October 15, 2021 | KY-SPIN

[00:00:00] Rhonda Logsdon: Welcome everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today. I hope everybody is having a great Friday, um, and are ready for the weekend. We’re gonna talk about today, Long COVID, what it is and, uh, what it could mean, uh, to you and for your child.

First, um, let me start out a...

[00:00:00] Rhonda Logsdon: Welcome everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today. I hope everybody is having a great Friday, um, and are ready for the weekend. We’re gonna talk about today, Long COVID, what it is and, uh, what it could mean, uh, to you and for your child.

First, um, let me start out and, I ask a question in the chat, and you all can just kind of jump in and I love hearing from everybody. Have you ever heard of Long COVID, uh, just to kinda get an idea if- if, um, many of you had before this and with it, um, you know, with registering for the webinar and, um, just kind of wanna know because this was something new, uh, to me when all of this rolled out. Um, so, one of the things, and I think a lot of it, we’re all figuring out as we go, as COVID has really, um, [00:01:00] has really created that for us.

Um, just to go ahead and start and tell you a little bit about us, I’m Rhonda with Kentucky-SPIN and it’s Kentucky Special Parent Involvement Network. Um, and we are all, um, persons with disabilities and or family members helping one another. Um, and one of the main grants we have that we’ve had since Kentucky-SPIN began over 30 years ago is a Parent Training and Information Project, the Parent Center for Kentucky. And we provide training such as this, information and support, um, to youth, um, adults with disabilities, uh, their families, and professionals throughout the state.

Um, we do not act as attorneys. Um, that’s important to know. We don’t represent families. We are here to help you and to provide information and support, um, and true peer-to-peer support.

Um, [00:02:00] I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. I’m one of five, um, five children, uh, three of my siblings have disabilities from the seen to the unseen. And, um, they all had IEPs when they were in school, um, and are smarter than I could wish to be. And then I also foster adopted, the greatest gift of my life. So, um, we all are truly families helping families here at Kentucky-SPIN and all staff, um, that is our role is not to do it for you, but to help you as you do, uh, and walk through things with your families.

Um, and so if there’s a little delay on the slides, I apologize because of, you know, it’s decided to storm a bunch today, so, um, and if you all have any questions, please use the question in chat box. Um, and I’m starting to see some know vaguely not much about- have heard about, um, the, uh, Long COVID, [00:03:00] no. Um, so I love hearing that. And- and we’ll use the chat and if there’s questions throughout, I’m gonna pause. Uh, Kellie’s on here helping us, uh, with Kentucky-SPIN. And we are going to sort of step through this. I’ll pause every so often for questions. Please feel free to ask. If I don’t know ’em, we’ll work to get the answer for you. Um, also, too, you’re gonna see that there’s a handout section. There’s only one handout, this PowerPoint, and all of the supporting documents I’m gonna show you as we go through, there are links to those documents.

Um, and if you don’t have a chance or don’t see it and are not able to download the handout, not to worry, uh, we will make sure that we have that within in the follow-up email that you’re gonna receive. Um, that’ll be this afternoon or tomorrow. It will have that handout in it. Um, so let’s go ahead and dive right on in.

What is Long COVID? So, um, [00:04:00] it is, and this was from, um, CDC had put out- and you see where it’s blue there at the top, that links you directly to their webpage that all this comes from. All of this information in here is from guidance released from them. And you’re gonna see on the slides I have each place that it come from is linked so you can access that exact document.

What I’ve done and- and since COVID began and all the guidance that’s been issued through the U.S. Department of Education, Kentucky Department of Education, I think it’s important that you not have it in Rhonda’s words, but exactly from the guidance documents. So that’s why you’ll see a lot of words on the screen, but we’re stepping through it.

So we’re really taking a walkthrough of the guidance, um, and how, um- and I think it kinda helps, it- it helps when I’m going through the guidance just to kind of step through it and- and picture how, you know, it would associate to my life or how it, um, [00:05:00] is- is gonna affect or, uh, it would help our family.

So, um, that’s what we’re gonna do here. So first, starting off, um, the CDC, they’re what’s considered the post-COVID conditions, And again, this is all new territory for everyone because, first of all, we never thought we would ever be living through a pandemic. And not only wrapping our heads around with, if you experience COVID and everything that’s come with it, there is a possibility that there could be post-COVID conditions, um, if you had COVID. Um, and again, it could vary just like having COVID may affect different people in different ways. So your post conditions as well, not everybody may have them. Um, even if you, um, had COVID and it wasn’t say as severe as someone else you may know, you still could have post-COVID conditions.

[00:06:00] Um, some people may not have even realized that they had COVID. Um, but that doesn’t mean that you could not have the post-COVID conditions if you had COVID. Um, and you know, when we look at this, you know, if it’s lasting longer and you’re having this, you know, for four more weeks after first being infected with the virus, um, and seeing that it- it could look in different ways, which we’re gonna talk about maybe some examples of how it showed up. Um, and it could be a combination, as we know, uh, just like with COVID and everything that we have learned from it. Um, especially if you have other health concerns or other things that go on, it could play a role in that, right? Um, and- and could last different lengths of time, uh, for people.

