Monday, August 15, 2016

Developing an Individualized Health Plan

Ensuring your child’s health and safety is of utmost importance for parents. If your child has a medical condition, developing an Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP) with the school could be as important and necessary as the goals in the IEP. The way the IHP looks may vary from school system to school system, but the information they contain should be the same. The IHP should identify all health concerns and needs, determine when and what medications the child may receive while at school, what to do in case of a medical emergency, and create solutions to possible problems. These can and should be developed for a variety of conditions such as diabetes, seizures, severe allergies, and asthma. Other possible concerns that can be added are toileting needs, special feeding instructions, and training for staff. It may be necessary to work with your doctor, as well as the school staff, to create a complete and effective IHP. It is helpful for parents to think about the things that need to be added in the IHP prior to the case conference, and depending on the child’s condition(s) it may be necessary to set up a time to work with the school staff on the IHP at a separate time. For examples of an IHP visit: http://www.pacer.org/health/samplehealthplans.asp

Another thing to consider when developing an IHP is how much school your child may miss due to their health condition(s). If the amount of days could become excessive, it would also be advisable to do a Certificate of Incapacity. This is a form that the doctor will fill out and the school will keep on file. It will protect the school, you and your child from truancy concerns. A sample form can be found at http://www.doe.in.gov/student-services/attendance/memos-and-forms or your teacher of record (TOR) can get you a copy.

There are many stressors when your child has a chronic illness that require monitoring and managing. Talking about and thinking ahead of the needs and possible concerns can help alleviate some of the stress, not only for you and your child, but for the school staff as well. Being as prepared as possible and knowing exactly what to do in case of emergency can put everyone at ease so that your child’s school experience can be productive and successful. Many of our Health Information Specialists have IHP’s in place for their children. If you would like to speak to someone who has personal experience with IHPs contact us today. 

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