Statement on Extra Time and Absences for a Child with Celiac Disease

It is important for a learning environment to understand that issues associated with a celiac disease diagnosis may be ongoing and a medical provider may continue to modify the treatment plan. Every child reacts differently to a gluten exposure, some mildly and others very severely. Because of this, a child with celiac disease may need to miss school for periods of time, either for follow-up visits with a member of their multidisciplinary medical team, worsening symptoms, or to initiate a new treatment. If there are ongoing issues related to celiac disease, the parent/guardian should contact the pediatrician or gastroenterologist for evaluation and treatment suggestions. At other times, the child with celiac disease may have milder symptoms, not severe enough to keep him or her out of school.

Regarding extended time for academic assessments, the accommodation needs of a child with celiac disease always require an individualized inquiry that will take into consideration the child’s individual needs and symptoms. While a child with well-controlled celiac disease should not need pre-emptive accommodations for extra time on school assignments, exams, or standardized testing based on celiac disease alone, a child experiencing symptoms may require accommodation. For example, if a child with celiac disease is experiencing symptoms of a gluten exposure or other illness, they may need the opportunity for a make-up session or off-the-clock breaks to allow for bathroom trips necessitated by their disability.