So the Long COVID, um, or the Long Haul COVID, um, could, you know, these are gonna be the long-term [00:07:00] effects of COVID that you might experience. Not everybody’s going to, um, and hopefully the majority don’t, right? It’s just like COVID, we want as few of people as possible to have to have COVID, just like we want as few of people as possible to experience Long COVID.

So it helps when we step through and kind of look at, um, what might be some of the symptoms that you could experience through this? The tiredness and fatigue, difficulty thinking and concentrating. Um, I- I like that they give the example of sort of the brain fog, um, and the shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

So it’s not just physical things like when you’re talking about breathing and, um, it’s also gonna be sort of the concentrating too, which a lot of times I think we often think when there is, you know, something [00:08:00] like COVID or the flu, we- we often all- always try to tend towards, we think of the physical things like medically, like the breathing, uh, the tiredness, but you know, it also can, uh, psychologically affect you.

Um, and looking at, you know, obviously like the chest pain, cough, those are- those are physical things, but also the depression and anxiety. Those are things that could be a part of this. So it’s not just the physical activity, it’s mental as well. Um, and it could be a combination. And again, there isn’t- there isn’t a guide that’s gonna tell us how and to what extent because just like, um, children or persons with disabilities. Disabilities affect everyone differently, right? So we know that one person who may have autism is totally different from another person. So it’s gonna be the same thing, um, [00:09:00] as with Long COVID, so it’s gonna affect people differently. And again, this is just an example of what some of the symptoms might look like.

Again, all of this is new and it’s new territory. So this might- and this guidance was released- so in July, all of this sort of rolled out with, um, this being from the CDC as they recognized this could be a condition, right? And then guidance that here in a minute that we’re gonna roll into, is how it could actually be considered a disability. And for our purposes here today, and what we’re concentrating on, is how it would affect our children and youth in school in regards to education. So, um, that is gonna be our focus in all of this.

Now, Long COVID, and when we’re looking at this, could affect in so many other areas of [00:10:00] your life. Um, and again, it- we’re figuring out and really, you know, figuring out how it’s actually gonna look, right? Uh, because we know it’s gonna be different for every person. But then also this, I think, may be just the beginning of a list of symptoms, um, because, you know, no one’s had time to, um, to really track all that, right? So we’ve had concentration on actual the people that have COVID right now, and what are symptoms that arise and how you treat it and go about it.

So, I mean, I almost think that we’re, um, and again, maybe a long ways off before we have even more of a better picture of how this is all gonna look. Um, but again, when guidance is released, and in regards to this, we will make sure that we share that.

So children and adolescents, um, and I- [00:11:00] and I like when they put here for the most part, their post-COVID, Long COVID conditions may not affect them as much as it would in adults, right? Um, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t. Um, and- and when they’re reporting on this, you know, studies that have showed so far, again, it- it may be different at six months from now, a year from now. You know, for right now. So there may be a very small number, and my hope is, that it is a very small number of children and adolescents that are experiencing the Long COVID. Um, and there’s also, and- and these are the links too that you can click on, um, to learn more about, um, the multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Um, again, that might be something that then this caused as well as the Long COVID.

So there might be something else too, which I know y’all are like, [00:12:00] “Okay, we- we don’t want anything else to have to worry about or- or think about.” Um, but again, just so that you have that information there. Um, and in no means here am I a medical expert reporting on this. This is to share the information and will help just to have from the guidance that’s released, um, where you can expand and- and access information. But not only that, working with your doctor, um, and with medical professionals to really work to figure out what might be going on isn’t Long COVID.

Um, similar to the results seen in, um, adults, you know, we- the tiredness, fatigue, uh, trouble sleeping and we know the trouble concentrating. These are all things, and the reason that I was so thankful of the guidance that we’re about to jump into, um, that was released from [00:13:00] the U.S. Department of Education’s, Office of Special Education Programs, Office of Civil Rights, and all of them, because this can affect we know in education, right?

The trouble concentrating, and again, this is gonna be a small number of children that this is probably going to affect and hopefully. Um, but, uh, and I love that they pointed out that, you know, I- I don’t know if y’all ever feel this way as an adult, but you know how when you feel bad and you can’t really explain what it is? So I love that they put in here that children may not be able to explain the symptoms either, right? And especially if it’s psychological or things that they’re going through. Um, but you know, something’s not right.

So, um, it does make it, you know, hard trying to figure out, and especially for our children who may have trouble, um, explaining things [00:14:00] or, you know, may already have, uh, another disability that they’re diagnosed with. If they also then have Long COVID or possibly them being able to express it, or so that we know exactly how that they are feeling, um, sometimes could be very difficult. Um, because that- that’s sort of critical information that we need in helping them and being able to share with doctors. Um, and again, it’s probably gonna be a smaller amount.

