten and 1st/2nd grade we had no issues with the school. Now he is at a different school in the same district. They sent him home yesterday with extra homework and he asked why. The teacher said we were taking him somewhere. The principal decided to declare him Home bound! We have an appt in St.Louis to try to find the issue. Isn’t this discrimination and can they do this?

  • 22 Holly 09/10/14 at 10:19 pm

    My daughter is in the court system for truancy and we have proven by drs that she has anxiety and panic disorder but they are bullying us and threatening to still send her away. I need help. We are getting a 504 plan now but the courts are still not believing she has a problem.

  • 23 Heather 08/28/14 at 12:09 pm

    Hi, i am a stay at home mom for 2 reasons, firstly i have 3 beautiful children, all with medical conditions that make each of them miss A LOT of school each year. My 2 sons have a hereditary bone disease that they inherited from me (Multiple Hereditary Exostosis) My 15 year old son has been having 1-3 surgeries a year since 4th grade and actually has to attend a “cyber academy” for him to keep up in school. He used to dream of being an athlete since he learned to walk but this disease has robbed him of his dreams. I also have an 11 year daughter with epilepsy, migraines and hypoglycemia. My toddler just started a preschool for him to get speech and physical therapy. All 3 of my children need a laptop so they can keep up with school when they miss for their medical issues. My older children are both on 504’s and my toddler is on an IEP.

  • 24 jennifer 07/23/14 at 9:14 pm

    Hello, my original post is 7Jennifer. I am curious to where do we find the responses? Secondly, After all that drama my 16 year old suddenly came down with a heart condition called POTS due to all the stress the school put her through.. I am now seeking a lawyer to show my daughter some justice. Any ideas are welcome! Thanks.

  • 25 Kimber 05/19/14 at 11:43 pm

    My daughter is in kindergarten and she missed 20 days due to pneumonia. She had doctor excuse for all of them. She was in the hospital on machines for that time. But they are trying to hold her back. Now she’s an honor roll student. Can they old her back?

  • 26 patricia 05/17/14 at 10:34 pm

    my granddaughter has a 504 for chronic illness. She missed time because of this but did not go over the quota allowed. However at the end of the school day on Friday evening, 1 day before prom, she was advised she would not be allowed to attend prom because she had missed school. Because were unable to get through to the superintendent or The State Board of Education, she missed her prom. There is a real problem with the attendance officer keeping correct records. Of course she is heart broken. We intend to take this to the highest authority and feel that the responsible people be dealt with by the State Board of Education.

  • 27 mariela 05/02/14 at 5:01 pm

    My son has asthma and the school knows about it. He has missed more than 30 days of school. The school could care less if my son’s having an asthma attack. Last week they didn’t given him his medicine. I went to a sarb meeting for my older two (9,7) At the end of the meeting they mentioned my son, stating that in 13 days my son will be eligible for SARB intervention. His asthma is really bad. We have a asthma action plan. I wanted to know if that’s something like a 504 plan? What do I do to help my son? thank u

  • 28 nancy 04/24/14 at 12:29 pm

    My son has asthma and missed over 30 days school. they tell me I have to have doctor excuse every time. I have to get doctor orders for them with every thing and get a order over to school, then show them how to work his machine and count on them to make sure he had inhaler on play ground. He is being picked on on play ground while he had asthma attack, they did nothing. I went to my son’s school. no one saw me and I saw 4 kids picking on my son, shoved his face in snow bank and he got teeth knocked loose. I’m worried about school not doing their job. Now they won’t to fine me. what would you do next year? My son going to Christian school. Public school kids are mean to kids with special needs and medical problems Parents, what would you do?

  • 29 Angie 03/30/14 at 8:33 am


    Middle school student denied access back into school after being out sick and having surgery. The student was being treated and under doctors care. The school has harassed our family with residency verifications after dropping him while he was out sick. He has been released over a month but still will not allow him to get back to school And provide him with a quality & proper education. It’s outrageous!!! This breaking constitutional right and breaking privacy laws. I had to contact my attorney & we are prepared to take this to congress if we have to!!! This is completely out of control! We demand justice!!!

  • 30 Lisa 03/26/14 at 9:52 am

    My son has type 1 diabetes. There is a specific form that we are suppose to fill out (for Texas) to excuse him from excessive absences and tardies due to his diabetes. I can’t seem to find the form…can anyone out there help me?

  • 31 Jennifer 03/13/14 at 5:33 pm

    My 16 yr old has had recurrent health problems documented by her Physician. Last year while on Independent study she missed 5 days, approved and rescheduled by her Teacher. They took me to court and could care less about her illnesses and insisted she be put into their business academy. She attended for 5 days and her Dr put her back on home hospital schooling for the rest of the year! So, Back on independent study, she has been working hard as usual and got sick again, called the teacher and approved and rescheduled, informed to bring work next scheduled chk in. Well, she was diagnosed with the flu, bacterial tonsilitis and ear infection and they threatened me they are just going to drop her so I don’t get arrested? I called the district and was informed they dropped her right after court! I was accused of lying and humiliated.

  • 32 anita 03/12/14 at 5:30 pm

    can a school charge you with truancy even if you have a doctors note for most of the absences? my daughter got threatened with that today by the principal of her school. she has migranes, gets bronchitis, and has social anxiety. we live in Ohio

  • 33 jen 03/12/14 at 2:46 am

    I have finally pulled my son out to homeschool. I have not dealt with anything near what some of you have. My son has been ill for many years and I just am not going to continue to jeopardize his health. the lack of compassion displayed by the school system and especially teachers is unbelievable. Additionally, why in the world should they have more information about my son’s health condition then they absolutely need? HIPPA does not apply to teachers. They make so many nasty comments about missing school to my son it was breaking my heart. Then when he was well enough to go back they want him to stay after to make up piles of work. I am a teacher living this has made me embarassed to say so.

  • 34 arrested for truancy 02/12/14 at 4:43 pm

    I was wondering if anyone been arrested for truancy having a 504 and being denied IEP without any test

  • 35 JERRY33 02/01/14 at 8:31 am

    My girl was sexually assaulted and everything was reported to authorities. We followed procedures but since this time she hasn’t been able to attend school. Her doctor recommended homebound. We provided the school information about what happened and the doctor’s recommendation letter, but they just seem not to bother. I have spoken to the superintendent with no luck. Homebound was denied because we could not provide a doctor’s excuse with the specific dates when she was not about to attend school because of emotional issues. The doctor’s don’t know how long it will take for her to recover from this trauma. After 5 months of being denied homebound, we have been sent to court because of non-attendance issues. We need advice.

  • 36 Jennifer 01/23/14 at 3:06 pm


    First of all, if she’s not comfortable at school, you need to find out why. Secondly, if she is that anxious, you need to see a professional about getting a diagnosis.

    Although you may feel like they are picking on you, schools are accountable and get in trouble when students have excessive, unexcused absences and they don’t do anything about it.

    I hope this helps.

  • 37 Carla 01/21/14 at 11:01 pm

    Is it legal for a regular educatin child to ride a special education bus?

  • 38 mike 01/21/14 at 8:00 am

    My child is 7 and has missed a total of 17 days of school but 8 of them are excused. She has anxiety really bad and school doesnt really understand that. They think they know everything. Not every child is the same. She has seizures also. How many days can she miss without me having to go to court? My child does not feel comfortable at school. What should I do?

  • 39 Sandra 01/17/14 at 6:44 pm

    My sons school will not excuse absences even though his 504 plan states absences related to towill be excused. They state ccompulsory attendance laws force them to require attendance.
    he should have had a home program but the compulsary attendance laws were cited again. If he missed two weeks of school he would have to take summer school or repeat the grade. I’s this right?

  • 40 Christina 12/23/13 at 10:56 pm
      I was wondering how many days do your kids have to miss school before the school can deny him or her an IEP. If you can answer, that would be very help full. Thank you
  • 41 Julie 12/04/13 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you so much for calling attention to this article. This is exactly what I needed to read right now. Once I dig into my legal rights in my state, I will be sure to post what I learn.
    Thanks again.

  • 42 Carla 11/26/13 at 1:43 pm

    Thank you for highlighting this very common issue. Another resource for parents who have children with chronic illnesses would be their hospital or clinic’s Hospital Teacher or Hospital Education Liaison. Most of these staff are certified educators who specialize in teaching and writing plans for this population.

    In addition, there are 2 national organizations that may be of assistance; The Association of Children with Medical Needs (AECMN) and The Association of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Educational Specialists (APHOES). Both groups are made of up individuals who work in hospitals and clinics and assist patients and families with educational needs/plans that surround their illnesses, treatments and missed school.

