Special education and related services are a guaranteed civil right for students with disabilities that impact their educational progress. Students with disabilities are guaranteed a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) possible. Special education consists of creating an individualized learning program (IEP) which documents the unique educational supports provided to a student to support their access the curriculum. Special education is a service, not a place. Students can be supported in the regular (general) education classroom, or in smaller settings, if the family and school team agree on the placement. Students with Sickle Cell Disease may qualify for special education and related services under the disability category of other health impairment (OHI). For more special education information, check out the resources linked below.
Children, adolescents, and young adults with sickle cell disease often benefit from additional supports within the school setting. This can include pre-school all the way through college and graduate school.
We hope that the following resources will help as you guide your child through their educational journey. If there are additional resources and/or topics that you would like for us to cover, please reach out to our education specialist, Dr. Lisa Carey (Carey@KennedyKrieger.org).
504 plans are formal support plans that document the accommodations (supports) a student with a disability (or suspected disability) need in order to access public education. 504 plans protect students from disability-based discrimination and are covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, a civil rights law. Students with Sickle Cell Disease may qualify for 504 plans that can cover physical access to buildings, health needs at school, and academic accommodations. For more information, check out the resources linked below.
Home and Hospital Teaching
Home and hospital teaching (HHT) provides educational continuity to students who are unable to attend their usual school of enrollment due to an emotional disability, physical illness or chronic illness. To qualify, the student must provide a statement from the relevant doctor stating why the condition prevents the student from attending school and for how long. Most school systems have an HHT application form that must be completed by the student’s parents or guardians, and the student’s physician, psychiatrist or psychologist.
Eligibility for Special Education and Related Services for Homeschooled Students in Maryland
Federal law governs how special education and related services are provided to students with disabilities enrolled in their local school system (LSS). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires an LSS to: Identify, locate and evaluate students who may be eligible for special education and related services (a process known as “child find”). Identify, assess and provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for students with disabilities. If a homeschooling parent or guardian suspects their child may be eligible for special education and related services, the parent or guardian may request a free evaluation through their LSS.
Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment in Schools
Unfortunately, children and teens with chronic and complex health condition are more likely to experience bullying in school. Your child has a right to feel safe in school! If you have concerns about bullying, harassment, and intimidation in school or by peers, please report this to your school (see form below) or through the Safe Schools Maryland tip line.