Um, but again, one is, you know, I- I’m on the- the end of, you know, the same with COVID, as with Long COVID, you know, one is too many, right? We wish we didn’t even have that. So, but, um, really looking at, how does post-COVID, the Long COVID, you know, you may hear it termed different things, post-COVID, Long COVID, and how it impacts them in school to be drastic, uh, for some [00:15:00] students.

Again, uh, very limited number, but it could. So that’s then what led to, um, the jumping off, and in July when CDC released this, then especially because we know that this has the possibility to impact our children at school, being able to concentrate, participate, um, and we know from other disabilities how it could play a role in that.

So it’s not that – one of the things I wanna make sure that I point out when we’re getting ready to talk about, you know, the- the laws and for special education, it’s not that there was a new category added. Um, what it is, is now there is a condition, um, that may impact and qualify as a disability through the educational setting.

Um, so that’s really key to keep in mind too as we’re going through this. Um, and [00:16:00] you know, the accommodations, and we’re gonna kind of talk about that as well, of that they may need some different accommodations. Um, they may not have ever received special education before, right? But now they have Long COVID.

So you could have either or here, you could have they don’t, um, that you- that the- they haven’t prior to that qualified as a disability and it hasn’t affected them educationally. They could, or it could be that you- your child has and already received a 504 IEP in school and now they also in addition have Long COVID.

So let’s kind of keep that as a preface as we kinda work through this, um, to kinda see, um, how we then go about addressing where that is educationally affecting them, if it is, and if they would qualify.

Um, so what is, um- [00:17:00] what Long COVID could mean for your child. Now, in the guidance like I was in- talking about here, we’re gonna first talk about the guidance that talked about- from the Department of Justice, um, the OCR, Office of Civil Rights Guidance, how COVID they identified that COVID could be a disability under those.

So, and how it could be, it’s- it’s not that it would automatically be if you were diagnosed with Long COVID, right? So think of it just the same as for any other disability, when you’re looking at ADA and 504 and all of those, it’s if it substantially limits one major, one or more major life activities, that’s the key right there.

Um, and this could be, um, uh, that they have an actual, um- if- if it limits it and it’s an actual [00:18:00] disability, that there’s been a record of it. Or even if there’s not a record of it, they’re regarded as such as having it. Um, and it could be physical or mental, um, and substantially limits one or more of those. It, you know, it doesn’t- if it doesn’t substantially do it. Um, and when we look at this, um, it’s important, um, the- the examples, you know, uh, breathing, seeing, um, so a major life activity, um, would be something that’s very communicating. Um, those are things that are major life activities and not just in education, any life activity being able to do it, or the children being able to do it.

So, um looking at the actual disability, um, and how that is a part of it. And- and when we go through here, so I want to [00:19:00] kind of go over to this because it gives examples of Long COVID, right? And how it could. So, um, the physical impairments could include, you know, psychological disorder or a condition affecting one or more of the body systems.

That’s a major life, you know, life activity. So we’re looking at, it could be lung damage, heart damage, um, kidney, but it has to affect you in that way in doing life activities, right? Um, and these are the physical examples. Um, and if you’re experiencing those or your children experience those through the Long COVID.

Now, when we look at this, um, here is, you know, perfect example of the performing manual task. You know, it doesn’t just- any task that you would go about doing, um, caring for yourself, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, [00:20:00] sitting, reaching. I- I love examples. Again, this is not an end-all list. Writing, thinking, communicating, um, these are gonna be things that are major life activities and you’re gonna look at. So we kinda have to look is, is it in any of those major things, limiting them in any way in at least one of those areas? Now, substantially limits, um, is broader under this. Um, and the thing about it is, um, is it just a minor, um, sort of a minor thing or does it greatly impact them?

Um, and sometimes that could be very hard to tell, um, because sometimes, depending upon what you are doing, it may not show as much. Um, if that makes sense. Um, and- [00:21:00] and looking at, you know, one of the things that I think is important down here, even if the impairment comes and goes, it is considered a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when the impairment is active.

Because we know that sometimes, and especially when you’re looking at, uh, physical, um, things or, um, you know, with your health, you can have flare-ups, right? So, um, just because it might not be today, it might tomorrow and when it does tomorrow and you have the history of it or you’re presumed as having the Long COVID, it would affect you in a major life activity.

So some other, um, examples here that I think are important and I- and I love, absolutely love when the guidance gives examples, (laughs) um, because it helps us so much. [00:22:00] Again, this is just examples. Um, so a person with Long COVID who has lung damage that causes shortness of breath, fatigue, and related effects is substantially limited in respiratory function, that among other major life activities. So that is a major life activity, um, because you have to be able to breathe.

Um, a person with Long COVID who has symptoms of intense pain, vomiting, and nausea, they have lingered for months is substantially limited in their gastrointestinal function among other life activities.