    Thank you,
    Carla – MSEd.
    Supervisor, Hospital School Program
    Boise, Idaho

  • 43 Andrea 11/13/13 at 12:27 pm

    I have 2 children with an immune disorder.
    Their immunologist wrote a letter explaining their medical condition( Primary Immune Disease) and stating due to their medical condition, they could miss extended ( time) periods of school (they regularly missed 40 to 60 days per year…sometimes more) due to illness.
    They have an IEPs written for Other Health Impaired and have tutors in place when they are better ( not well, but better to come to our home) or tutors to bring them up to speed when they are able to return to school …also reduced work for them.
    Or if that does not work you can always use an online school …most provide computers and even help with internet reimbursement costs. ( internet charter schools)…they also by law have IEPs or 504s available.

  • 44 Shay 11/12/13 at 9:59 am

    My daughter is pregnant and she has missed alot of school days because of it. They are trying to take me to court.Can they do this? Please help! Asap

  • 45 betty 11/06/13 at 1:01 pm

    can the secretary deny my child to call me?

  • 46 Angelica 10/31/13 at 5:10 am

    I have four children but I have three with IEP. All my children are different, they get sick for different reasons so I won’t send them too school. I know what’s wrong with my child so I keep them here. If they are sick and I send them to school, I’m doing wrong. If I keep my kid’s home, I’m still doing wrong. I could never make anyone happy. They don’t understand – they want the children in school no matter what. They came to my house. This Friday I have a meeting. Please someone help me. I don’t want too lose my children. I have done everything for my children. The frustration just breaks my heart. Thank you for listening.

  • 47 Rebecca 10/16/13 at 7:54 pm

    My daughter is in college studying education. Last summer (2012) she had a TBI (traumatic brain injury) and it has been documented in her school’s office of disability. However, she does not have an IEP or 504 since she is 23. She was hoping to complete her student teaching closer to her doctors and several of her doctors at home wrote letters requesting student teaching closer to home. Her college does offer external student teaching, however she was denied the opportunity to do her teaching externally even with several doctors notes and complaint letters. I was wondering if this is legal and something we can petition due to her rights with having a TBI. We would be willing to fight for her to do her teaching closer to her doctors. PLEASE let me know! Thank you!

  • 48 Mike 10/15/13 at 6:03 pm

    Please help us my 13 year old son suffers from fibromyalgia. He missed a lot of school he has a 504 but now the courts have charged parents with education neglect judge asked for Dr note saying when on pain meds not to attend school. PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME

  • 49 Sasha 10/14/13 at 9:09 pm

    My son, age 7, has been diagnosed with severe A.D.H.D. & O.D.D. He had been in a Maria Montessori teaching environment since the age of 3 and is now enrolled in a Preparatory School in South Carolina. He is lagging behind, biting his nails, picking at his lips and he is being “yelled at” constantly by his teacher. It is a heart-breaking factor in having to medicate your child, but shouldn’t there be some sort of lenience in this type of transition? What can I do?

  • 50 Jennifer 09/19/13 at 12:15 pm

    Breneh- The school handbook IS for your son. The 504 plan is to accommodate him and should be applied to his situation. If I were you, I would find a way to e-mail all teachers when he is absent.

    Set up your e-mail so that you are notified when it is read. Specifically ask teachers what day assignments are due when he misses school.

  • 51 breneh 09/19/13 at 10:22 am

    My son has a 504 plan in place and has missed several days due to a chronic health condition. The school does not want to accommodate make-up work and keeps referring to the policy of the school handbook. I’ve repeatedly reminded them that the school handbook was designed for the general student population and not those with special needs. Yesterday, the assistant principal threatened to take away my son’s open lunch, because of missed assignments from the days he was out. My son had 1 poor grade and that was in art, because he was having difficulty trying to keep up with the assignments due to the nature of the class. All of his other classes were A’s & B’s. Instead of figuring out how to improve upon his existing 504 plan, they want to punish him.

  • 52 bilie 09/15/13 at 5:42 am

    My children do not have any type of IEP nor chronic illness but has missed several days of the school year 2012/2013. All the days missed was excused by their primary doctor but the school is refusing to count the notes. They both passed with flying colors. The school now has me in court trying to put me in jail for 22 days cause that’s the number of days they missed. One had kidney stones the other had upper respiratory and breathing issues with constant fever. Is there anything at all I can do to prevent jail time and this charge on my record? I’ve hired a attorney but its not gotten me anywhere. Please help

  • 53 ryan 08/02/13 at 5:19 pm

    my child has been in special education classes since 1st grade now in 7th grade and I am just finding out that the school have to perform any type of tests that I ask for. I had been asking all last school year to test him for ADD and dyslexia and they kept telling us it wasn’t a necessity to perform these types of tests. they still will not help him get any higher than a second grade education. we are not happy with this school system and are going to be fighting with them until this is all fixed! I am looking up the state laws that deal with this and forcing them to do as we ask this year!

  • 54 Tina 06/26/13 at 1:24 pm

    I am a teacher who is trying to do research on how much time a child misses because of illness and various issues. My school district, county, or state will not give me these numbers. I am not asking for names. It is so frustrating. I am trying to make a change for children in my district with illnesses. I am putting together a proposal and I can not get any information. I sit on a foundation who wants to use the VGo robot in schools so that children who are in hospital can attend school in real time. It is an amazing and innovative way of solving the problem. I just can not find the support.

  • 55 Sharon L. 06/21/13 at 12:21 pm

    Kathie, My son was on an OHI IEP & the school put scholastic accommodations on it as needed along with items for his ADHD. It sounds like the school cannot & should not be refusing your request. YOu should request that they put the reason for refusal in writing called “Prior Written Notice” which is required when a school refuses requested services via an IEP.

  • 56 Kathie 06/19/13 at 1:46 pm

    Nancy- I am in the same boat with my 17yo daughter in CT. For the second year they have taken class credit away from my daughter because she did not finish the entire class during the school year. This year they said they would provide pre-calc tutor after taking 2 class’s credits away and now saying no money. She has a 504 but even though covered under IDEA for chronic illness and OHI, they will not provide IEP/special ed because she is too bright. What do we do???

  • 57 Nancy 06/11/13 at 5:32 pm

    My 17yr old daughter has a 504 i since 2008, b/o of multiple systemic autoimmune diseases. Despite multiple medical absences, she’s always been able to keep up and has a 4.0 cum GPA. Unfortunately, Jan, developed neurotoxicity from chemo meds (been on for 5 yrs ) now dramatic change in cognitive abilities. Provided school w/ thorough documentation to support her condition. Unable to complete her 2nd semester. Now weaned off toxic drug, w/some improvement. School promised she could make up classes in districts summer school.. Now saying “NO Funds to pay Teachers” she’ll have to graduate late. My daughter is devastated.

    My ?- isn’t the school mandated by 504 to accommodate these needs? The stress is causing great emotional stress & sadness to my daughter who only wants a chance to succeed despite serious health challenges/disabilities.

  • 58 Lesa 06/11/13 at 1:29 pm

    To Ron (from 10/23/12) My son is schooled at home. There are options for you to provide the same education at home and depending the one you pick it can be for free. This will allow for you to have short sessions at the computer vs. all day in a brick and mortar school setting. Hope things work out for you. Check with K12 or Connections Academy and see if one of these are offered in your state. Also if a child has an IEP for example it will follow them in one of these schools.

  • 59 Sharon L. 05/24/13 at 10:33 am

    D.T.M. Do you have a parent or other adult that can help you in this situation? My son is dyslexic & was not graduating in the traditional sense due to the school not meeting his IEP goals & was continuing school for another year but they let him walk with his class as well as other disabled students. I see no reason why you cannot do the same. Is it possible for you to get an incomplete on the classes you are low on & finish in the summer but still walk with the class? Is there a way you can get help from your physician due to the illness?

  • 60 D.T.M 05/21/13 at 1:48 pm

    I’m a student in high school. I have no control over my sicknesses. I’ve been sick, injured, and over stressed. When it’s hard for me to go to school I still try my hardest to go. My grades in school are outstanding. I tried really hard but not matter what I do it feels like it’s never good enough. If I’m sick my school tells me to come to school and check in but I’m not a little girl anymore. If I’m really sick they’ll have to send me home, but all I do at home is lay down and go to sleep so why leave my school to stay in a house that’s crazy. There’s no need for me to ditch so don’t treat me like that’s what I’m doing. I would miss out on days were I find out ahead of time that my classes don’t do anything or its movie time. I have students who have my back will help me out with the days I miss. They keep me on task, let me know what I missed, and they even let me copy there notes so I can keep up. I was just confronted about missing class by a teacher that’s new and he has no idea what I been threw and what I am going through. He should help me worry about my grades then my attendance that’s the attendance person job. I have asked for helped by my teacher and he did nothing. I feel that it’s not fare. It feels like school for me and work for them. The staff have more freedom then I do even if it two more weeks in for graduation. I need help. I want to walk for graduation but if you miss a lot of school you can’t walk but it’s not my fault I was sick a lot I couldn’t help it. What should I do? Who should I talk to about this situation?

