Preparing for Back to School... Supporting Your Child with GI Issues

As many are preparing to get their children back in school, whether in a school classroom or e-learning setting, it’s important to ensure arrangements are made in advance for those students suffering from GI issues. GI issues have become increasingly common in the US with over 80,000 children afflicted annually. That being said several steps can be taken to help ensure your student has a seamless transition and a successful school year.

The first step is meeting with your student’s administration to initiate a Section 504 plan. A section 504 Plan helps your child receive necessary accommodations for their specific ailment or disability. Accommodations include changes in content instruction, support, and testing that will help ensure they can participate in the classroom or other school activities. Read more about Section 504 plans below and learn how they can help ensure your child has the accommodations they need to help ensure a positive learning environment this school year.

About Section 504 Plans

- A Section 504 Plan is a Civil rights law that gives students with disabilities a legal right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). This means they must have the same access to learning and activities as their peers without disabilities if they otherwise qualify.

- It applies to academic, nonacademic (recess, lunch, and assemblies), and after school activities.

- A Section 504 plan enables teachers and administration to be aware and adequately prepared when a student misses multiple days of school or has to adjust their school arrival/departure times due to their specific issues.

Section 504 Plans are an important first step to ensure that children with GI issues have a great school year. Here are more great tips from DHAT Pediatric Physician Annette Whitney M.D to help get students set up for greater success this school year.

Best GI Tips

- Have a 504 Plan in place to ensure that your child will not be penalized for any medical issues.

- Visit with your student’s teachers and nurses to ensure that they are aware of any GI issues, even if your child is currently symptom-free. Many students with GI issues are taking several medications so it’s important that the school is aware.

- Review lunches and snacks to ensure that your child is receiving the proper nutrition and to avoid any possible issues or flareups.

- For high school age students, it can be helpful to have their core classes scheduled in the middle of the day to enable them the flexibility to deal with GI issues or flareups that are often prevalent in the mornings.

- Review medication with your children to ensure that they understand how to take it and how to handle any possible side effects during school hours. Again, talk to teachers, nurses, or administration so that they are also aware of medications and any possible side effects.

If you have any GI questions related to your child, feel free to visit our website at DHAT. We have board certified pediatric physicians who specialize in the treatment of digestive and liver diseases for children from birth to 18 years. We committed to providing the best GI treatment and care for your child and work to educate parents and families on how to deal with and manage the related ailments of their young family member.

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