A person with Long COVID who experiences memory lapses, a brain fog, is substantially limited in brain function, concentrating, and or thinking. Um, and it does make it hard too, being able to tell the extent, especially if- if children aren’t able to express it to us like we know as parents and- and teachers also know, too. Maybe if something’s, just like [00:23:00] I said before, something may just not be right, but it’s hard to tell to the extent. Um, and I think that’s what makes it difficult for all of us, because we want to do and help the best we can, but sometimes it’s hard, especially with something so unknown as COVID and Long COVID now.

Um, so is it always gonna be Long COVID, uh, considered a disability under 504 and ADA? No. It- it is if it- the symptoms substantially limits a major life activity. It’s also important to know that when we’re talking about ADA and 504, those cover- that’s not just education that covers, that covers, um, all areas, right? It’s for persons to be afforded the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers.

This could be in the workplace, this could be in school. Um, it could be in a variety of means. Um, but for [00:24:00] our purposes, we’re concentrating on the- the school for this, um, training and everything. But I just wanted everybody to know that, um, in that, you know, um, it would cover other aspects outside of school because it is the civil rights law.

Um, now, what rights do you have? So now- now we know, so if they happen to qualify, you’re entitled to the same protections as any other person without a disability would be able, um, that any other person with a disability would qualify under ADA or 504. So, um, it’s not that if you have this, you qualify, but just for this, right? So you have the same protections.

Um, and because that sometimes is a question often asked, even when we’re not talking about Long COVID, we’re talking about a variety of disabilities that might qualify. Now, um, [00:25:00] this also could be that, you know, and here’s the perfect example of in businesses or state or local governments.

Um, you know, for students looking at the educational example, it could be providing additional time on a test for a student has difficulty concentrating, modifying procedures so a customer, you know, in a business, if they’re tiring, uh, for standing in line, they can announce their presence and sit down without losing their place in line.

Uh, providing refueling assistance at a gas station for a customer who’s- who cannot physically, because of the pain, uh, pump their own gas. So, um, those type of things are- are gonna be things that you would be able to get just like if it was any other disability and if it limited one ma- at least one major life activity.

So this now is different guidance. In addition, in July [00:26:00] that was released, and this was from the Office of Special Education Programs, OSEP and OCR, Office of Civil Rights. Um, and, uh, this is the Long COVID under section, uh, section 504 and IDEA, which it thrills me when, um, we get so much helpful guidance and the Kentucky Department of Education is also amazing at guidance, which you all have seen since COVID hit, and beyond. Um, that helping us as we sort of navigate, um, this new territory together. So before we dive into this, I wanna pause for a moment to see about questions.

[00:26:44] Kellie Smith: Okay, Rhonda, we do have a couple of questions. The first one is, “How do you go about letting the school know that this is continuing to happen to your child?”

[00:26:59] Rhonda Logsdon: So I- I’m [00:27:00] assuming that your child has- has the condition or that they feel, um, (coughs) excuse me, that- that this is a condition that they have. Um, well, and that’s a perfect question and we’re gonna explain, like, y’all are awesome. You get ahead of me here. We’re gonna explain what you would do and especially in regards to school, that first and foremost, if you are seeing those things, I think it would be important, and especially those concerns, if you feel, because a lot of this, you know, I’m gonna be honest, I did not know until CDC released this in July about Long COVID. Had never heard it before and many people have not.

Many people had not heard it at all, even now. Um, there’s not a lot out there about it. So, especially because of the medical stuff, um, I would contact your doctor, but for the school we’re gonna step through here and I’ll explain what, um, you do and it’ll help kind of seeing [00:28:00] how it fits in with 504 IDEA, depending upon, um, you know, which one that they- if they already have one in place or that they might qualify.

So, um, hold on just a moment to that, but that is a perfect question yet, and I would- I would let ’em know immediately, too. Um, so do we have one more before I move on and jump into it?

[00:28:24] Kellie Smith: There is one more. You may, uh, address it here in a few minutes. Um, it says, “How do I go about, uh, getting a Long COVID diagnosis if my child has had COVID to be afforded a 504 plan at school? Do I need a letter from my child’s doctor?”

[00:28:43] Rhonda Logsdon: So that’s a great question, and I’m glad though that we stopped and you told me those questions because that’s gonna make sure that as we kind of go through this, I’ll show you the parts where that would apply and what to do. But yes, it probably would help, it would help greatly and your doctor may need to [00:29:00] fill out, because of the category, um, that this might qualify, especially when we’re talking about IDEA for an IEP, um, that it- it would only help things to have a letter to take to the school, um, for to be taken into consideration. But these are wonderful questions and please ask. Um, so we’re gonna dive into this.

So, um, when we look at section 504, right? It’s a civil rights law and it prohibits the discrimination based on you have a disability and you are to be entitled to equal access. And when we’re talking about school, equal access to educational opportunity. IDEA Part B, which is in the school system, you know, the 3 through 21 years old is you’re entitled if you qualify under that and know that that is a specific education law for students with disabilities and you are to be provided a free, [00:30:00] appropriate public education.

