Suicide Resources: Section 504 Support for Children

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If you are navigating the aftermath of a parent suicide and have school age children, I strongly recommend pursuing Section 504 accommodations as a safety net for them. Simply put, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act guarantees certain rights to people with disabilities and applies to any agency receiving federal funds, such as a school.

A child dealing with the traumatic nature of suicide can suffer from Complicated Grief, listed in the DSM (Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and defined as a cyclical, reoccurring hidden trauma. It is not temporary in nature, and is very difficult to determine how it might end up manifesting in a child’s life. It affects many major life activities and is a hidden disability.

Accommodations vary in nature, but offer an invisible and protective buffer for a student acclimating to their new circumstances. For example, extended time on tests, access to an adult for emotional support during school and copies of class notes as needed.

As a part of your support team, I would suggest you find a certified non-attorney advocate with experience in IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), Section 504 and due process. This person will become a part of your recovery tribe, so seek someone with a non-adversarial style who can identify areas of need and actively write up an action plan for your child.

I am very fortunate to have a friend who is an Educational Advocate. She made me aware of these benefits, otherwise I would not have known they were available for my kids.

You can contact the Office of Civil Rights for further information.

– db

Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

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