  • 61 Blake 05/21/13 at 1:29 am

    Can a school UTI(Universal Technical Institute) with draw me from a class for being ill in the hospital? They said because i missed more then 10 hours of class that i have to re-take the course even tho i’m in the hospital. To me that seems very un-lawful.

  • 62 Lynda 05/17/13 at 3:58 pm

    Can a student that has no parents at home and has worked at night have any way to walk with class even though they are lacking a part of one English class?

  • 63 Anara 05/05/13 at 7:46 am

    My daughter has Down Sydrome, ASD, and is medically fragile.She has frequent absences because of illnesses and appointments. She often has shortened school days. This is how we handle it:
    1. An IEP category of Other-Health Impairments.
    2. thorough medical history and detailed parental concern sections.
    3. An annual documented discussion about her attendance.
    4. A generic note from her pedi at the start of each year stating she will have frequent absences and tardies due to her fragile health and appointments, then I also provide the usual notes as we go along.
    5. I Email reminders about regular appointments in advance.

    My challenge was getting ESY because her disability made her miss so much instructional time that I felt it was limiting her access to FAPE. We got ESY!

  • 64 Kim 05/02/13 at 9:53 am

    My child has multiple allergies (dust, mold, mildew, dander, grass, trees, leaves—lethal tree nuts allergies, just found out about a shellfish allergy and now being tested for more like dairy ex.) psoriasis, nail psoriasis, arthritis (psoriatic), migraines and now he’s being checked for possible Crohn”s disease or ulcerative colitis. He’s been really sick, missed quite a few days, most are all covered with medical excuses but there are 7 days listed as unexcused. When he gets sick I can’t send him to school and I can’t always get him into a doctor either so what am I to do? His family prac. say they can’t see him every time, that I’m to take him to one of his specialist, I can’t get in one of them on short notice so now what?

    I called to set up an appointment with our Super. 2 1/2 weeks ago. He just doesn’t really seem to care and I still haven’t gotten my appointment. I’ve received my second letter treating a $300 fine due to these 7 unexcused days. Saw his Gastro. Dr. 3 days ago. They (as well as the other Drs.) don’t cover days that the child was not seen in their office. He told me to speak with the Super. but I can’t get him. Some of my sons conditions are getting a little better now that we have some forms of treatment but he still gets sick (vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, PAIN, and severe headaches) buy times. I must Drs. excuses for ANY absent days. They don’t seem to care. I NEED HELP!!!

  • 65 monica 04/19/13 at 5:02 am

    model 504 would be cover for child that has seizures..and if so how would you get that child on that plan.

  • 66 Deb B 04/09/13 at 7:31 am

    My daughter has been going to doctor appointments and missing a lot of days for school because she has a stomach problem she has no 504 plan because this illness was never a big problem until her senior year and currently she has pretty good grades for missing all the school she has she is passing. What do I do about the school trying to say she cannot graduate because she has no plan or anything?

  • 67 Hmjtb 03/07/13 at 3:22 pm

    Call an advocate. that is not right. my daughter also has schreuemanns disease.

  • 68 Tina 01/31/13 at 10:31 pm

    My son had TYPE 1 diabetes and IBS to name a few he has some tests next month to see what else he has. He has missed school most with Dr excuses and I am being threaten with truancy. His grades are B ‘s and C’s and has NO complaints from teachers . He has been told he is one of the brightest. He as sufferers from high blood sugar , low (to include many other issues with type one). I am being threaten if he does not stay after 3 days a week! and that he is in 30% now how can a student be at 30% with B’s n C’s?? also he was accused of missing his stay after study TODAY jan 31 13 when school was canceled!!!! what does one do??~Tina

  • 69 Cailley 01/21/13 at 10:51 pm

    Does this pertain to the university level? Are there any protections for college students?

  • 70 Chasteen 01/18/13 at 7:10 pm

    My daughter has a terminal illness that complicates her entire body and all organs. She has only half of her brain and very limited on what can be learned. Her disease is metabolic so she reacts different to illnesses. If there is a virus going around I keep her home. A small cough from one child can send mine to the PICU for weeks. I have started receiving letters about her missing days. The school says they have to send them out but they won’t refer it. My daughter has been deteriorating since November and has had two surgeries. She is going to be spending more time in the hospital before school lets out. Is there a way to protect terminal children from the laws? I don’t want them to take my child away to have her pass not being with her siblings and parents. PLEASE HELP!

  • 71 Angela 01/17/13 at 7:02 pm

    My son has Scheuremann’s Disease which causes disabling back pain during growth spurts and very cold weather. It also causes him to have difficulty breathing and sometimes he will just collapse while walking as his legs give out on him. He does decently well in school, makes up all work. I have given the school notes from the doctor prior to school beginning and have had gotten doc’s notes for absences. His PCM is at the Air Force Academy and they look at you like you are stupid and wasting their time when you go just to get a note. Today, the Dean called and said to be expecting a truancy letter and mentioned truancy court. I have to physically pull my 15 yr old, 5’9″, 200 pound son out of bed while he is crying out in pain for school. He takes celebrex and Norco for pain. I am at a loss as to what to do.

  • 72 Wendy 01/08/13 at 12:35 pm

    Every child has the right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education by law. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a health, mental, physical or behavioral/emotional issue. If it impedes the child’s learning and functioning, the school is responsible for providing services to meet the individual child’s needs! A child does not need to be failing in order to receive services either. Document everything. Regarding the health plan….the medical issue doesn’t stop when the child walks into school, correct? The plan at minimum should be mentioned in the IEP I would think. The IEP should clearly define the person who is responsible for the care and monitoring of the child while at school. There should also be a very clear plan for communication between home and school.

  • 73 Ron 10/23/12 at 12:55 pm

    My 15 year old nephew or my sister (his grandmother) has custody of is enrolled in alternative school, he is in 9th grade. He actually passes all test but he simply cannot sit in a classroom. He is an IEP student and has ADHD and ADD. His files I believe state that is is not able to be in classrooms, he has severe anxiety and does whatever to be thrown out of class. Last year is was on home study and they are not offering that now, and today think it best that he quit school and attend a bootcamp and get his GED, homestudy worked very well last year. What should we do?

  • 74 Monica 10/08/12 at 11:39 am

    My son has had Diabetes Type 1 for the past 2 & 1/2 years…the schools have filed truancy on me every year. As a parent of a sick child, I wish that the schools would have more compassion & wisdom in dealing w/ kids w/ a Chronic Illness. We live in Texas- does the 504 Plan apply to children residing in Texas as well?

  • 75 Sarah 09/04/12 at 6:15 pm

    My child was diagnosed with PTSD after our family lost everything in a house fire. The initial appointment was by recommendation of the school principal after your child had to be picked up from school several times because she was so upset. Upon the diagnosis her pediatrician made her an appointment with a psychiatrist. However the psychiatrist was unable to see her for about ten days. Meanwhile, the pediatrician sent all the appropriate paperwork to the school board to have her put on home bound. The superintendent of the school refused to do so and has counted her absent for each day she has missed. The superintendent also called social services and reported that my child was sick and was not recieving appropriate medical treatment. Can she legally deny the home bound and was she out of line to call social services.

  • 76 Christine 07/13/12 at 9:46 am

    My school system just served me with a summons to appear in court for “refusing to send my children to school”..based on significant absences they had accumulated during the school year. BOTH children have 504 plans – one for Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome hypermobility type, ,depression, anxiety disorder, ADHD and OCD and the other for Ehlers-danlos Syndrome, hypermobility type. The process literally went from one meeting in MAY where the social worker forced us to sign a compliance agreement to being served in June for my kids having more subsequent absences. (which WERE health related). My son was in the gifted program and a Presidential Award for Academic Excellence recipient. His grades only suffer when he misses due to health issues and the school treats his absences like they are a choice, and he just just being truant. What can we do???

  • 77 norma 07/07/12 at 6:14 pm

    i recently fund my 13year old son have tb, is any way posible he can still going to school, or he have to be on a iferent program, any body know what can i do this is in the brownsville, texas thanks for the help…

  • 78 Lisa 06/05/12 at 2:19 pm

    I am looking for help from anyone who has a child with a chronic illness who misses a lot of school. My daughter has lupus, and we have been fighting the school system for years to give her accommodations. She has none, except “seperate testing” which does not even relate to her illness or help at all. They denied our request to allow classes to be recorded so she does not miss content. They denied out request for tutoring to help her catch up when she is out for a certain number of days. They denied her having exams be modified. We even went to state mediation and it did absolutely nothing. She is getting D’s on her report card, and she is NOT a D student! She is in high school now and we have been battling this since she was in 4th grade. Now her chances of college admittance are waning and its not fair. Help please, anyone??