Now, um, not everybody who is diagnosed with a disability qualifies under IDEA. It’s not just enough to be diagnosed with a disability. Um, and especially looking under the criteria, know that if you qualify and have an IEP, which is under IDEA, you also are covered by 504. And if you don’t qualify for an IEP and under IDEA, it may be very well that you do under Section 504, and that’s where a 504 plan could be written too, which we’re gonna dive in in just a moment, too.

Um, but I wanted to kind of preface that because I know we may have some people on here that may not, uh, know or have the background on, uh, 504 and IDEA related to school. So protections under IDEA. Um, so students experience that, um, you could be [00:31:00] eligible for special education related services under IDEA, um, and also under 504.

So now it has been stated that Long COVID is considered a disability, right? It could- it could affect you. So now we know that this is a condition that would be considered a disability. So now we know we have these federal laws, uh, 504 and law, um, IDEA that protect children and youth with disabilities, and provide services and support.

So now that we know that, um, and the thing again to keep in mind is nothing changed because of COVID. Nothing changed with the laws, right? So we just know now we have another condition in addition to other disabilities that might qualify. Again, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will, [00:32:00] um, but it could qualify them. And when we’re looking through the school system, um, then we could see how it impacts them, um, in their educational achievement and their functional performance, uh, too.

So, now to be eligible under IDEA, it’s the same as if, um, prior to now we have Long COVID as a disability. Um, and the category under that, because you have to under IDEA qualify, and this is part B, um, which that we’re talking about here now, which is the 3 through 21 through the public school system, it would qualify as an “other health impairment”. There is that category there.

Um, many people are aware of, you know, ADD, ADHD qual- um, falls under the other health impaired category. Tourette syndrome, um, there’s a whole variety. Again, not everybody who’s [00:33:00] been diagnosed with them qualifies under that. Um, and we’ll talk about that here a little bit more, um, about the qualifications.

But the category under IDEA and for an IEP for Long COVID you would look at is other health impaired. Now, your child already has an IEP and under the category, um, I think it’s important to bring up right now that, um, they may not need- have to be additionally identified under the other, but I, um, other- say if it’s outside of the other health impaired category, that they qualify.

But what’s gonna be important is that in requesting an IEP meeting, that in letting everyone be aware of this condition and now it affects them, um, and really looking at your present levels in your IEP, because if this is affecting them, uh, we gotta make sure that our present levels of [00:34:00] performance, which guides how their whole program is written, um, because that tells you where they’re at right now, where they need help with compared to the same age peers.

We need to, um, make sure that that’s giving, um, the most up-to-date picture so that we can plan for that throughout the IEP. Um, also too, um, under IDEA, which is Part C, which is the birth, uh, birth to, um, until they turn three in Kentucky, that’s first steps. Um, they must receive, you know, a comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation to meet the state’s eligibility criteria.

Um, so, and I like the example here, infants with severe post-COVID conditions could, based on the evaluation, have developmental delays that could impact them, um, from their development, which could qualify them under IDEA for early [00:35:00] intervention services. Again, not all who have it are gonna qualify, but it could, um, under Section 504. Again, when you look at this, it would be that a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.

So if your symptoms fall into, and you have Long COVID in your physical or mental impairment, just on the previous examples that we- we gave, impacts you in a major life activity, then you could qualify and be eligible under that. You know, you have a record of such impairment or you’re regarded as having such an impairment.

Um, now, um, that’s something that’s very key because if people think and- and believe that you have that, um, that you are able to get it, it’s not just having a [00:36:00] record of it. And I think that’s important to point out here under Section 504, not just with Long COVID, but with any disability. Um, and, and those are sort of some key things to keep in mind.

Now what to do if a child or student is experiencing it. Um, and- and I love in the questions that you all ask, is, um, letting the school, you know, there’s a variety of ways and things that you could do and talking with the school, um, about that they might possibly be eligible for this. That you have noticed that this has gone on and working with the doctor, that you’ve talked to the doctor about it, um, and that you all are looking at that or that the doctor has diagnosed them again.

You know, um, just like with any of the eligibility, it- it’s not just enough to be diagnosed, especially looking at IDEA, but if it could affect them in having those [00:37:00] conversations to see if they may possibly be eligible for those. Now, if they already have those in place and there could possibly- so let me throw something else out there to y’all. I’m sure y’all are like, “Really Rhonda?” But, um, they could possibly, a student could possibly right now have a 504 plan and not qualified for IDEA, but they may also now have Long COVID and because of the Long COVID, the Long COVID might qualify them for an IEP under the other health impaired category.

