KayTar missed therapy due to severe light sensitivity. We got KayTar's wonky allergy testing results and find out her permanent special education teacher quit for personal reasons and they have no viable replacement. I was very frustrated to learn this because she will likely have a string of substitutes not properly informed of her variety plate of medical issues. I really liked her teacher, too.
Nothing of note happens. [calm before storm]
I received a letter from KayTar's school saying that she has missed 31 days of school and from now on, we must provide a doctor's excuse for each absence, even if it is only a single day. After talking to a few friends with school district experience, I decided to call the special education coordinator and find out if accommodations for this can be written into KayTar's IEP to save us co-pays and time.
I called the special education coordinator about the absences and she assured me it is not a problem, she would talk to the registrar and clear up the confusion. Then she called me back and said that because of KayTar's frequent absences she might be released from the program, because there are kids on a waiting list who would utilize the slot more appropriately. I reminded her that I was only calling to see if accommodations can be made in her IEP to facilitate her absences, since we cannot keep her from getting sick. She said she understood that she gets sick a lot, but insisted it would be better to have a child who COULD be present using her slot. That was the bottom line. Then, I lost my shit.
KayTar has been absent a lot. 31 days is a lot. 40% of the time, actually. I understand that is significant. I also know KayTar hasn't been absent once when it wasn't necessary for health reasons. She missed 15 days for her surgery and post-op recovery. The remaining 16 days were due to a variety of infections, all including fevers and some including vomiting. By the school's own standards, she wasn't allowed to come when in that condition. At the beginning of the year I spoke with her teacher about this very issue, she assured me that it is a special education program and they are understanding about absences and medical problems, as long as I send notes. I emailed her before every absence and sent notes after she returned. Only 8 of her absences did not have a doctor's excuse, because they were only 1-2 days absences that resolved before necessitating a clinic visit. As soon as I received word that it was problematic, I contacted them to rectify the situation (which kind of seems like the biggest mistake I've made at this point). I don't know what else I could have done, short of magically making her a healthier kid. She even had surgery this year to improve her nutrition and also cut down on infections. We've done everything in our power here. I don't think it is right that her education is in jeopardy because she is a sick kid. We've fought tooth and nail to get our sick kid proper insurance, I don't want her schooling to be the same kind of battle. Is it even LEGAL? It sure doesn't seem like it should be. Of course, it doesn't seem like it should be legal to deny a sick kid health insurance either, but by now we all know that isn't the case.
If you happen to have any information that might help, words of wisdom, personal experience, anything really...please leave them in the comments. This is our first year dealing with the school system and I am not well-versed in these laws. The special education coordinator said she would check on the next steps, the steps to pull KayTar from her classroom from the sound of it, and then call me on Monday. I want to have some idea of how to approach this by then. I don't want her to lose her classroom situation, the routine and structure and peer interaction are important to her. Her inclusion time is important to her. Her frequent illnesses rob her of so much already, I don't want them to also take her school experience away.