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Marybeth: My daughter is 15 and in 10th Grade in NJ. She has missed about 25 days due to illness. Most of the days are due to vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue. She has doctors notes for 90% of the days. Her pediatrician requested a 504 in October but it was denied. She is presently seeing a gastroenterologist to figure out what is wrong. This problem is being compounded by the school administrators telling her they are taking away all of her credits for this year and don’t care if she graduates in 4 or 5 years. She is also working with a therapist at this time. All 3 doctors are requesting a 504 once again. How do I go about having her absences excused and getting her the credits to graduate on time? I have another meeting with the school this Friday 1/13/16 and would like to be prepared.

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I recommend contacting your state parent training & information project. Yours is SPAN-J


I went to the Department of Education. Superintendents office and they do what they want. I will contact the parent center. Thank You

Ruth, you say you went to the Department of Education Superintendent’s office and “they do what they want.” What do you mean? Specifically, what happened?

YOu don’t tell us what you did, who you talked to, where this person is in the hierarchy of power, if you had a face to face mtg, if the person you talked understood the problems your child is experiencing and realizes that this is a huge waste of time for everyone.

One of your jobs as your child’s advocate is to persuade people who have the power to resolve the problem. If you don’t know how to persuade (and many people don’t), you learn how to do it. There are lots of books about it – the art is persuasion isn’t difficult unless you have an anger problem. It’s a very useful skill to master.