So it, um, you know, it, it’s gonna depend and it- and it’s hard to give everybody a definite answer because it depends on how it affects each individual child. Just like how it affects each adult, right? And we know it varies. Um, so just keep those things in mind. Um, and looking at its [00:38:00] individual basis and the same thing, although this is a new condition, a new disability, the same procedures that have been in place are still in place. Those laws didn’t change and you pick right up from there just as if it were a disability that existed and you still do the same process. I hope that makes sense.

Um, and again, you know, um, and I love how um, that the guidance, you know, sort of stepped through again, sort of the evaluation process and um, sort of in IDEA there’s Child Find in the Part C, which is the birth to 3, and in part B, which is the 3 through 21.

And in Kentucky, so our, um, lead agency, so the agency responsible in Kentucky is the Kentucky Department of Public Health, and the program is the First Steps Program in Kentucky. Um, [00:39:00] so there are requirements around that and parents signing- so the call to make a referral, if you don’t have the number, we could get it to you, calling to make a referral, um, for First Step services. Um, and seeing if, because if they have Long COVID that could possibly qualify. So you would do the same thing. And once you sign a parental consent, 45 days from that date, the evaluation has to be completed. Um, and then if they qualify, an IFSP, that Individual Family Service Plan, will be written. Um, and that’s with the family too, because the IEP, IFSP, and 504 plan, uh, parent is a critical members of those teams, um, and a part of that.

Um, but you would still do the same thing you would do, um, to get them evaluated to see if they qualify for those programs. [00:40:00] Now, at the school system, it’s the same thing. They also have, um, Child Find, uh, requirements, too. And what you would do here is the same thing as a referral and anyone could do it, a parent, anyone who has knowledge of the child.

Um, so call the school, send an email request that they be evaluated under, um, the other health impaired category of IDEA for an IEP. Um, know that, and the reason you see here where it says, and I always like to put, because if you’ve ever been on any of my, uh, other, um, IDEA or IEP trainings, um, because it is very specific, uh, one of the- the reason, um, when IDEA was reauthorized in 2004, the, um, they put in, um, the federal law, the 60- 60 days to receive from the parental consent being signed, for the evaluation to be done, unless the state had already [00:41:00] established a timeframe. Kentucky did, and it’s 60 school days.

So it would be the same process that you follow, that you make the referral. But here’s the critical part in all- all of these, is you’ve got to sign the parental consent to evaluate for things to start moving because they can’t do anything until you sign that. And many do not know that they have to sign that or even know about that to get that ball rolling.

So request that parental consent, sign that immediately, and then when you’re looking at it, whether it be under, um, under IDEA- so the other health impaired category, in each category, there are guidelines that the schools, um, that have been, uh, established to evaluate under that category. And many times you will see that the- under the other health impaired category, um, is it may be from a variety of sources. Um, it could be a paper that your doctor also fills [00:42:00] out that, you fill out, that explains things. So, um, the same procedures take place when you’re going through this.

Now, for the 504, the- the evaluation procedures, um, is the school must conduct the evaluation in a timely manner. Um, the thing is, I would still- I would request that, you know, by email in writing, that you want them to be evaluated under Section 504.

Um, it’s important if you believe that they would qualify under IDEA for an IEP, because that is a specific education law. Again, not as many students qualify under that as they do 504, right? But you feel they would, it- it’s important to have them evaluated under IDEA for an IEP because if they qualify, it’s important that they have that in place.

Um, but you know, the same thing, the evaluation. [00:43:00] And there may be, uh, uh, you know, um, uh, the papers that need to be filled out by the doctor, a whole variety of things. So the same procedures that are developed and carried out in the district, regardless of the disability, um, would still take place. We just now have a new disability, um, that has- that we’ve never had to deal with before. Or, I mean, unfortunately, um, that is affecting a lot of people.

Um, when you look overall at as many people and the possibility of as many people who have, um, experienced and could experience COVID, um, again, now the number of those that it may impact a major life activity, um, or, you know, um, as we are- we’re gonna look through here.

Um, it has, you know, with 504, and I wanna make sure I go right back here [00:44:00] just a second. Um, because when we talk about this, it’s not just important to know under IDEA for Part B that you, um, the category that you would be evaluated. It has to- and I wanna go back just a moment. I don’t wanna make you all busy though. Um, so I apologize in advance because this is something that, um, that I wanted to make sure that I brought up because you know how it could be eligible for.

So it’s not just you qualify under the “other health impairment” category, you know, and that, or that there is a category that you could qualify under. It has to, um, adversely- the disability has to adversely affect the child’s educational performance. That’s really key an idea. And also too, they must need, um, they must need, um, I just lost my train of thought- especially designed [00:45:00] instruction and related services. So those are some key things when you are talking about idea eligibility and that are very important to keep in mind.

So, I’m sorry I, uh, bumped back there if I made you all, uh, dizzy here, so let me make sure I didn’t go- there we go.

So now the eligibility and implementation, everything, you know, if they’re eligible, then you would- and there’s procedures if you’re not in agreement, um, that you can follow especially under IDEA if you’re not in agreement with the evaluation completed under Part B through three through 21.