  • 79 Eileen 06/01/12 at 12:17 pm

    My daughter has been pretty sick last year and finished the year being home bound. This year she was better enough to go to school although she usually had a very bad cold and a low fever , sore throat and nausea but went the same hanging in there. Until she dislocated her patella, that was the last straw on the camels back and she became more run down, to the point she missed to many days and especially early classes. As she would rest, fell stronger and better and get in for the remainder of the classes. Then she tore her hamstring.
    She had a half year civics class, the teacher gave her a ninety-five for the paper but than realized it was in two hours late in the electronic mail, she had to resend it in a different format he dropped her grade to a 35 and failed her for the year
    She is has now exceeded the amount of absences.

  • 80 Mara 05/23/12 at 9:16 pm

    My son has to pay sit time recover for his absences. I’m in a homeless program and cant afford to pay days he’s missed. My son is in highschool and he has narcolepsy, netrapena, eczema, adhd, asthma, reflux, allergic rhinitis, gastritius. How can this work for him? What else can I do to stop this? His 504 list all his medical history but Im still having to pay for Sit-Time recover.

  • 81 Julie 05/18/12 at 9:40 pm

    My child has cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome. I home schooled last year because she kept getting sick in school. She was healthy as a horse last year. This year we thought school would be good since she had gotten stronger with her health. That has not been the case. Everytime I send her to school she is febrile and sick five days later. She has been admitted to the hospital this year after picking up illnesses in school. I want her on homebound status because they cannot figure out how to keep her fragile immune system from contacting viruses. She is developmentally delayed and like a toddler with things in her mouth constantly. The school’s position is that she has to go to school and get sick each time to qualify for homebound services. This shortens her life. How do other students handle fragile immune systems?

  • 82 A. Parent 05/15/12 at 10:01 am

    This is a huge problem in Staunton, Virginia. The schools here have started overenforcing the compulsory attendance laws in the last two years (a 1900% increase in prosecutions between 2009-10 and 2010-11 which shows no sign of abating). They are vindictive towards parents whose children miss school due to illness, lose notes and prosecute even after they’re provided with copies of the notes, and act in a hostile and unprofessional manner not only towards parents, but towards the children themselves when they return to school. Please take a look at our website,, for data and information. If you live in the area, please get in touch with us for support and to see how you can fight back.

  • 83 Dylan 04/13/12 at 11:30 am

    I myself am being penalized for absence. I suffer from Juvenile Fibromyalgia, but do not yet have a 504 Plan. My local DOE representative has contacted the school, but has no jurisdiction over it (it is an out-of-town private school). Some accommodations have been made, but these are not enough to truly help me, and the school’s attitude is putative in terms of academics for myself. What are my rights in the private school system in the State of New York and/or City of New York?

  • 84 Barbara 03/30/12 at 11:09 am

    What about the child’s learning?! That is what school is all about…to learn! If the child is not present for lessons that impedes their ability to master the subject materials, learn to cooperate with others, be responsible for deadlines, and learn to manage their time. I sympathize with children who are chronically ill, but school isn’t a punishment, it’s an opportunity. Students who miss school need to have the same educational opportunities as other students and that means making up the learning opportunities in some form. Students with chronic heath problems are usually offered home school services by the school district. Parents really need to figure out equitable ways to make sure their students are getting the instruction they need to succeed with their learning goals.

  • 85 Angela 03/19/12 at 7:22 pm

    My child has cronic breathig problems and stays sick during the school year but when she is out for s break she is my normal 6 yr old. I honestly think something is wrong with the school and mow they want to make her repeat KD
    And she is way to smart to do that! I’m thinking of homeschooling her for a while until they find out what’s making her sick

  • 86 mema 03/07/12 at 12:48 pm

    principal threatens me with youth services and ss, my kids miss more days than allowed, there are three contagious illnesses at the school, the doctor’s office is booked for two days, the clinic at the elementary school is booked for the two days they are there, if we could just get these kids well at the same time!!! And something should be done about sending sick kids to school just so parents wont loose their jobs!!!

  • 87 Venessa 03/07/12 at 10:09 am

    My daughter is seventeen and she is pregnant. her pregnancy is high risk and was diagnosted with hyperemesis gravidarum witch is known as uncontrolled and persistent nausea and vomiting. Hyperemesis gravidarum only occurs in about 2% of pregnancies. it usually only lasts the first four months – she is three months now and still its the same. she cant go to school in this condition and keep getting filed on for truancy. I cant afford to keep paying tickets. what can I do when I go to court?

  • 88 Tatiana 03/02/12 at 3:20 pm

    im in high school and i have be absent 20 time becaseu of being sick. my mother wites me notes for the days that i have missed but that dosent always work in the state of texas for all absent. they want me to have docters note, but i dont go to the docter when i am sick becacuse my mother is a nurse and dosent take me becaseu she knows what is wrong with me. what should i do about this, can i make these days up in summer school.

  • 89 Beth 02/16/12 at 7:37 pm

    My daughter has been diagnosed with PTSD, Sever depression, and Anxiety disorder. She has missed a lot of school because of it. She is trying to keep up with her school work, the teachers have been very good about helping her out. The principal says she is doing fine, but because of her absenses, even though most of them have had doctors excuses, said his goal is for her to get her diploma but that she will NOT be allowed to walk with her class at graduation. She has passed her OGT’s just fine, and is keeping decent grades, how can they keep her from graduating with her class. She has missed out on a lot because of her problems, (passing out due to stress, having seizure like episodes, etc.) why punish her more? Can they keep her from graduating with her class?

  • 90 Juliet 02/16/12 at 5:07 pm

    Does anyone address the lack of instruction time these student’s are missing? What about students that have to go to the doctor or hospital visit on a regular basis? One district stated that a student could not have full inclusion four days a week and home/hospital for one day so that he could receive treatment at the hospital. Does this seem right?

  • 91 monica 02/14/12 at 5:54 pm

    Thank you for this info. I have a daughter in a similar situation. I am currently in the process of putting a 504 Plan in place.

  • 92 Melinda T 02/14/12 at 4:12 pm

    I believe there needs to be stronger legislation for children who miss school due to chronic illnesses. A 504 plan is NOT enough and it does NOT protect them. My daughter suffers from chronic migraine headaches and was an “A” student until she began missing school due to her migraines.

    Suddenly she was getting “F’s” for non-participation due to missing school because of her illness. She was willing to do make-up or alternate assignments but this was not good enough for the teachers at her high school. She was given a “C” in a class she clearly earned an “A” in due to “lack of participation” and a teacher bullying her.

    If there was a law that would protect kids with chronic illnesses, it might make a huge difference for their future. How does giving them failing grades help them to be successful in school?

  • 93 nan 02/14/12 at 3:59 pm

    We had the same issue in the 1990s. I was required to EXIT my daughter from the public LAUSD school she attended and ENTER her into a Home/Hospital school (with new teachers) each time she had pneumonia and atelectasis from chronic lung disease. It was an academic nightmare. She missed her friends, missed her curriculum, had gaps in knowledge (remediated only in college years later) and learned to hate school because she was penalized for missing “too much” — I was threatened by truancy law violation.

    We elected to remove her from that hostile school district. She attended college when she left public school and earned a diploma years later.

    What a punitive experience it is to parent a wonderful child who is mistreated by the educational establishment! I hope it has changed by now. She had an IEP. Useless.

  • 94 Sandra H 02/14/12 at 12:30 pm

    I work at a nonprofit in central California. A client is experiencing difficulty getting a good program for her high schooler because she is only able to go to school a few hours a day because she is recovering from a critical illness (and it may return). She needs AP courses that are not offered at the online program they want to send her to. She does not have an IEP or 504. Any information you can point us to?

  • 95 Pat 02/14/12 at 11:51 am

    Don’t forget that children with chronic health conditions and/or temporary disabilities are entitled under most state laws to homebound or hospital instruction. These children do not have to have an IEP or a 504 Plan. Homebound instruction can be accomplished through a home to school internet connection like Skype. This does not isolate the child as does typical homebound instruction. They can interact just like other childre who are present in the classroom. Many schools and families already have the available setup. All they need to do is provide the child with a notebook computer and an internet connection if the family does not have either. Check your state’s laws and you may see that the child who misses lots of school may be able to participate even if they cannot attend school.

  • 96 Cathy 02/14/12 at 9:10 am

    My son had an IEP since he started school. Once we found out he had bipolar disorder we notified the school that the diagnosis explained his behavior and it was noted in his IEP and we had no problems until he went to middle school. They said he was too smart to have an IEP and they did not recognize Bipolar Disorder as having need for an IEP. I tried to get an OHI or 504 but they still
    Say he doesn’t qualify. We have recently changed his medicines and they have done quite a number on his stomach. He spends a lot of time in the bathroom. They have started putting him in after school suspension because of his missed time from class. The school won’t listen to me and won’t do anything! I don’t think it’s fair that because my child is smart he should be punished because of his disease!

