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Mom4us2

School threatens truancy for medical absences

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My daughters school is refusing to accept her doctors written medical excuse because the doctor is out of state and she wasn't physically seen. She has a medical plan for migraines and was following what was written. She did go to a local clinic for other medications and testing too. She has exceeded the 10 excused they allow.  They want access to her medical records and if we don't give them permission to access they are threating her to be served with truancy papers. She has a current IEP for learning issues and I have asked to have an ARC to include the migraines. They also want a signed release of all medical and psychological  records. I don't see why the physician can't be the one to decide what they need instead of them access to all her records. They aren't doctors.  

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Virtually no school is going to accept a doctor's note from an out of state doctor who has not seen the child. I don't know what you mean by a "medical plan for migraines"?

 

What kind of school is this? Public K-12? Private? The IEP for learning disabilities has nothing to do with this. Are the migraines addressed in her IEP?

 

The simplest answer seems to be to actually take the child to a doctor and have that doctor write the excuse note. That won't help you for past absences but it is a no-brainer going forward.

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Not everyone has access to pediatric specialists. We took her to a children's hospital for the very reason no local physician was trained in pediatric neurology. We see the doctors every 6 months. That's why she had a medical plan to follow. There is no reason to go see the doctor when they gave developed the medical  plan for that very reason. 

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It's not actually a no brainer because most doctors won't write excuses for conditions they don't treat or diagnosis. That's why we went with a specialist. Malpractice lawsuits actually have made this the norm. If it's not their  area they won't touch it. 

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You have no leverage.

 

Two options:

 

Allow for the release of the records.

 

Or, wait to be served with the truancy papers and hire a lawyer to defend your child at a cost of thousands while your child sits home getting further and further behind where she might end up having to repeat the year.

 

Sometimes you just have to pick the lesser of two evils even if you don't like it.

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It's not the out of state that is an issue. Where I live and I can be in any of 5 states in under an hour. A note from someone who has not actually seen her is useless and defeats the purpose of a note. If you are trying to go the IEP/504 route for the migraines, you are going to have to submit medicals. The LEA isn't just going to take your word for it that she suffers from migraines and this is the effect/duration/frequency.

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I guess I'm just not understanding why her specialist who has a relationship with her and whom we called when her migraine went beyond two days and who prescribed treatment based on our conversation and description of symptoms because no local doctor would do anything cause they didn't diagnosis her. Local doc wouldn't write excuse except for one day again cause he wasn't " the one". So "the one " who was willing and knew it was legit wrote one but school would accept because he did see her. Seems like it would have been better just to lie.  Also this is the  system that expects me to be give complete access to all medical records. Yeah they are trustworthy to protect them. If it was a narrower request... No problem. But an all inclusive for a full year access. No thanks. 

We don't access teacher records to see if they actually are educated to teach. We take the school's word, as they should take a physician ( not me... ) document without needing the whole chart.  Are you an MD?  

 

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It's really not as hard as you're trying to make it. If the doctor is going to excuse her from school on xx/xx/2018, they want her to have actually seen the doctor on xx/xx/2018. Not, the doctor saw her at some time in the last six months, but saw her THAT DAY.

 

Nor is that an unreasonable request, particularly if, with at least three months of school left to go in the year, she has already exceeded the acceptable sick days. 

 

Why is that so difficult to understand?

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1 hour ago, Mom4us2 said:

We don't access teacher records to see if they actually are educated to teach. We take the school's word

 

Because you don't have a choice.

 

1 hour ago, Mom4us2 said:

they should take a physician ( not me... ) document without needing the whole chart.

 

They DO have a choice. They make the truancy rules.

 

1 hour ago, Mom4us2 said:

Are you an MD?  

 

What does that have to do with anything?

 

We could be swimming pool cleaners and be able to tell you that if you want to avoid the truancy papers you provide the school with the required documentation.

 

You're being stubborn and it isn't getting you anywhere.

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1. Yes, I do have a choice. You are entirely missing the point... Which is let professionals be the expert. Teaching, medicine, banker etc. Do you think a teacher would know what "bradycardia restricts her ability to participate in gym" You understand that? Or Wolffe Parkinson White syndrome ? Or hyperkalemia ? 

2. The state makes truancy laws. Schools make policies. 

3. If a user name is ElleMD the question is appropriate... And it's obvious they are not or they would understand the physician territorialism. 

 

No wonder public education is in such a poor shape. Those who can't ....teach. This has been useless. 

 

I'll stick with advice I've receive from families who have experienced my situation.  Thank you 

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3 hours ago, Mom4us2 said:

1. Yes, I do have a choice. You are entirely missing the point... Which is let professionals be the expert. Teaching, medicine, banker etc. Do you think a teacher would know what "bradycardia restricts her ability to participate in gym" You understand that? Or Wolffe Parkinson White syndrome ? Or hyperkalemia ? 

 

With all due respect, you are the one missing the point. The school is not second guessing a doctor diagnosis. As you rightfully say, they are not medical experts. But it does not take a medical expert to know that a doctor who never even saw and examined the patient is not in a good position to diagnose and treat that patient. There is a reason why doctors want patients to come in and be examined before making a diagnosis and prescribing treatment: it’s not something that can be done over the phone.

