Next step?


New Member
I haven't been on for awhile have been working at my new job (6 mo) full time which is a switch for me.

I moved my daughter this year who has a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder to public school was in catholic school and I paid a therapist to come to school twice a month. Her issues are shutting down when anxious and won't respond. This can look like oppositional behavior. So she has been moved, discussed her diagnosis with principal, teacher, counselor. Did not do anything formally(I know dumb move)
Also seeing how the change affects her as her last school situation was much more rigid, her old school also had teasing issues. So one instance she won't finish an assignment and even to me appears it was nothing that would cause anxiety but when she is told to do something then she just shuts down. The next assignment she had done almost all of it for a rough draft but I'm thinking since it was to be posted for open house she had anxiety for it. So this time she was sent to principals office to complete it, not allowed to go to bathroom and did not complete it. I found out later, saw it in her backpack and asked her about it she said she didnt know it was there but she did. So I called her therapist who will talk the counselor.

Since we have 2 official letters about these incidents marked as defiant I need to get something started asap. Do I begin requesting a 504 and will they immediately put some plan in place. Academically she is an A student. Has no problems testing her issue is at times engaging in class for assignments it really varies she did really well last year. Also her therapist came to her old school which not sure if that will be welcomed. I need something to start now to transition her and to address this at her new school. The teacher seems willing to work with her however since I got the 2 letters I need to cover our bases.

Thanks for any direction. My older son had an IEP he is bipolar, younger son IEP for speech, Occupational Therapist (OT), sensory.

I am thinking 504 first as I would like to move her to private school in 2 years and not sure if will follow a 504. She is making great strides in this area also so hoping it will be better in 2 years.




Legally, exactly the same evaluation SHOULD be done for a 504 plan as for an IEP. That a SD will hand them out "immediately" shows you what they ae usually worth.

Since you have these discipline referrals, she is missing class time. She has a diagnosis and you need, in my opinion, to request a full evaluation of how her emotional state (anxiety is an emotion) affects her ability to complete work and conform to school rules. There is a new regulation that states that grades do not have to be failing for there to be a negative educational impact.

Send the letter CERTIFIED and get going or you are going to start having more severe discipline from the school. This will make everything worse in my opinion.

Sheila just posted this on another thread that I have.
This change just came into affect on Aug 14th, 2006 I think? Too bad I read that on the thread yesterday shortly after my ARD meeting- I would have loved to have shown them this change!

Anyway, here it is:
the regs state, "Section 300.101(c) has been revised
to clarify that a free appropriate public
education (FAPE) must be available to
any individual child with a disability
who needs special education and
related services, even though the child
has not failed or been retained in a
course, and is advancing from grade to

See: Use the search function for "fail" to find it.
That's a pretty big change and will help a lot of people I bet!



New Member
Thank you Marty. Do I also cc the principal of the school in on this along with her teacher and counselor? The principal in my past dealings with another child is honest and follows through. I think starting with a 504 is the best first step, she does have a medical diagnosis. I don't want to get into the IEP just yet but will if necessary. This grade school only goes for 2 more years for her and if she is able to engage which she has been making progress in 6th we would like to place her back in private and dont' want anything on her "record" from keeping her from getting in. Academically she scores in the mid 90's on all standardized tests.


If you choose to go this way, you will still have a "record" of the 504. However, I guess to some, that is less stigmatizing. You can send courtesy copies to whomever you want, but make sure you send the SD letter CERTFIED.



New Member
I have links to request evaluations, so should I state it as you mentioned.

I am requesting a full evaluation of how my daughters emotional state and medical diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder affects her ability to complete work adn conform to school rules?

Should I also mention that I informed the principal, teacher and counselor of my daughters diagnosis and am concerned that she is being sent to the principals office for discipline rather to speak to the counselor as I had discussed with the counselor. Can I ask for these disipline referrals to be taken out of her record?

Also, I did get a prescription or note from her daughter not to restrict her bathroom privledges, last time she shut down and wouldn't do a writing assignment she was sent to principal to complete it and was not allowed to go to bathroom until she did, came home with pain on urination and had a small accident. Pediatrician is also aware of this. She is also prone to stomach problems also.



trying to survive....
I would make sure the school does not prevent her from using the bathroom--Clearly they don't fully understand anxiety. There are kids that leave the room to "avoid" work, but I think on occasion taking a bathroom break is a good idea for her especially if she is feeling stressed/anxious. I would teach her to take deep breaths when she is feeling anxious and encourage her to do this when she is on her way to the bathroom or during the stressful situation. Both of these strategies (sometimes called antiseptic bounce) should be encouraged in school--Also perhaps the teacher can sit with her a few minutes to get her going--she can even dictate a sentence or two to get ideas going and flowing (sometimes called hurdle help)-once she is working the teacher can back away. Teachers can use these strategies with our without 504/IEP (except for standardized tests).

It sound like you are working hard on open communication...Follow Shelia and Martie's advice on the legal stuff...they know so much !!

I would not worry two much about what will or will not happen two years from now. I'd focus on the here and now and helping her to be successful this week, this month, this year. Good luck.


New Member
Very good ideas and actually 1st quarter last year the learning consultant in private school did let her dictate her answers. Any more of these great ideas?