  • 97 Karen 02/09/12 at 11:02 pm

    My daughter has been absent from school over 20 times so far this year. She does not have a chronic illness but has been hit with many sicknesses. She had Pneumonia over the summer and she seems to catch everything that goes around. We had an IEP meeting and she is currently being tested at school for learning disabilities. Our follow up IEP meeting is in a few weeks. I am afraid they may not provide services because of her absences. I am also afraid they may hold her back. What are our rights?

  • 98 genice 02/08/12 at 4:01 pm

    My 14 year old son is very depressed. Just recently he has been getting very upset about going to school, to the point that he has panic attacks when he know he has to go. We are having him evaluated, the school is giving us a very hard time because he is missing a lot of school. He gets good grades and is not trouble maker, he is a great kid. Can I request a short leave of absence until we get this under control? No, he is not being bullied but, he doesn’t have one friend. And is just so sad all the time, I just can’t send him to school like that.

  • 99 Paula 02/07/12 at 1:07 am

    I was wondering if Asthma falls under the chronic illness law that is talked about on this website. Iam having some trouble with the schools and my child not being able to attend pe class due to her asthma. I need to know what her rights are and I want her to be protected from the teacher “bullying” her when she cant run like the other kids!!!! Please help us!!!!

  • 100 Kathy 01/29/12 at 3:32 pm

    My daughter has RND. She was doing fine until her teacher decided that nothing was wrong with her and didn’t need to follow her 504 plan. This teacher went against the 504 plan doing things causing my daughter to have an episode which this time hit her the muscles around her lungs. She is having very bad anxiety attacks but only with this one teacher. I have gone all the way to the board about this problem. I am not getting any help with it. I now have to go to this one class everyday and sit with her just to keep her calm. I need to know what my next options are. Please, I need help……

  • 101 raquel 01/24/12 at 2:55 pm

    Thank you so much for the information on this site. It answered alot of my questions. My daughter who is in 3rd grade now has been sick now for 3 years and is still undiagnosed. she has recurrent fevers for 5 days a month and misses those days of school and that does not include her doctors visits. 504 or iep. Thank you again

  • 102 Joycelyn 01/18/12 at 12:02 pm

    Iv had stomach problems for about two years now and I’m goin to a specialist to see what is casing me to have so much pain and this means me missing school to find out what’s rong but they said they won’t exsuse my absent day because of the new law can they do that. Iv got good grades A’s and B’s I do all my make up work. I just don’t see how they can’t make it excused because I go to the doctor.

  • 103 Morning 01/11/12 at 12:36 am

    Re: Tardiness – My only concern is that a child with as aspergers needs a routine. I would not keep a child home if they are upset. Don’t allow that pattern to start. He should be at school. Why? You may be setting yourself up for battles as he gets older. If the pattern continues, it will become increasingly difficult for him and you.
    My other concern is that the school should work with you on a behavior plan that can assist you instead of calling juvenile detention. He needs to learn skills outside off your home to learn to relax,transition to school, etc. Is there a behavior therapist In the district to help you? Sometimes our kids can manipulate us.

  • 104 Mary 01/10/12 at 8:44 am

    I wanted to add to my child’s IEP plan the option to excuse his tardies and missed days and they told me that I could not do that. My son as asbergers syndrome and thereare days when he is upset and I keep him home maybe half the day to relax him or just keep him out. we do his homework and he is an AB student in the 3rd grade. We have recently been reported to the juvenile court system. They changed the school times from 8:15 to 8:00 and the kids are tardy after 8:00, which took a long time for him to adjust to the change. The other thing is the absent policy changed from 10 to only 6 absent times a year. What can I do to make things work for us?

  • 105 Mel 01/04/12 at 2:18 am

    I am having a transportation issue and the school is telling me accomodations for transportation cannot be included in my daughters 504 plan.
    When we moved here 2 years ago (TX) bussing was provided by the district. Just before this year started they claimed that bussing had to be cut from the budget and families would now have to pay $180 per semester/per student. As a single parent of 4 kids and the expenses of a child with multiple chronic illnesses, I can’t even keep the utilities on every month, so I can’t afford anything “extra”. We are about a mile away so they have told her to walk. Three of her illnesses include Crohns, Asthma/Pulmonary disease and Arthritis. While it might be possible for her on occasion to walk, there is no way she can physically do it everyday both ways.
    Can I make them provide bussing for her through 504?

  • 106 angelia 12/07/11 at 11:03 pm

    wow im not alone in my fight, i congratulate the young man for coming back and educating himself to help people that are on this journey of heartache! good luck. my 8 year old son has been in a 8 year battle and just got diagnosis, 5 of them as a matter of fact. so to UNC i say in your face im not munchhousin (however you spell it) mom and my son does not have a psychological problem! to the parents out there fighting for their kids i say dont give up! God bless

  • 107 Allie 12/05/11 at 8:48 pm

    I was this student when I was in high school.

    I suffered from undiagnosed chronic illnesses for nearly 3 years. The symptoms of my heart condition and brain tumor were debilitating and kept me from school on a regular basis. Our school district never once suggested a 504 plan or that we add it on to the IEP I had for being a gifted student. My family had to fight tooth and nail to even get a parent teacher conference to discuss my situation, and even then, there was absolutely no support. Once my conditions were diagnosed, I worked very hard to become healthy and achieved straight A’s as I did before my illness. I have become an advocate for supporting students with chronic illnesses and am earning a degree in Music Education. To all of you who are experiencing this, keep fighting and know that you’re not alone.

  • 108 Diann 11/30/11 at 4:01 pm

    Today my son was dressed and ready for school but didn’t want to go because he was told that he would have detention if he were late.. We were also told by the attendance office that we needed a letter from my son’s doctor explaining that he had a chronic illness. His illness and accommodations for tardies and absences are clearly stated in his IEP program paperwork. The school should not need any further explanation or paperwork. We were told that the school is just not paying attention to the the plan that is already in place. This is a constant battle but worth it for my son’s education and well being. This information was very helpful. Thank you

  • 109 Ronald 11/19/11 at 10:03 pm

    My daughter attends a Charter School in California. School handbook allows for doctors and parents excuses for children that are sick. My daughter has asthma. This particular week she was admitted to hospital emergency room at 3:00 AM. until 7:00 AM. We kept her home with doctors excuse 3 days and 7 days due to her asthma. All absences were called in on a daily basis. My daughter missed work in all her classes. The school called a meeting with us and said she must do the make up work. All teachers agreed except one. Her English/History/core teacher stated I don’t do make-up work. In the classes that allowed the makeup she passed. The school failed my daughter would not allow her to graduate with the class or attend any school functions concerning graduation. Did not give her a promotion. Would not allow her on campus.

  • 110 yvonne 11/18/11 at 4:02 am

    hello, my daughter last yr was diagnosed with what they call a “mild” case of scoliosis. She started having severe pain & numbness in her lower back & legs. i have taken her to the dr & orthopedic dr. they both have said that she is okay this should not affect her. Well she wakes up mornings so uncomfortable & in so much pain that she honestly has missed alot of school, especially when we first found out. Well its come to the point that dr.’s will not give her any limitations cause they say its not severe. The school is now harassing not only me, but my daughter is being harrassed in class by her teachers, and they continue to humiliate her in front of students. There is family history of hip-leg perthes disease my Younger Bro at 16 & myself at 24 this yr at the age of 32 have had hip- replacements, which has been ruled out what can i do?

  • 111 ashley 09/22/11 at 9:04 pm

    Should I have points taken off my grade because I wasn’t in class DUE TO A DIABETES DR APPT? I have a 504 Plan in place, but one teacher doesn’t seem to want to follow it. What should I do?

  • 112 AQ 09/17/11 at 12:06 am

    Our problem is similar, but not entirely. My brother is in 12th grade, he was supposed to have only half a year left to graduate, but the school told us he has to attend an entire year to do so because of absences from the year before. Every single absence was excused. My brother gets horrible allergies (just like our father) and other times it was for the flu. Each time we’d call the school and inform them, they told us it was better for him to stay home to prevent other kids at school from getting sick. We did keep him home based upon that fact and that he couldn’t even get out of bed. Now, he’s being punished by having credits withheld! We’re talking about a kid who panics when he can’t be at school because “something important” was happening that day. Now it’s contracts, no grad if 3+ absences?! Help!

