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Question about wheelchairs in school

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Question about wheelchairs in school

Old 09-01-2015, 12:09 PM
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Default Question about wheelchairs in school

So to make a long story short, my son had a fall and wound up with a fractured femur, this was a spiral fracture and was repaired with flexible intermedullary nails. He is in a cast from ankle to groin and has been provided a wheelchair to get around until he heals. The surgeon stressed that he has to be 100% non weight bearing until he gives he ok. This is all good and I have been extremely pleased with the surgeon and my son, who is 7, has been following Drs orders to a T. The school has been extremely helpful and accommodating to us and I have no issues with them. Then the District Nurse pays me a visit, she already showed me she has no clue what she is doing within the first 5 minutes of our conversation. Over the course of the next week she tries to have him standing on one leg and pivoting around. I spoke to the surgeon and his words were "absolutely not" I squashed this issue and now about a week ago I was given a form from the district nurse that is basically a copy of a copy of a copy. This form is an authorization to be signed by the surgeon allowing my son to use the wheelchair in school. Now I have already gotten the form completed but I am ready to go on the offense with the school board and am waiting until he is out of the wheelchair before I write a nasty note to the nurse and district. Does anyone know if the school can require documentation to allow my son to use a wheelchair? This seems like some sort of stall tactic to prevent them from accommodating him however the school has taken great care of him. As it stands they are not getting this paper from me until I have a detailed explanation from the district as to why it is required, it will sit on my desk until then.
Old 09-01-2015, 12:49 PM
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What's the problem, get it signed and turned in. He's authorized to use a wheel chair in school.

It's a bureaucracy, if little Suzy needs Mydol for her menstrual cramps, a form has to be filled out and signed, the nurse dispenses it. There are probably hundreds of forms for all occasions that need to be signed, asking the school board why that one is required, is a waste of time.

I'll save you some time "It's our policy"
Old 09-01-2015, 01:06 PM
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I believe the Americans With Disabilities Act trumps school policy. The school must accommodate your son, not the other way around.

Until the school tries to stop your child from attending classes, I would ignore the form and nurse.

If, OTOH, the form is an affirmation by the surgeon that your son requires the wheelchair, that form may actually be necessary.
Old 09-01-2015, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by yarcraft91 View Post
I believe the Americans With Disabilities Act trumps school policy. The school must accommodate your son, not the other way around.
That is the way it SHOULD be . . . you would hope
Old 09-01-2015, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by yarcraft91 View Post
I believe the Americans With Disabilities Act trumps school policy. The school must accommodate your son, not the other way around.
His son is injured and not disabled. The form seems more like a CYA bureaucracy issue than anything else - more like the school getting a doctors note that the student requires a mobility aid device.

Oh, and the nurse is an idiot.
Old 09-01-2015, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Jersus View Post
His son is injured and not disabled. The form seems more like a CYA bureaucracy issue than anything else - more like the school getting a doctors note that the student requires a mobility aid device.

Oh, and the nurse is an idiot.
His son's injury has created temporary disability. ADA still applies.
Old 09-01-2015, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Jersus View Post
His son is injured and not disabled. The form seems more like a CYA bureaucracy issue than anything else - more like the school getting a doctors note that the student requires a mobility aid device.

Oh, and the nurse is an idiot.
I believe the legislation also covers short term mobility disabilities . . . yup CYA by the school
Old 09-01-2015, 01:17 PM
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Go survey the school, doorways, etc. I spend some days in a power chair and simple things like doors with auto closers, door knobs, etc are a real problem. Your son may need additional assistance navigating doorways, building access, desk on the wheelchair, etc. not just access approval.
Old 09-01-2015, 01:19 PM
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Jesus H, why does everything have to be a pissing contest. The nurse wanted the son to have more flexibility within confines of the current school building, Daddy thought/said/found out no way. Now the nurse is requesting paperwork that commits use of a wheelchair to paper. What, exactly, is the freaklin problem here!
Old 09-01-2015, 01:20 PM
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If some other kid showed up at school with a scooter and a claim from his parents that he "needs" it to get around, requiring a note from the family doctor to that effect would be in order. The OP's kid showed up in a full leg cast- the need should be obvious. But, if you require a note for one, maybe you need to require a note for the other.

I recall back in the 1960's, a friend who had lost his right index finger in an industrial accident (his trigger finger). He still had to bring a doctor's note to his Army draft physical to get a deferment.
Old 09-01-2015, 01:25 PM
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I am not sure why the forms should be necessary. The school grounds should be ADA compliant and a student in a wheelchair should not pose any difficulty on the school's part. That being said, what's the problem with filling out the forms other than a little inconvenience?
Old 09-01-2015, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by cutt View Post
So to make a long story short, my son had a fall and wound up with a fractured femur, this was a spiral fracture and was repaired with flexible intermedullary nails. He is in a cast from ankle to groin and has been provided a wheelchair to get around until he heals. The surgeon stressed that he has to be 100% non weight bearing until he gives he ok. This is all good and I have been extremely pleased with the surgeon and my son, who is 7, has been following Drs orders to a T. The school has been extremely helpful and accommodating to us and I have no issues with them. Then the District Nurse pays me a visit, she already showed me she has no clue what she is doing within the first 5 minutes of our conversation. Over the course of the next week she tries to have him standing on one leg and pivoting around. I spoke to the surgeon and his words were "absolutely not" I squashed this issue and now about a week ago I was given a form from the district nurse that is basically a copy of a copy of a copy. This form is an authorization to be signed by the surgeon allowing my son to use the wheelchair in school. Now I have already gotten the form completed but I am ready to go on the offense with the school board and am waiting until he is out of the wheelchair before I write a nasty note to the nurse and district. Does anyone know if the school can require documentation to allow my son to use a wheelchair? This seems like some sort of stall tactic to prevent them from accommodating him however the school has taken great care of him. As it stands they are not getting this paper from me until I have a detailed explanation from the district as to why it is required, it will sit on my desk until then.
In the amount of time it took you to type this, you could have called the school principal…

"Hey Mr. Smith, my kid is there in a wheel chair. I've been interacting with the Nurse…wanted to touch base with you too and thank everyone for their participation in getting my kid to class etc."