And there also is, uh, part- under part C with First Steps that, you know, there’s- there’s parental rights and ways to resolve things. So I’m gonna concentrate right now on the Part B that through the school system, um, [00:46:00] if you don’t agree with the evaluation results, you do have the right to request the independent education evaluation, um, through the school.

Um, and then, um, and it’s at the cost of the school, um, and the ARC team, which is the Admissions and Release Committee, um, which the parent is a part of and a equal member. Um, the ARC team or IEP team, um, it means one in the same in Kentucky. Um, you have a meeting you’ve requested. And so when you are get those, uh, independent education evaluation results back, then as an ARC team, um, you have to at least take those into consideration. It’s not a- it’s not a end all done deal if it says that, but you take into consideration with everything else. Um, but just so that you know that those same things and those rights that you have, [00:47:00] regardless of the disability you’re being evaluated for under that, that is a part of the procedural safeguard.

Um, and- and really looking at, um, especially in a- I wanna concentrate on the example here, too. Um, if you- you meet the definition of the “other health impairment” under IDEA and- and you’re experiencing the difficulty concentrating, anxiety related to it.

Um, but then another thing too, when we go down here, it could be, it’ll be very different based on each individual trial, which I know I’ve said, like I say all the time, right? Because every- every child’s different and- but it’s true. So some may need the counseling service to address the anxiety. What are the things? And those can be provided through their IEP, that would be their Individual Education Program. Some positive behavioral interventions, supports that promote them to stay on task. [00:48:00] These are all things that could help, um, in dealing with the effects because, they- the- if Long COVID and they qualify for that, how it adversely affects them. So then the IEP would help so that they’re able to be successful in the general curriculum.

Now, so eligibility and implementation under 504, you know, um, that is, um, looking at, um, if for example, um, a group of knowledgeable people may determine that a student requires a reasonable modification to the attendance policy or, um, modification to the untimed testing, um, or, you know, medical appointments or if, um, you know, it- it could vary so much.

Cause remember, some of it may affect you more than others. So there may be one day that you’re not, because it may be [00:49:00] physically affecting you medical wise, you’re not able, um, to go to school. You know, and, and there’s different things that could play a part in it. And working closely with the school on all of this and building that partnership and how we go about it.

Again, keep in mind too, if your child already has a 504 or an IEP, it’s important to meet with them and talk with them, especially if you feel that- that your child may have this or that, um, they already have been diagnosed with Long COVID because it’s important for everybody to be on the same page.

And I- I would personally, if you know, requesting an IEP or a 504 meeting could be very beneficial, um, so that everybody can come together because this is gonna maybe something though that no- we haven’t addressed before because we’re just realizing that this is Long [00:50:00] COVID, um, and this is why this is happening.

Um, and it- it takes us all a while to figure this out because many of us, we don’t know. And again, it could be looked different and we don’t know the long-term effects and how- and all of the systems, sy- systems- all of the symptoms that could- we know an example list, right? There’s not been enough time to be able to see what all could be from this.

So, um, having those conversations, building those partnerships, um, I think are gonna be very important. Um, so- so that everybody knows too, because remember, uh, 504, now IDEA doesn’t in the post-secondary, but college, trade school. Remember when we were talking about ADA and 504, how they are, um, it’s not just in the school system, right? It’s not just the public school, that is in the workplace, that’s for persons with disabilities who are in higher [00:51:00] education, college, trade school. They’re covered under 504. So what would be important is if, you know, and it would be the same qualifications under 504, it limits you in a major- at least one major life activity.

It would be important for you in thinking too it- if your student is getting ready to graduate and they’re going on to college or trade school to keep in mind. And if they are evaluated and have, um, for IDEA or 504, um, for Long COVID, it’s gonna be important because rights transfer, you know, um, when they’re an adult, it- the responsibility, they don’t have to seek out and evaluate for disability or services. The school doesn’t have a responsibility like under IDEA for the Child Find, um, does. So it’s a responsibility of the student to reach out to [00:52:00] the disability support center and reaching out to the school and talking with them and seeing about reasonable modifications that might help because if they do have, um, you know, um, a disability that will qualify under 504, which could be Long COVID, um, that you need to work with the disability, uh, resource center and with your instructors. Um, because those- we want everybody to be successful, um, in- in- in seeking those modifications. But know that they’re not gonna seek you out. You have to go to them and you have to disclose your disability. You have to, um, the- you have to work with them and let them know, um, and then kind of come up with a game plan together. So I just wanted to make sure that I pointed that out too, not just for Long COVID, but for any disability. Um, it- that because it’s very different when you go [00:53:00] on to college in the post-secondary or trade school. It’s- you don’t necessarily have the same things that would happen or some of the same laws like IDEA that cover you in that. Um, and many people aren’t aware of that.

Um, so I know I have went over like a lot and I hope it was helpful. Not a hot mess. (laughs) So let’s pause and take uh, time for some questions here.