  • 113 jeanette 05/04/11 at 10:25 pm

    I’m 17 years old. I’ve always had heath problems since the 5th grade, I’m a junior in high school now. I have a thyroid problem that is controlled but with the pills I have to take them & wait a half an hour to eat my breakfast in the morning before school. It comes to be very hard & stressfull to not have the time to eat breakfast & get sick. But before this for 3 years now I’ve always felt sick in mournings & sometimes during school when I would have to then leave & then go home. Someone walks by me & i they have a cold. I more then likey will get it somehow & be out of school for a few days. I try & try to make up work as best I can. I have never failed a class. I even did the can program at my school. I strive to succed. But what gets me down is that when I need to make up make my teachers look at it as another excuse.504 plan for me?

  • 114 Dawn 03/24/11 at 10:45 pm

    My daughter is a type 1 diabetic that has a 504 in place as of 2010. The school said a letter from parent on absences would be fine in place of a Dr note. These notes have been lost and they are sending us to truancy court in May. I offered to resend notes for the missed days but they say the notes need to be in with in 3 days of the absence. This is not stated on the 504. They also said they are removing her from the 504 because they dont have a annual Dr note. From what I have leaned there is no expiration date on the 504 and the 3 day note policy should not apply to us since it was not in the 504…am I correct? We are beyond upset for the fase our daughter will have to appear in court. She is a nervous wreck.. She is a good kid and shouldnt have to do this..Thank you in advance

  • 115 Gloria 03/20/11 at 11:28 pm

    My daughter has juvenile diabetes and has missed alot of days also she also suffers from Chronic Migraines and they are trying to say she is truant also. She was sick last week and kept telling her nurse and the nurse sent her back to class and put a trash can beside her. That is WRONG! All because she has missed alot and she dont feel like she needed to go home. Well when my child came home she threw up the rest of the weekend.. Something has to be done to protect children with disablilities from this!

  • 116 Shelly 03/16/11 at 10:47 pm

    My daughter is in 8th grade. She has many depression problems due to some unfortunate event. She was missing alot of school, and the school was working with me. Then she tried to commit suicide and was in a mental hospital, and then in daily therapy. She has now been with a homebound teacher for a month. She has all F in her general education classes, and they are going to retain her. Can they make her repeat 8th grade even though her absensces were due to a mental illness?

  • 117 Jonetta 03/16/11 at 8:21 pm

    When i was younger I had the same problem and still do now as I am entering college.

    I would talk to the school nurse. She will be your best advocate. Once the school and your daughter’s doctors are on the same page, it will make her life and your life a little better :)

  • 118 Julie 03/13/11 at 4:55 pm

    I am an unemployed Special Education teacher. My neighbor’s daughter has severe chronic seizure brought on by stress and has a 504. She has missed whole weeks of school due to her illness. The teachers in her gen. ed. classes are rude and degrading toward the student for the time she misses, pointing it out in class. She feels much abused by the school district. Her mother was wondering if I could home school her or if there was something else I could do to help her daughter graduate high school.

  • 119 Kris 01/16/11 at 2:47 am

    I am a parent of a special needs child who is enrolled in special education at a public school. Her dxs are ODD and PTSD. How do I deal with “truancy” dilemmas when she is not physically ill? Part of going to this particular school for her is having to hear children crying and screaming because of being secluded and restrained. This is a BIG trigger for her as it relates to her PTSD. She also has a physical education teacher who is an idiot. How can I help deal with her refusal to go to school when she is mentally/emotionally a mess? Any suggestions, references, resources, or experiences that anyone could share with me would be so appreciated!

  • 120 Mary 12/06/10 at 10:41 am

    My son has many health issues and has many plans in affect for his severe asthma and allergies.He also is diabetic with high blood pressure.He has missed alot of days and I was taken to court for truancy.The judge didn’t consider that he had an asthma plan or other accommodation recommended by other doctors.Now he is on a 3 month probation and has no unexcused but a lot of days missed.I cannot get the school to give me missed work so he can get caught up and this will not look good when we go to court. I was recently told my son was eligible for an IEP and 504 plan but I feel the school is not going to help and I will and my son will be punished for his sicknesses.What do I do I need help before December 19 to get him caught up in school.

  • 121 crystal 10/11/10 at 8:56 pm

    My name is Crystal. I have a kid who is 13. Since school started he has missed a lot of days. He has asthma and bronchitis. It is hard for him to breathe. He is on 2 inhalers. When we send him to school, he calls home and we don’t know what to do.

  • 122 Peter 09/21/10 at 12:39 pm

    My son has “Acute Asthma.” He misses a lot of school during the winter months due to both asthma attacks and at least one lung affection, which causes him to miss at least two weeks of schooling, wherein he must be admisistered breathing treatments at home, or in the “ER,” in either November, and or December of every school year so far. Eventhough he had/has written medical excuses provided to the school each time, his RSP instructors give him a grade of “F” because of school work missed while to ill to attend. What is the solution?

  • 123 Cathy M 07/14/10 at 1:29 pm

    Question– one of our local school districts (I work for our local Arc) has made a blanket policy that children who leave school for therapies will not have excused absences. There is a huge shortage of therapists in our area, and getting appointments during the after school hours is difficult. Also the shortage means that the children are frequently not getting the therapy listed in their IEP’s. Is this an issue that families should be working out in their IEP’s? Aren’t therapies (PT, OT, SLP)considered a medical service? (they can still go to other doctor appoinments)

  • 124 Kate 07/13/10 at 10:39 am

    I would also contact your local Americans with Disabilities Act Department which is usually at the State House. I have found them amazingly helpful and you would be surprised how many rights your children have. Especially about not following the usual rules. Good Luck.

  • 125 Diana 06/11/10 at 12:33 pm

    My child has asthma and has missed several days due to her asthma or lung illnesses that were made worse due to her asthma. The school requested this year if our child is sick to keep them home due to the “swine flu” scare. Now my child has been denied the opportunity to participate in her 8th grade activities due to the missed days of school even though she was ill and needed special care at home and based this on a “contract” she signed at the beginning of the year saying she would not miss more than 20 days of school. How are we to know how often she would be ill at the beginning of the year. Can the school discriminate against her and punish her for health issues by refusing her the opportunity to celebrate the end of her 8th grade year and attend these functions with her classmates?

  • 126 STEPHANY 05/28/10 at 4:36 pm

    My son has a kidney disease and has missed alot of school this year. The state board helped me with the truancy but the school wants to hold him back in the first grade. We had a meeting to discuss the matter on may 25th with only 10 days of school left and they just informed me of the 504 plan. The 504 plan should have been in place along time ago. now because my son has to repeat the first grade is there anything i can do to stop it?

  • 127 maryelizabeth 05/25/10 at 7:49 pm

    I am a mom of two diabetic daughters, and I have so many problems at school, my 11 year old is type1 and my 9 year old has type one also but also has a seizure disorder, we have had just problem after problem with school and it is very frustrating. My 9 year old missed alot of school last year due to seizures, we had a letter from the neurologist but were still fined from the school and district justice. I feel that these diabetic children are just being pushed to the side and that the laws for the children are not being followed. I feel that these school districts, teachers, school nurses, and school staff, need to be educated and on the same page as the parents.

  • 128 Wendy 05/10/10 at 5:57 pm

    I don’t know what to do! My 15 yr. old son has mental health problems that are being treated through medication and counseling that are documented. His High school has filed two chins on him with the court, the courthouse put him on probation for six months with a probation officer who is out of control and now, they want to hold his truancy’s against him. I don’t know my rights with the school or the courthouse and cannot afford an attorney. I did get an court appointed lawyer but she doesnt seem to be doing much either. I don’t feel he should be persecuted for a mental health illness. He is on three medications for it and gets counseling, what more can I do for him? His friends dont want to be friends with him anymore because the school put him in special ed classes and he’s being bullied by the principle and guidance people. HELP!!

  • 129 Weary 05/02/10 at 2:39 pm

    After 18 a sp.ed. student is not truant when at home recovering from health issues, and I can find little help or information.

    A letter was provided to School 2 months ago that the student could not return to school due to multiple medical concern, the school contacted the parent and said an IEP meeting had to be schedule, but did not share information about necessary physicians forms. A month later, they emailed physician form, but did not notify by phone or letter that this was required. It has been 3 weeks since physician, parent form were provided to school, and they say NO homebound services until they speak to MD (that may be impossible due to HIPPA and Dr. rarely returns phone calls). I know regular kids are availed fair and timely homebound services. School will be over before anyone reviews complaint or services are delivered

  • 130 Wrightslaw 04/14/10 at 4:37 pm


    Cathy: For regulations regarding homeschooling in your state, you need to check your State Department of Education website – or find a contact number and call someone to inquire about the homeschooling regulations. You’ll find your state DOE here:

    It may not be safe to assume that it is the school or something/someone at the school causing the reaction. Your child my have an allergy that could cause a serious reaction in any environment. Could your local health department or free clinic provide some assistance?