 

The school wants to see the records to verify the claims you are making about the kid’s absence. If the school has questions about what anything in the records mean it can consult experts — doctors. That is just what you would expect them to do, right? And in my experience that is precisely what they do. So don’t assume that the school staff is going to play doctor themselves; I think that’s highly unlikely.

 

If you are dead set in your views on this and cannot be persuaded no matter how strong the argument may be then it is indeed a waste of your time to seek out other views and opinions. But if truly wanted feedback on the matter and are open to hearing what others think, well you have gotten that here and I in that regard castigating people for giving you that simply because they did not agree with you is kind of rude. 

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11 hours ago, Mom4us2 said:

I don't see why the physician can't be the one to decide what they need instead of them access to all her records. They aren't doctors.  

 

And as to this point, the answer is perhaps something you have not considered: some parents lie about this stuff, fake doctors notes, pay quack doctors to give bogus excuse notes, etc. You may not be one of those parents and it may never have occurred to you to try doing that. But believe me there are parents who have done that sort of stuff; I have seen several examples of it. So the school can't just accept at face value every note that a parent offers up to excuse an absence. It’s a shame that honest parents and doctors end up paying for the dishonesty of a minority of parents and doctors who engage in this kind of fraudulent behavior, but that is unfortunately the world we live in. 

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9 hours ago, Tax_Counsel said:

 

With all due respect, you are the one missing the point. The school is not second guessing a doctor diagnosis. As you rightfully say, they are not medical experts. But it does not take a medical expert to know that a doctor who never even saw and examined the patient is not in a good position to diagnose and treat that patient. There is a reason why doctors want patients to come in and be examined before making a diagnosis and prescribing treatment: it’s not something that can be done over the phone.

 

The school wants to see the records to verify the claims you are making about the kid’s absence. If the school has questions about what anything in the records mean it can consult experts — doctors. That is just what you would expect them to do, right? And in my experience that is precisely what they do. So don’t assume that the school staff is going to play doctor themselves; I think that’s highly unlikely.

 

If you are dead set in your views on this and cannot be persuaded no matter how strong the argument may be then it is indeed a waste of your time to seek out other views and opinions. But if truly wanted feedback on the matter and are open to hearing what others think, well you have gotten that here and I in that regard castigating people for giving you that simply because they did not agree with you is kind of rude. 

 You don't seem to understand as well what I am saying.  The doctor HAS seen her.  The medical plan was developed to follow for these EXACT purposes. People who have migraines and live in the same town as their doctors don't even go in.  That's absurd. They take their meds but a side effect is sedation. Can't go to work or school sedated and in pain.

A diabetic does not see their doc every time they have a high glucose. They follow THE PLAN of prescriptions etc. A person with migraine dx takes care of it at home with medications and sleep until pain a s vomiting is over. If it requires injections you go to the ER. You wouldn't even go to doc then cause they dont keep narcotics in the office. 

Yes it is something that can be treated over phone because they know what it is already. Parents do it all the time with young kids. They call in symptom and doc office calms in prescriptions. It does not have to be REdiagnoised evey time it occurs. Adults are on disability due to migraine. They are an incapacitating illness. I am an ARNP and not just blowing smoke. Educationors and people like you who are unwilling to accept a different but common practice can't help me. Also I have stated I have NO problem with targeted release of medical records but that it the only thing they should get. I know how well school safe guard info and it's NOT secured. It's none of their business if say....shes been pregnant or has HIV or has been assaulted. ( None of these apply ) but with FULL ACESS TO MEDICAL RECORDS THEY HAVE IT ALL!! People are uninformed if they just sign those releases with out realizing exactly what they are releasing. 

THUS again my point is I have NO problem with anything related to migraines but not total access. I've seen " confidential" information on a teachers desk. I've seen the background checks run for volunteering and a fellow students dad had a drug arrest.I've see students name " Accidentally " be on a slide at a conference when the laptop went to home screen. ThIs was a special target conference so that students name was revealed as one in that group. Parents sued on that one. 

One size doesn't fit all, but without a willingness to see a different yet common issue / exception nothing ever gets accomplished. 

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Here's the thing, you may not like the policy. It may not be a good policy. But it is an entirely legal policy. It is also an exceptionally common policy, especially when a child has already missed a considerable amount of school. You aren't going to be able to force the school to accept a note from a doctor they did not see the day of the note, nor prevent them from access to the medicals when you are asking for an accommodation for your child because of what is contained in those medicals. They really aren't going to care one whit about the ear infection she had last month, or whatever other utterly mundane and unrelated records happen to be in her file. No one from the school is interested in slogging through more paper than they absolutely have to.

 

I'm not a doctor. I do however, work in education handling legal compliance, including with disability related situations.

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Yeah I could tell you were more education than medical. Shouldn't really represent your self as one. Someone who is not medical might think your advise was based on your user name. I however am an ARNP but am pursuing this as a mom. "Utterly mundane" is so judgemental. You have idea and it's  my medical records. I know how well teachers and educators safe guard info and no thanks I'm not trusting it to people like you who can't seem to understand the others perspective.

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The way I interpreted the ADAAA is that they are not allowed to ask you for her medical records.  I wonder if her specialist would write a strong letter to her school stressing that she has a plan in place and that should supersede their usual SARB rules.  He/she would probably need a copy of the 504 migraine plan.  Hopefully, that will get them off your back.  

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