[00:53:34] Kellie Smith: Sorry, I had a hard time unmuting again. Um, okay, so we have one questions. It says, “Are full steam trained to recognize Long COVID?”

[00:53:50] Rhonda Logsdon: So here’s the- the short in- I don- there may be some schools, and this is not just in Kentucky, but throughout the US that may be doing that [00:54:00] right now. But I don’t know that everybody has. Um, I think this is all so new that this is not, um, I can double check and actually I will and I will share if there are already some things that have been put in place with different schools. Um, I don’t know that they are actively, um, actively doing that right now.

Um, I think a lot of it right now, um, is making sure that everybody is aware and the point we’re at right now, that this actually is a condition, this actually could be con- could qualify and be considered a disability. And then in fact, as a disability, could qualify, you know, in general it could be qualifi as disability, but then looking at it in the educational setting, it also then could qualify under 504 or IDEA, or- or both.[00:55:00]

Um, so I don’t know that right now that’s actively happening. Um, I think a lot of things are in the education aspect right now because whether you’re a parent or a teacher, I don’t think many people, and one of the reasons we wanted to talk about this with the- the guidance being released is so everyone’s aware of it because I’ve not heard much, um, about it.

Um, and so one of the things- it may be that, you know, it very likely no matter where you live, if it’s like you’re in another state, that if you talk to the school about it, they may not- they may not know, right? All of us don’t know everything, um, about everything. Um, so, um, part of that might be, um, an educational piece or providing the information. And that’s why I like to be able to provide y’all with exactly what comes out of the guidance and the links [00:56:00] to those so that if it is, um, you can share that with others. Um, I think a lot of it too, because we don’t know- not just that they’re not actively doing it and on purpose, right? Because none of us is doing that.

I think because we are so unsure of the extent and what qualifies and what, um, would, uh, I’m trying to- I’m trying to think what not on- not only would qualify, but to what extent. Um, and everyone’s understanding, regardless of what area or field you’re in, Long COVID in general and how it would be considered a disability because it depends upon the extent.

Um, so I think a lot of it is in the learning stages right now. I do know though that, um, the- in working with the Kentucky Department of Education, that they- that all- that everyone’s aware of [00:57:00] guidance that has been released, you know, the, um, uh, superintendents and the districts, um, and, you know, the heads of special education and that KDE has worked with, um, the schools and are there helping not only the schools, but families too.

Um, because when this first hit, um, I was very fortunate to be able, you know, cuz at first I was like, “Oh my gosh.” (laughs) And, uh, the ladies were probably never admitted to KDE, but they- they helped me when this came out, um, because they’re so gracious, you know, because I was like, “Okay, now I’m just gonna have to wrap my head around this”, you know, and- and the impact of what this is.

And so they’re helping all of us and the districts at the same time, and not only them helping the districts, but those that are the head of the districts are helping the teachers and everybody at the same time rolling it out. [00:58:00] So, um, I think a lot of it too is just all of us spreading our knowledge and that probably was way, way long of an explanation than you ever wanted.

But I think as if with all of this, we are all, um, learning as we go. And it seems like every day, I don’t know about you all, but every day, every hour there is something new, right? And- and so we’ve been living in this, all of us, um, for, I don’t even know if I wanna track the time. I feel like it’s been decades. I don’t know about you all, but, I try to think back to March of 2020 and I literally think that felt like 20 years ago.

Um, but you know, working through this and how we can help and any information and updated stuff that we can help get for you all, I hope that answer kind of helped. Cause I know it was like a long drawn out, but I think we’re all in the process of sharing that knowledge, sharing that [00:59:00] assistance.

Um, but I do know that they are taking a very active role in spreading that and- and helping with all of the aspects, not just with Long COVID, but in many of the others. So, um, were there any other questions before we, um, go off of here? Because I know that we are, oh, exactly at- exactly at time. Um, I didn’t know if there were any others.

[00:59:29] Kellie Smith: I think there is one more. Oh, nope. Got it. So, no, that’s it.

[00:59:38] Rhonda Logsdon: Okay. Well, thank you so much. Um, and you all just, I hope you have a wonderful day. You’re gonna be prompted for a survey. If you would please take time and fill that out, we greatly value your input, um, and it will help us as we plan, um, and continue to try to offer, um, the best information and support that you need.[01:00:00]

Um, and please let us know, we’ve got some trainings coming up next week. You click on our, um, website. We’ve got an awesome, uh, uh, positive behavior intervention supports. KDE is gonna be presenting on that. Um, and then we are also presenting on, um, the response to intervention and early intervention services next week. You’re welcome to attend those webinars.

Then the week following that, we are having a post-secondary transition conference for youth, uh, families. It’s virtual, um, and for, uh, professionals. So we’d love if you all could join us on our website. You can go under the events and click right from the event to register.

We would love to have you and help spread the word for us, and I hope you’all have a wonderful day and a wonderful weekend. Thank so much.[01:01:00]