  • 131 Cathy 04/12/10 at 12:32 pm


    My daughter has never had a problem, but the last three days has been sent home from school with a terrible rash and itching, which clears up by the time we get home. (thurs, fri, and mon.) She had NO symptoms over the weekend. Appears to be allergic to something at the school. Due to job change, we have no insurance at this time and can’t afford tests. They sent her to a ‘school’ clinic. If necessary, can I keep her home the rest of the year, “homeschool” her with their curriculum and still get credit? (7th grade) I am a former teacher and homeschooled my other kids for over 10 years.

  • 132 david 03/27/10 at 3:09 pm


    I was given a letter in the mail that they were referring my child’s case to truancy court. The letter was in the mail today just left in mail box and it was dated on the 25th. I enrolled my son in the home school program on the 25th and he was with drawn the same day. Can i still be held accountable for truancy even though he is in a homeschool program? My child has alot of medical issues and several times they sent him home and gave me permission to take him out early…………now I’m scared. What do I do. I don’t want my child taken from me because of this…..please someone help

  • 133 stephanie 03/22/10 at 4:09 pm

    I am currently summons to court for my sons excused absences. I’m worried as the summons states you need a lawyer or your children could be taken. I contacted the truant officer to explain that the last slip was not turned in and he would not let me turn the slip in since December is over. I’m worried, If they were to take my child it would devastate him. Not to mention he would tantrum and wonder what is going on.

    I currently don’t have a 504 plan, but am working on one. Is there anything I can do? I’m desperate for an answer to why they would not excuse a Doctors note and I’m paying $400.00 to retain a lawyer.

  • 134 Carol 02/10/10 at 12:54 am

    we have foster children and the attendance policy mentioned at has proven to be very detrimental to them and so many others.

  • 135 Guine 01/12/10 at 10:14 pm

    My son is in 7th grade has been sick for most of the first two sememsters. While I am trying to make sure he keeps up with his homework and in contact with the teachers, I am worried because this is a private school and they can only miss a certain amount. I am afraid they are going to call me and tell me he has failed because of the absences. He gone to the doctors several times but so far he cannot find out what is wrong. Is there anything I can do to protect him from failing from missing school? I am stressing out from not knowing what is wrong with him and worried he will and all the money this is costing.

  • 136 Rhonda 12/06/09 at 8:03 pm


    What if the absences are not due to a medical condition but a mental health condition which is the eligibility for receiving special services? The child has been penalized for absences due to anxiety issues. They filed truancy on the child the first day they found him to be eligible for services and continue to do so. They have not provided him services while he was not attending school, and denied him all credit in the process. Does this child need a health plan as well or is it enough to have an IEP? We are filing a complaint with the SEA for no FAPE at this time.

  • 137 Cindy 11/19/09 at 9:29 am

    My child is ADD and also has chronic asthma and allergies. She has been good with her illness until this year and has missed a number of days of school and has had to have the ambulance called to the school one time. The 504 has been in place since she was in grammar school. At this time I do not know if it is being followed. I used to get a call and be allowed to sit in on all of the meetings concerning Cassie and the 504 and now I get absolutely nothing. When I asked the person over these children about this she said that they no longer did that and that they no longer had a mentor for these children. My child has a teacher who is giving her an extremely hard time and they don’t seem to understand or care that there is a 504 in place for her. How can I make them understand that they will accommodate her needs under this law?

  • 138 sleigh 10/20/09 at 3:31 am

    After 14 mos of our League City, Tx school refusing to evaluate our 15 yr old as requested by parents, in writing, since 08/08 & 10/08, never providing an FAPE, and refusing to listen to our son’s 6 specialists, we have decided enough is enough.
    Since the homebound teachers sent out MODIFIED the tests by reducing MC answers,giving open book test/exams, & even giving him answers to open book tests, my son has learned NOTHING. He said he felt like a cheater! When his health worsened & Dr. stated fulltime hmbnd on all core subj.;the district DROPPED ALL HOMEBOUND!!
    We will not allow our son’s educ. to rely on this school to follow the law, because they feel they are above the law.
    We have hired 2 cert teachers for 3 days/wk. & I need help finding an accredited HS curriculum adaptable to his way of learning. We have an IEE with suggstns.

  • 139 sandy 10/13/09 at 1:05 pm

    My 10 year old has an IEP for speech. Can she use it for the RND? She misses school from the pain.
    Does the school district have to make accommodations for homework and transportation to and from the school to the Children’s Institute where she receives treatment? Does my child have that right? Can this be written in an IEP and can she get a IEP for her condition if a doctor has diagnosed her? What do I need? The school district tells me her condition has to affect her academically to receive an IEP. What does the word “academics” include and is this true?

  • 140 Holly 09/17/09 at 8:26 pm

    I just had our 504 meeting (while an IEP in being evaluated). I had read this information about absences and asked that it be written into my daughter’s plan…they said no way. My daughter has an anxiety disorder/PTSD and depression from cyber assult 3 years ago. Had missed school in past r/t meds, depression and anxiety. Never had heard of 504/IEP. They just told us she had too many absences (doctors wrote letters explaining intermittent absences) (made As/Bs) but had to go to homebound to relieve absence issues (maybe 504/IEP might have made staying possible or prevented absences in first place!). So far she’s been everyday but I want the protection in case. They quoted need x-number of days attendance by law. They also said that when you miss you don’t learn. Not so. Is there something concrete I can quote to them? Thanks

  • 141 jennamac 09/12/09 at 9:42 am

    My son, a 15 year old on the autism spectrum, has an IEP with a disability rating of autism, which we had to FIGHT for–they wanted to place him in the “emotional disturbance” category. He just began high school and because of circumstances that occurred last year at school, (an unfounded knife check –he collected them but never took one to school, and a sexual assault on my son by another boy–whose mother happens to be a vice principal at my son’s high school) he is experiencing severe school fear and anxiety ( well documented by his psychiatrist and private counselor) and could not go back after the first day. He is on medical leave for anxiety, and is attempting, as best he can (needs one-on-one instruction) to complete his school assignments. We just received a letter from principal threatening truancy if not in school on Monday.

  • 142 sleigh 09/12/09 at 7:59 am

    I recently requested the statistics in our school district (FOIA)for the amt of students “found” in compliance with receiving NCLB child find. My son’s high school had “0”. As a matter of fact, out of ALL 4 High Schools in district, only 1 school evaluated any students. However, when that school reevaluated high school students already in Spec Ed, they found that 10 were no longer eligible for services.

    Why do schools keep getting Title I and NCLB funds when they obviously are not holding up their end. The administration should be fined and have their salaries reduced. Isn’t that what would happen to most of us if we did not do our job?

  • 143 sleigh 09/12/09 at 7:36 am

    My son has an autoimmune deficiency disease that causes chronic pain, inflamation of his joints, muscles.connective tissues, and back. He is taking Methotrexate for it. He also has Tourette’s Syndrome, and he has a very serious and severe form of Autonomic Dysfunction (symptoms include syncope, tachycardia, very low blood pressure, muscle weakness,& complete loss of consiousness.) His Dr filled out the HBound form attaching a detailed description of his disability. He is to have core classes on homebound for the school yr. My son had been on intermittent HB and now that his condition has worsen, SCHOOL DROPPED ALL HOMEBOUND. My son’s school has left my 15 year old chronically ill and now with no way of attaining an education. My son’s 504 plan was never followed. School retaliates when parents request services for ill.

  • 144 Wrightslaw 08/17/09 at 10:38 pm

    You need to document what happened with a short, factual letter (no allegations about “unprofessional, discriminatory and bullying behavior”) to the teacher and her supervisor or the principal (a person you think is fair). Ask what the teacher thinks you and she can do to help your son return to school without so much anxiety.

    The response to your letter will help you decide what to do next.

  • 145 SN 08/17/09 at 1:06 pm

    My son with a 504 for Asthma and Depression recently missed a week + of school after the first few days of this school year due to flu with severe fever and pulmonary inflamation. His peers began texting that one of the teachers told his class that the students should tell “Joe” that he is currently FAILING his class for missing a whole week of classes. My son is now displaying signs of anxiety over dealing with the attitude his teachers will express once he returns. Isn’t this unprofessional, discriminatory and bullying behavior?

  • 146 Jabreel 08/11/09 at 10:07 pm

    I used to attend a public school. I had kidney stones which caused me to be rushed to the ED from school alot of times and each time the school said “half day unexcused” and some days i woke up in pain so i just didn’t go. They said unexcused absence and when i had doctors appointments the school said unexcused and only excused them for the duration of the appointment which meant half day unexcused. The school never once offered me a 504 or IEP. I had over 100 missed days and 50 tardies. My teachers gave me F’s and gave me trouble with make up work, telling me I had to have 5 days worth of school work plus homework done by the next day, and then to make it even worse they filed a educational neglect complaint with children family services. Now its on my educational record as a repeat truant offender! is that legal?

