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Some children who are diagnosed with congenital heart disease (CHD) may need educational support at school through Section 504. A 504 plan is created to make sure that supports are in place so a child will succeed at school. Examples of supports might include the ability to carry a water bottle at school, a change in physical activity, more time for testing or a second set of books for home.

Steps for Receiving a 504 Plan

  • Write a letter to the guidance counselor, principal or 504 coordinator at your child’s school asking for a meeting to discuss your child’s school needs and possible supports.
  • You can check with the guidance counselor to confirm the term that is used to describe this type of meeting at your child’s school. It is helpful to be as specific as possible in your letter to the principal.
  • If you have not heard from the school 10 days after you give the letter, call the principal and ask if a meeting is planned.
  • A meeting will be scheduled to determine if your child is eligible.
  • At the meeting, tell the school team about your child’s diagnosis, the problems your child is having in school and how your child’s illness impacts their ability to learn. If needed, Children’s National can provide a letter with recommended supports. Ask that your child be given a 504 plan with appropriate supports.You can also ask that your child be evaluated for additional special education services.
  • After the 504 plan is developed and supports have been put in place, watch your child to see how they are working. If different supports are needed, talk with the team members at your child’s school to change or update the 504 plan.
  • If the school will not evaluate your child or put 504 supports in place, call the Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) in your state. If you cannot get help from the PTI, contact the education specialist at Children’s National.

Note: Private schools can, but are not required to have special accommodations or a 504 plan.