New Member
I would teach her to take deep breaths when she is feeling anxious and encourage her to do this when she is on her way to the bathroom or during the stressful situation. Both of these strategies (sometimes called antiseptic bounce) should be encouraged in school--Also perhaps the teacher can sit with her a few minutes to get her going--she can even dictate a sentence or two to get ideas going and flowing (sometimes called hurdle help)-once she is working the teacher can back away. Teachers can use these strategies with our without 504/IEP (except for standardized tests). >>>

since they are not forthcoming on how to help my daughter where can i find out this type of info. this is very helpful.

any ideas how to word my letter here are the facts:

i discussed my daughters diagnosis of anxiety with the principal prior to school and was concerned she had access to the counselor. then on the first day of school i filled in her teacher briefly and in depth talked talked to the counselor.

2 days of school ok.

next week her birthday went to school anxious. teacher noticed and let her sit outside of classroom until calmed down. there is a desk outside the classroom. 4 classes set up in pods, bookcases between, area in the middle with walls and open doors this is where she can go.

then she is not coloring a picture (quilt is called) about herself which she has drawn but not colored. its going on the wall for open house but went to math centers instead(where you were to go after done) so was told to do this. so she did nothing(she shuts down when anxious or when she feels backed against a wall) the teacher called me and she missed recess and colored the next day. friday i recieved one of the official displine letters marked defiance.

then a few days later my daughter was to fill out a goals sheet(written paragraph on her goals for school) the official paper was at home didn't know what it was for. she was asked to do it at school and just sat there, then had to sit there and couldn't use the bathroom for 30-60 minutes not sure then sent to the vp's office to work on it and did not do anything(she shut down) she was able to use the bathroom when she asked the office. she came home complaining it hurt when she peed and she had a small accident. took her to the dr the next day for complaints of back pain for 1 week, tummy pain, and then concerned about possible Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). i got an official displine report on friday for this visit to the vp's office marked defiance.

i did talk to the principal about her anxiety and that she was concerned about having access to the counselor. I shared the anxiety diagnosis and history in detail with her counselor and briefly with the teacher.

my daughter doesn't like the desk outside the classroom as she feels embarrassed cause kids will see her so this is not a solution the teacher thinks it is a good idea. i have no problem with work coming home while a plan is worked on to help my daughter engage in class and this is not a constant thing either.

i talked to another mom who has her daughter in another grade school in our district with some similiar issues she said even for a child who has no disability this is over the top. removing her from class twice and once to the office and 2 disipline referrals in a week. the teacher called me once. i found out from my daughter the 2nd time the counselor was supposed to call me but did not.

when i mentioned using the counselor to the teacher her words were the counselor is really a teacher with some counseling classes. when i called to discuss the first problem with the counselor the counselor said she has NEVER seen a child do this and this would bring attention to the child.

i need to send a letter documenting this in a nice way and am going to call the principal for a meeting tomorrow. i want my letter to be what i discuss over the phone with him. considering going along these lines but need ideas.

1. i discussed with principal, counselor, teacher generalized anxiety disorder

2. expressed her need to see the counselor when stressed, in old school i paid for a therapist to work with her at school bimonthly or more when needed

3. the school has worked to meet her educational needs in conjunction with her anxiety, the teacher has decided this is not anxiety but oppositional behavior and is removing her from class, not doing any supports to help her engage, and with held a bathroom break which resulted in pain and potential infection and more anxiety

4. what are your recommendations to meet my daughters educational needs along with her generalized anxiety disorder, what plan will be in place and why was my daughter not referred to the counselor rather than to the vp for discipline

5. i want the discpline referrals to be removed from her record

6. there is a doctors order for unrestricted bathroom breaks

7. i have talked with her therapist to share information with school/counselor of what works with angela and what she has worked on with her

i want to be nice in this letter. i was in the process having the therapist contact the school BUT i got those 2 letters. we worked with the principal before my younger son went there for kindergarten and he is upfront and honest. he is the one to go for issues with my daughters grade, we are asked to talk to teacher first which i have done 3 times once first day of school, then at open house, then when i picked her up early to go to dr. these were all informal chats i initiated and not teacher/parent conferences.

sorry that was alot. but any suggestions on how to word the letter. i am calling the principal to set up a meeting to go over this and will mail him a copy of my concerns. i will voice them over the phone first for his suggestions. my daughter is in a new school just starting her buspar again she did fine with summer without it.




Sorry I haven't gotten back to you. It's been really busy on the site and at work. I don't think you should make"side deals." I think you should request and evaluation of her emotional states as they impact her school work. Then you should have a meeting to determine if she is 504 eligible.If she is, then that is when you try to get the accommodations you feel she needs.

Prior to an evalaution, the SD is just shotting from the hip when they offer things. You have no "official" input into a 504 but they will probably listen to you. Schools at the building level are not as aware asthey might be of the legal differences between and IEP and a 504, so they are unlikely to tell you to get lost because it isn't an IEP meeting (where you would have many legal rights--that the SD might or moght not observe.)

The SD probably will not change the written disciplinary record. They might--but around here, they don't. There are liability issues and precedent involved.

I hope you can get what you need. You have gotten a lot of good suggesitons and cooperating is the way to go with a 504. However, I would not forego a formal evalaution--it's just too emphemeral.