  • 147 Misty 07/06/09 at 1:47 am

    My son has Craniosynostosis. He missed alot of school days due to servere migraines from the metal moving in his skull as well as the pressure the skull is putting on the brain. He made up all his missed hours and most of his daily work in all his classes and passed them all except history which he failed by 3 points. The school (Texas public) failed him for the whole year. He will have to retake the 7th grade including the classes he passed with good grades. Our school does not have summer school so the class couldn’t be made up in that manner. Isn’t there some kind of law that makes exceptions for kids who fail a class due to being unable to make up all the work they missed? It seems so unfair he should have to retake classes that he made A’s and B’s in. Is there anything we can do?

  • 148 Heather 03/19/09 at 2:49 pm

    I have 2 children that have missed school quite a bit. the school has been aware of their medical problems. My daughter is a straight A student and is advanced 3 grade levels then her natural grade level but suffers from cronic migrains and we have tried nemorus treatments & meds and she has suffered through all the testings& specialist. The school is aware of this and I have brought paper to back all of it up. I have spoke with the princpal about this situation alot. She has told me not to worrie as long as they (the school) knows whats going on and they have the paper work nothing will happen. But now I receive a letter about a hearing now. My son has cronic asthma and has asthma attacks also. and can not attened school at times.I feel i have just been deceived with all the school has told me. my children would rather be at school…..

  • 149 Heather 03/09/09 at 11:54 pm

    My 12 year old daughter has a primary immune deficiency which causes her to miss a good portion of school through out the year. She has been covered by IEP’s now for 4 years and her illness has always been addressed in the IEP’s.

    Recently, I raised an issue with the district re: lack of safe and appropriate transportation services for my child. Now, I have received a letter from the principle threatening referral to our local SARB re: my daughter’s absences. My daughter had an IEP three weeks ago in which this issue WAS NOT BROUGHT UP AS AN ISSUE WHATSOEVER. I believe this is clearly a tactic by the school and district into intimidating me due to my other complaint. What are my best options at this point?

  • 150 Wendi 02/25/09 at 3:33 pm

    My daughter has partial seizure disorder. She also has sever migraines. The doctor wrote a letter to the school saying it can effect her schooling. She misses many days because of the seizure and/or migraines. The school only allows 3 missed days per semester. She has exceeded it. They are saying she must go to Saturday school to make up the days. As it is right now, she will be attending every Saturday until school lets out.
    I had a 504 plan meeting yesterday and was told that they cannot accommodate or excuse her absences because it is against school policy. Since she is making up the work and passing her classes then she does not need accommodations and therefore does not qualify. Her teachers are allowing her to make up the work now but in the past I was told by teachers that they don’t have to. They then stop accommodating her.

  • 151 Regina 02/06/09 at 11:27 am

    I work for a school. I suspect that a student with valid health conditions and an IEP is missing school for reasons other than those related to her health condition. Is there anything that we (the school) can do when a student with health conditions is suspected of being truant?

  • 152 Anne 01/26/09 at 4:35 pm

    I would love help from any parents who have been through this. My daughter has been ill since November and has been rushed to the ER twice with gastric pain. She has undergone several test but we still do not know what is wrong with her. She is now under treatment through Children’s Hosp and will see a gastric specialist this week. She is on an IEP for her reading disability. However not once has the school offered a 504 for her. I have asked and been told she has to have a diagnoses. All of her absences from school have been excused but since she has missed around 20 days this year we have received letters and now the school district contacted Social services. We are now being investigated. I am the Girl Scout leader at our school and have worked in education for the past 6 years. Please I would love any help you can provide.

  • 153 Michelle 01/08/09 at 11:55 am

    My son has ectodermal dysplasia and is 11. He goes to a private christian school. They are complaining about his absences due to surgeries and illnesses. My question is whether or not they are legally bound by the same laws as a public school? I have no EIP plan or anything like that as it was never an issue. He is now in middle school and the bible teacher of all people is complaining about me emailing with questions when he is gone and having to gather work etc. The kid gets straight As and I have a meeting with the principial today. Any help would be appreciated. I am sorry for the late notice but I didnt even know this websit existed!!

  • 154 maureen 10/02/08 at 9:17 am

    Can a parent pull their child from a center program or POHI class prior to the end of the school day if it to attend outpatient therapy services and not be threatened by the school for the child missing school?

  • 155 RS 06/29/08 at 3:52 pm

    School is over, yet I am being required to have an attendance review meeting in July. I am very concerned that my son will be given a citation for truancy. No serious attendance problems were noted at his March IEP meeting. If this is a behavioral issue, isn’t the school required to call a new IEP meeting to determine if the attendance issue is related to his disability (He has visual and auditory processing deficits)? I am reason to believe that the school wants to involve the courts.

  • 156 Pam Wright 06/15/08 at 11:35 am


    LM, sorry for the delay responding. You write that your “son was told he could not take an off campus course because he had too many excused absences.” In my experience as a parent, kids are not necessarily the most accurate reporters of information. YOU need to find out what the school’s policies are.

    Have you received any notice in writing that he will not be allowed to take the class? If not, you need to write a polite businesslike letter that documents what your son told you, that you think your son may have misunderstood because schools don’t have policies to prevent students with disabilities who have absences due to illness from attending class. Ask the recipient of your letter to clarify the school’s position and provide you with any written policies about children with chronic illnesses who miss school due to illness.

    Depending on the response, you may also want to contact your state department of education for their position.

  • 157 Kathy 06/14/08 at 9:17 pm

    Does this same rule apply to individuals with mental health disabilities that require them to go to multiple appts and or be hospitalized throughout the year and or receive lab work and other tests due to meds they are on .

  • 158 Wrightslaw 06/14/08 at 3:27 pm


    You ask if a child’s health care plan needs to be in the IEP (or 504 Plan) to be legally binding. Schools are not legally bound by health care plans. These plans describe the child’s illness and what the child needs, but they are not a commitment by the school to provide services. If the IEP specifically incorporates the health care plan, or includes the information from the health care plan, then it would require the school to provide services or accommodations in the plan.

    Read the post “When a School Refuses to Protect a Child with Life-Threatening Allergies”

    That child had a health care plan because she was severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. Despite documents from her doctor, the school decided that she didn’t have a disability and was not entitled to a 504 Plan. OCR investigated and intervened.

  • 159 Anna 06/06/08 at 11:00 am

    My child is MR ,has a rare skin condition that she gets hives and possibly breathing problems from cold air. Also has liver disease which we are in treatment for i day a month. School wants me to sign paper for some homebound services and wants dr. report . Has had alot of absences but all were legal withdr noe given in Please advise New to PA thanks

  • 160 Laura 06/06/08 at 8:03 am

    It sounds like your child has RND or something similar. Educating the school is probably your best bet. You can find very helpful info if you click the Resources link on this website:
    I wish you and your child the best outcome possible!

  • 161 Ellen 06/03/08 at 10:24 am

    I have a child with a disease that causes severe bone, nerve, and muscle pain. No medication or treatment had helped in 15 months of working with various pain specialists.

    An IEP was just implemented with homebound service. There are days when no school is done due to pain. How can we educate this student?

    This disease is known to cause pain equal to that of the pain after surgery. We’ve been through several pain specialists who say they don’t have anything else left to try. My child can’t concentrate when in such pain.

    The evenings are the only time the pain may not be as severe and by that time my child is exhausted emotionally and physically after dealing with pain all day.

    The school ignores the doctors’ letters stating the severity of her pain and want education to go on no matter what.

    This is an invisible disability and the school believes the student just wants to avoid school. This is far from the truth.

    What can I do?

  • 162 Joan 06/03/08 at 5:35 am

    My daughter has type 1 diabetes and is on the Autism spectrum.she has an IEP and a Health Care Plan. Does her Health Care Plan need to be in her IEP to be legally binding? I want to make sure that school staff realizes that they have to follow her health care plan. We have had some trouble in the past where it wasn’t followed.

  • 163 Sarah 05/30/08 at 1:20 am


    How much information from my son’s doctors does the IEP team need. They want signed releases from 3 of his doctors because of his regression in Bipolar and change of placement requested. Seems like too much but don’t want to be uncooperative……also seems like their are stalling..

  • 164 Wrightslaw 05/28/08 at 1:57 pm

    Does your child have an IEP or 504 Plan? Does the IEP or 504 Plan mention the fact that he has a chronic illness? Does the document describe any strategies to deal with his illness?

    Contact your state department of education and ask for all information about children with chronic medical problems.

  • 165 LM 05/28/08 at 10:43 am


    My son was recently told he could not take an off campus class because he had too many excused absences. His absences are diabetes related. He goes to the nurse to deal with a low blood sugar. What do we do now? The way we see it is he has been denied a class because he is diabetic.