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Stander use in schools


Mel
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Hi, our child uses a stander at school for 3 years to prevent tightening of hip muscles and bone strengthening. The school now is saying that they don't have to use the stander because it's a medical need and not school related. But under FAPE and health related needs I thought they had to allow this accommodation if needed medically to allow her to attend school and get around. It is being done at school as there isn't enough time to be able to consistently do it at home due to working late or therapy/doctor's appointments . Can they refuse a health related need even if it's medical and not school related (this is school related because she would end up not being able to walk any more or her hips would get dislocated)? Recommendations? 

They are also saying no one uses a stander in school if they use crutches and can walk in the school setting. That  wheelchair users only uses the stander. 

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It's always amazing to me, the things they will choose to push back on.

 

Make your request in writing, that this is added to the IEP. If they refuse, ask for their refusal on a PWN and use your procedural safeguards. Their argument has zero validity to it.

Offer to provide training on using the stander, they may be unsure.

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Thanks for the information. It is in currently in the IEP, we've been using at school for about 3-4 years now.  They are saying they want to take it out as they are required by FAPE to do least restrictive and this would be least restrictive by not doing it at school and that they are a school setting so can't be doing it.

They also are saying that it's why she has poor peer interaction, rather than the bullying the kids have been doing regarding her crutches. She's never complained that they talk about her stander, just her use of crutches they've called her names on.... It comes across on how they said it that she has to conform to the school and other students and change her health needs to accommodate them rather than working with differences.

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Its cool that her medical need goes away between 9 am and 3:30 pm.  I wish my medical issues were like that.  If the stander is medically needed at school, it's needed at school.  Are they going to ban scoliosis braces because other students bully kids with these?  Scoliosis braces get worn 23 hours a day.  That's the medical treatment protocol.  Different people sometimes get different protocols.  What doctor decided the stander isn't needed at school? 

Other kids are going to give up glasses at school because no glasses is less restrictive than wearing them?  I don't believe LRE works this way.

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On 10/18/2022 at 7:19 AM, Mel said:

Thanks for the information. It is in currently in the IEP, we've been using at school for about 3-4 years now.  They are saying they want to take it out as they are required by FAPE to do least restrictive and this would be least restrictive by not doing it at school and that they are a school setting so can't be doing it.

They also are saying that it's why she has poor peer interaction, rather than the bullying the kids have been doing regarding her crutches. She's never complained that they talk about her stander, just her use of crutches they've called her names on.... It comes across on how they said it that she has to conform to the school and other students and change her health needs to accommodate them rather than working with differences.

Regarding the bullying, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. And, it sounds like your school has a "blame the victim" mentality. As in, if only she didn't have crutches/stander, she wouldn't get bullied.

 

You have an uphill battle for sure, but I would point out that bullying is the bully's problem to fix, not the victim's.  As a disabled person, they have a federal obligation to keep her safe from harassment at school.

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Thanks everyone. The school is wanting to meet with the physicians and her rehab on this as they still feel she doesn't need it and they don't have to follow the doctors orders that she needs it in school. 

Can we decline this? The doctor already wrote a letter with the need for the stander in the school and why. Our PT  stated the time frame for the hour class would be sufficient so they would be able to meet her needs. They have yet to acknowledge the bullying. Trying to figure out how to respond.... 

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I would politely ask if the school district has an MD/DO on staff who has evaluated your child and issued medical orders that are different from the orders of your child's doctor? If your child gets PT at school, what does the school PT say? What assessments has the district done to determine your child no longer has this need? Is making the determination that your child no longer needs this within the scope of the school staff's licenses? Whether you want the district to be able to speak with your private healthcare team is your decision.

As Lisa said, have the district state their decision and rationale in the PWN and follow your procedural safeguards. Lisa also has a post on writing OCR Complaints in case that's helpful to you- https://adayinourshoes.com/office-civil-rights-complaint-special-education/#h-when-to-file-an-ocr-504-complaint.

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The IEP team wants to meet with the doctor? Good grief, this is outrageous, I've never heard of this.

I don't know if I would even entertain that, or just plow through with the ocr complaint for bullying and procedural safeguards for the stander.

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