Done.
Old 09-01-2015, 02:05 PM
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It sucks that the school is making a bad situation more difficult than it already is. I can't help you with that, but I do have some words of encouragement. Kids heal very well and very fast. My son had the same injury the first week of December in the year that he was 6 years old. In mid-February he had the second surgery to remove the nails. By April the doc said he was cleared to do whatever he wanted. (We didn't go, but the doc said snow skiing would have been okay.) That was years ago and the injury is nothing but a distant memory. If it weren't for the scars from the nail insertion/removal there would be no evidence the injury ever happened.

Good luck. This too shall pass.
Old 09-01-2015, 02:10 PM
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Just a thought but what about one of those rolling crutch scooter thingys. Might still need a note but it seems he would be more mobile. ???


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Old 09-01-2015, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Jesus H, why does everything have to be a pissing contest. The nurse wanted the son to have more flexibility within confines of the current school building, Daddy thought/said/found out no way. Now the nurse is requesting paperwork that commits use of a wheelchair to paper. What, exactly, is the freaklin problem here!
This. I am certain it is not your son's case but the district policy is likely in place to help prevent abuse and limit parent's from insisting their little JOhnny needs this or that whenever he stubs his toe. Our son broke his ankle last year and needed a note authorizing him to be able to use the school elevator - we got the note he used the elevator. It does not appear the school is trying to deny access or be anti-ADA at all so not sure where that comes into play. Sign the form and move on to bigger fights.
Old 09-01-2015, 03:57 PM
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Bureaucracies live on stupid and pointless paperwork and school districts are even worse than most. The school will help the student, that's what they do. The district will enforce idiotic policies and pointless paperwork. That's what THEY do.
We spend MORE than Finland per student and LESS per teacher. You have a bureaucrat for every teacher. They have to justify their jobs, hence mountains of pointless paper and more and even more administration to stack said papers.

You are only dealing with the tip of the iceberg.
Old 09-01-2015, 04:10 PM
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Guys, I'm a physical therapist. This is proper policy. Just because dad says son is non weight bearing even on his good leg does not mean that is accurate unless it is clear from the surgeon. Not bearing weight can lead to significant problems, and if not necessary, should be avoided (talking about the good leg here). There may be a reason in this case to do so or to do so in certain situations (such as at school where it may be more difficult to control whether the son accidentally bears weight on the injured leg). People interpret what docs say in all kinds of ways, often incorrectly. The school nurse is a health care provider and must be 100% certain that she is following docs orders. It's her license and schools liability on the line. Unfortunately there is also a disorder that rarely adults have (usually mothers) called Münchausen syndrome by proxy where a parent essentially fakes an illness or disability in their child. While rare, it does exist and the school is obligated to confirm the legitimacy of an injury or disability. Likely just a red tape situation that got passed on, but just fill out the form or send in a copy of what was already filled out. The liability concerns on health care providers and schools are unbelievable these days, you wouldn't have any idea how bad it is unless you are a health care provider or school administrator.

Last edited by bone-a-fide; 09-01-2015 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Clarification
Old 09-01-2015, 05:25 PM
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My niece dealt with a similar issue. Injury requiring temp use of a wheelchair. They had to provide some documentation from their Dr. informing the school of the issues and her limits. What she can and cant do. That is what the form is for, have the doc fill it out send it in, and thank the school for helping as you said they have.
Now on to the nurse. I would be pissed as hell that some bimbo that cant cut it in a hospital thinks shes going to determine the mobility of my child when the surgeon has already stated that. (Mind you that is what that form is for) They should have asked for the documentation and kept nursey in her office passing out all the ADHD drugs instead of playing Dr. House. You can sure as hell bet id be up the Districts ass about that part. Did she actually have your child up on his legs or did you stop it before he did it? That is absolute BS if she did without having looked at his medical records.
Old 09-01-2015, 10:00 PM
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I put a stop to any "therapy" before it happened. My point may have not been clear at first, I already provided all of the documentation that he was non weight bearing and had to be in a wheelchair from the dr and the school was good with it. My problem is exactly what others have stated, the beurocracy is stupid, there should be no reason to fill out additional forms that don't even appear to be proper district forms when I have already provided other documentation. To some it may be fickle but I also work in healthcare and since i have loads of time on my hand it is worth a fight to me to put a light on these pointless forms, especially when the district nurse has already shown me that she has no experience in dealing with people let alone real illnesses/injuries. And before anyone thinks it, I am not knocking all nurses, I am a firefighter and work with many excellent nurses, this is just a bad apple in the bunch.
Old 09-02-2015, 01:19 AM
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Dad, sign the paper and move on. #2, one of the last people you want to piss off, for your very lame reason, is a nurse. Someday that nurse may have to perform an emergency procedure to save your kid. Do you want the nurse thinking about your complaint?

This is the "cause" you are going to champion? Apparently you do have loads of time on your hands.

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