Can We Include a Health Care Plan in My Child’s IEP?

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My 7th grade daughter is in an advanced academic program. The proposed IEP accommodations allow her to turn in homework late, with a penalty. We are transition planning for college now.

The school says they cannot make the accommodation for late homework because this would affect Carnegie credits.

Because she has so many after school appointments for medical care and physical therapy, we need accommodations for homework flexibility.

Should we write a 504 plan for these accommodations?

There is no need to write a separate Section 504 Plan.  You should be able to include all needed accommodations in your daughter’s IEP.

Create a Health Care Plan

Get a full list of the accommodations and interventions that your daughter needs in the course of the day from your doctor. Put these together in the form of a medical management plan or health care plan.  Use this plan as the basis of accommodating your daughter in school.

You can use the model plan the American Diabetes Association has online.  Change the plan to reflect your daughter’s needs. Check the model plan for accommodations provided without penalty.

Copy the Word version into your computer.  Modify the plan to suit your situation.

You already know what the accommodations and interventions are. Use the model form and modify it as best you can. Then ask your doctor what you have left out.

Once the doctor has reviewed it for accuracy and completeness, have him sign the plan.  Deliver a copy to the school nurse and the principal.

Recommended Accommodations

Some medical management plans and health care plans include a broad range of accommodations.

Look at all the items that can be included in a thorough 504 plan.

You will see that the model plan states accommodations provided without penalty.  Your daughter’s plan should be adapted to her specific medical condition and needs.

Learn about IDEA 2004 requirements for accommodations in the IEP in Chapter 6, p. 51.
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Get the School Team On Board

The school team probably does not understand all that you are doing after school to help your daughter succeed in an advanced program.

If time is no longer available after school, due to increased time needed for homework, then what you have done after school, you will now need to do during school hours.

Once the team understands what they are required to do, and they can see what you are doing after school, they should be more receptive to adjusting homework accommodations.

If the school is unwilling to provide the required accommodations you may need to file a civil rights complaint.

Although the actual complaint is easy to file, I recommend that you contact an attorney who represents parents in special education matters.  Ask the attorney to draft the complaint because the important part of the complaint is the resolution.

You may not ask for enough.

Re: Carnegie Credits

Basically the “Carnegie” unit defines the number of contact hours a high school student should have with a teacher. It is a measure of time the student has studied a subject.

Ask the school for their documentation about Carnegie credits limiting disability accommodations.  That just does not exist.

It will be interesting to see what they provide.


This mother followed through with these steps to include a health care plan in the IEP. See what happened…

Doing the Work Will Get the Results

  1. Can LEA require parents provide med records as condition of coming to school & getting SpEd services? Pediatric Nurse Practitioner wrote Plan of Care for special toileting needs for IEP Team, following surgery. Parent provided POC to LEA. Parent demonstrated toileting adaptations to nurse & CNA. LEA says they must speak to Dr directly. We think it is a bad idea to give LEA admins & others unfettered access to primary care provider, who is a PNP, not a dr. Dr. is a surgeon; he is not going to speak to school personnel. Isn’t IEP Team/LEA responsible for incorporating POC into IEP or following it as separate document? They cannot refuse access, right? Isn’t LEA responsible for training or medical exams they think they need? Parent is cooperating, but wants to assert her rights.

    • State rules could allow a LEA to delay access until certain requirements are met. Ask to see the state rules, & district policy on this situation. Often school attorneys tell schools to talk with the doctor, because some doctors will sign things parents ask for. The staff should quickly realize this is needed now, & when the need lessens. A complaint to the state education agency would be appropriate if access is denied. Your state parent training & information center can assist you also.

  2. I have a student coming to me that has a history of seizures and on medication for seizures. He is getting hormone growth therapy too just recently started. He has not had seizures in several years. Should we have a healthcare plan (added to IEP) in place for this student in case he does have a seizure at school? He currently does not have a healthcare plan in place.

    • Not sure if it is legally required, but it makes sense to have one. If something happens, then it is in place. But staff need to know that it exists.

      • Chuck, thank you that is how I felt too but was unsure of the legal aspects. I mean it does not hurt anything to have it in the IEP.

  3. What is the next step when you have an IHP safety protocol for medical issues, and the school knowingly ignores it thus potentially endangering your child’s life? What can a parent do? (No, I have no interest in homeschooling and denying her a normal childhood because adults cannot play nice)

  4. My son is diagnosed with complex partial epilepsy. His neurologist had ordered an ambulatory EEG to be done every 3 months and requires 72hrs of care and will be attending school during those 72 hours. I have requested for an aide but the nurse advised to either keep him home or for me to take off to stay with him during school hours. I have also stressed the fact that seizures are just not the convulsing and shaking but can be staring spells. I have requested for an IHP but child study team have no knowledge of what an IHP is.

    what can i do to have an IHP added to his IEP as well as requesting for a paraprofessional during his time when he has his ambulatory EEG.

  5. You certainly should be able to have it added to your daughters IEP for late assignments. My son has on his IEP that he has to be allowed extra time to do work and more time to allow him to finish the work that is needed. There should have to problem adding that into his plan.

  6. How is that an accommodation if she is penalized for turning in homework late? That sounds no different from the kids who don’t have accommodations.

  7. Needing some help on this one. My child was just diagnosed with dyslexia. He also got ADHD and CP which inhabits handwriting skills. The doctor has put in writing for further evaluation in this area. He also has a LD in written expression/Reading comprehension. He receives OT services as well. What ways can I get my child evaluated for dysgraphia?

  8. Can a student’s 504 accommodation plan have accommodations listed “as needed”? There are some accommodations that are helpful for a student, but not utilized by the student every day or for every assignment. Considering that the plan is in place to meet the needs of the student and should be least restrictive, is it proper to have some accoms. listed as needed? For example: oral read assignments, accommodated test, etc. Some teachers feel that there are some accommodations that the student may always need, but there are some accommodations that the student occasionally needs to be successful. What’s the correct thing to do here?

  9. I appreciate you taking the time to create this post. It has been truly valuable to me certainly. Value it.

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