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School refusing to address health related need in IEP



We are in the process of possibly having a conciliation meeting Tuesday. The school had responded to our objections we sent them on the consent/objections form and agreed to meet most of the objections (they finally agreed to keeping the IHP attached to the IEP), but there were some they didn't as they didn't think it needed addressing. One was making sure our child caths (catheterizes) twice at school.7
Our child has nerve damage due to her disability is not able to feel when needing to go to the bathroom until it's to late and has an accident. She is prone to bladder infections and at risk of kidney infections and kidney failure due to them. She has missed school and was in the hospital because of the bladder infections. She has had to leave class to change if has an accident. She is noted in the IEP that at school and home she doesn't stop what she's doing to go, even though she has a watch to help remind her--She has an IEP goal relating to that... She often needs reminders and someone to follow up make sure she goes to the bathroom when it is time due to her concerns with neurodevelopmental disorder diagnosis (which is associated with her diagnosis). The school is only doing reminders to cath, but no follow through. They do not want to make sure she goes twice a day or even state she needs to go twice a day due to her neurological concerns in the IEP or IHP.
School states because "she has a watch to remind her to go and all students are excused from class to use the restroom as needed", the school district "does not believe it is necessary to add the student's need to cath twice a day or staff need to remind her to the accommodations section of the IEP."
We requested this accommodation so those who work with her know she needs assistance in this area as we were finding out the school had not been following up and making sure she goes like they had in years past. We rejected the schools proposal to not add this into her IEP in accommodations or health related section as we feel this accommodation is needed for her to receive FAPE in the LRE. Without it she would miss school in whole or classes. We are requesting to have this addressed in the IEP under health related needs section or accommodation.
We also feel this is an ADA and possible civil rights concern as the School has been trying to force her to only go 1 time at school and make her go 5-6 hours without going to the bathroom. We feel this is why they don't want to add it in, even though she has had this need for many years and they have had to help her with it. This year though nurse has emailed us saying "she is bigger and should have a bigger bladder, so she should only need to go once a day". They continually refuse to acknowledge her disability needs.
Any recommendations? Resources we can provide the school to help address our child's needs at school?
Thanks for your assistance in this.
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I'm not in Minnesota and don't know what a "conciliation meeting" is, but I'll assume for purposes of responding to this post that it is a form of IEP meeting.

If it's noted in the present levels of the IEP that she doesn't stop what she's doing to use the bathroom even with a watch reminder, it needs to stay in the IEP as an accommodation that the school staff  reminds her and makes sure she actually goes to the bathroom.  A goal for her to independently go to the bathroom after the watch reminder may be appropriate, but if she hasn't met this goal yet, the accommodation of the school following up should stay until it is met.

Are the school's reasons ("do not believe it is necessary" and "she's bigger and has a bigger bladder") substantiated by any data?  Ask for that at the upcoming meeting.  If they don't have any or if you don't agree with their data, as for an IEE.  If you have a provider stating  and data to show she needs staff to do this due to a disability, they have to put it in the IEP/IHP or else, you're correct - it's a potential ADA/civil rights violation.

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I would write a parent letter of concern and ask that it be copied into the IEP.  Make sure that it includes these points:

  • She has nerve damage and cannot feel when her bladder is full.
  • If she wets herself, changing clothes will mean more lost instruction time than a planned cath break - you also have concerns about teasing/bullying.
  • If she is only emptying her bladder 0-1 time at school, she can end up hospitalized and/or with permanent damage to her kidneys.

We had similar issues with my child and needed a letter from her doctor saying she needed to be told to use the restroom 3X per day.  We worked with the school to make a schedule.  Her whole class used the bathroom in the morning.  She was told to use it around lunch time.  She was sent to the nurse's office to use the bathroom in the afternoon - one of her classmates needed an afternoon snack & they went together.  In MS & HS, we found logical breaks - when her classes were near the nurse's office.  She eventually learned to go at prescribed times - I know she went at lunch & again before 8th period when they did a pm announcements.  Her 8th period teacher started class when she got there.



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