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Posted on: Thu, 01/02/2003 - 1:09pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Orientation sessions and meetings for parents are standard operating procedure at every college and university that I know of.
By attending these meetings and sessions, involved parents play a key role in the success of those first few months of university life. This is where the more serious wrinkles in the road are smooothed out beforehand by the administration and parents to make the first year for the student a successful one.
During my tenure, no one in a position of authority saw this as "babying their babies", it just one of those things parent did (mine did, my friends parents did, I will). I attended countless meeting with parents on issues specific to their kids success. It was just a given.
During these orientation sessions, students may attend ones on cult awareness on campus, birth control on campus, pub life, employment opportunities on campus, co-ed living rules, hours of computer labs/resource centres, etc. while parents may attend the sessions on appealing grades to academic council, expectation of first year failure rates in certain faculties, tuition assistance, medical intervention regulations, etc.
It is impossible for a freshman student to attend every single session and meeting necessary to get all the information, so those that come without parents end up either scrambling at the last moment to make arrangments or just miss out on opportunities unknown to them. The first year drop out/failure rate is very high and every effort (including involving the parents in student orientation) is made to curb this trend.
Having parents involved from the onset allows everyone (parents, the student, faculty and administation) to play a role in the successful University experience.
It is the only opportunity for the parents (with or without potential student in tow) to adjust things like a meal plan (a student making the request or worse showing up on day one of college/university trying to get an adjustment in a meal plan or trying to get a microwave into a dorm room will just run into roadblocks)
Peg541 - I have appreciated you posting on various forums on your experiences. Please do not let the posts of one reflect the group. From what you have shared, I think you have done a wonderful job at raising a person with PA who is now ready for the next step in his life.
Not too many of us have been in your shoes, so I'm certainly in no position to judge, and but like cynde who also replied, I will look forward to taking pages out of your book as I seek help as my daughter goes through all the stages you have succesfully manoveured your son through.
PS - As stated in my first reply post I worked in senior management at a university, but I don't think I'm a bonehead. Sometimes my brother use to call me wickerhead or burrhead, but never bonehead. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 01/02/2003 - 8:25pm
LisaMcDowell's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2002 - 09:00

Syd's Mom-Peg said that she has appts to meet w/food service, medical & campus safety people. These are not regular introductory sessions. What you stated in paragraph #3 are bottom line regarding education & responsibility. I've been to those where I've heard many parents ask their son or daughter if he/she heard what was being said to them & asked if they understood. My interpretation of it all was that the school allowed them to know that they are ultimately responsible for them self, their own body & their own success. The school adminstration stated policies and provided resources, the student heard and the parents witnessed it.
I did not say that school administrators were boneheads...it was a generalization. Please re-read it.
Attending introductory sessions is not "babying", however, making appointments for & attending for a PA adult is "babying".
I can understand a PA young adult making the appts, then asking the parent(s) to accompany to help reduce their anxiety, but that is it. Look at the e-mails again, tell me who is doing the foot work, the parent or the person w/PA?
It is okay to be supportive of someone, but it is not okay to point fingers when something is upsetting. An open discussion board is to express whatever one wants without persecution even if my reality is too much for others. Anyway, I also think in the same terms as any PA parent, however, I know the difference between sugar coating & the true reality of a situation. I do also know that liability is accepted by K-HSs for an underage PA, and what will not be implemented for an 18 yr & over young adult PA at a college. It is what everyone will eventually learn when their child goes off to college. Otherwise, if my information is incorrect than why has the Resident Advisor not implemented a peanut free rule himself? And why has he only provided for temporary safety measures? As was stated; "They will have their own dorms and they make their own rules". Really & truly no college has to be prepared to receive our children, its our children that need to be prepared to meet the world.
As for PA adults, I know some personally ranging in age from 38-56 yrs old. The reasons you may not hear about them or of them...this is what I've been told by friends: PA.com was not around when they were growing up; they have done fine for years w/out it & are not interested; and they had never heard of websites for food allergies. If you are really interested, you can click on the "Living w/PA" in this forum & there they be.
For everyone else, Peg said she made her children her life plus stated "He is with me almost all of his waking hours. I took this responsibility and ran with it." and "It is not too much, it just fits into our everyday conversation". These appear to me to be true statements & a testament of a strong attachment, and not a figure of speech. I certainly don't fret this much when Chelsea goes to school or joins a new ballet class. (Peg, sorry about having to use your words like this, however I am trying to make a point.)
Peg, I am very supportive of you as a PA mom, and I can understand your worries, but after reading all your e-mails countless times, still all I can say to you is that I know what it is like to let a child go. Its a natural progression, and I grieved just the same way when my baby was leaving me. My oldest son does not have PA, but I still tried like hell to keep that umbilical cord from ripping. I told my son that I wanted to call his Navy recruiter (yes, I did) to ask about his safety (duh, wartime), dental care, vision care, who pays for his uniforms, etc. My son would not let me do anything. I got to read all those sugar coated Navy pamphlets w/the recruiters name on the back blacked out. To this day I am happy he did that. It proved to both my husband & I that he was determined to be responsible & make it on his own in a world that can be relentless.
The reason I felt it important for me to reply to your topic is to let others know that there are people like myself that do things differently & also because I don't want people to be strongly influenced by one side or to become overwhelmed with PA.
Lisa

Posted on: Thu, 01/02/2003 - 9:33pm
helenmc's picture
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Joined: 05/01/2002 - 09:00

Hi Peggy,
I know it must seem daunting to you now that your son is about to begin college and you are worried about his safety.
I have read everyone else's contributions and just wanted to say that things will be OK.
I'm a PA 31 year old, and survived leaving home to attend university. Like Lisa says, we do experiment and come into contact with food products that we may not have experienced at home, or have reations through accidental contaminations - I know I did!!
But that was over ten years ago for me - now the public seem to be better educated. During a trip to the USA last year, I was very impressed with the attentiveness shown by restuarant staff and other customer service people, once I had informed them of my allergy. Australian services are also more aware of the seriousness of this allergy and actively check ingredients etc.
I also know how to look after myself and have medication and an action plan at the ready in case I have a reaction. I also know it's important to tell people about it. I'm sure your son is prepared just in case.
God willing that he has a safe and happy time at college and that you can enjoy these special years too :-)

Posted on: Thu, 01/02/2003 - 11:58pm
erik's picture
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Joined: 05/15/2001 - 09:00

Lisa,
The reason people are making these comments about your posts is not because you are stating your viewpoint. It is because you are saying negative comments about Peg.
You are implying she is a bad parent by saying she as a parent should have her son solely responsible for being able to manage his PA independently saying the "issue" is her parenting skills (referring to good parenting being preparing a child for PA as you would prepare them for money management, etc). You use negative terms such as telling her she is babying her son ("Attending introductory sessions is not "babying", however, making appointments for & attending for a PA adult is "babying".")
Everyone raises their children in their own way as is best for their own situation. As Cindy, River, Redtruck, Cayley's Mom, and the numerous other long time board members will attest to, when newcomers to the board get criticized in their initial posts for the way they handle PA when simply asking a question, they quite often disappear from the boards never to be seen again. They come here hoping it is a friendly place where they can find support and assistance but then stop coming.
People come here for support and understanding and information, not to have their child-raising, peanut-allergy coping skills criticized by others. I know you mentioned that it is an open forum and you should be able to post what you want, but if you check other threads you will see that people always try to be supportive and try not to post comments that will be negative towards the way others manage their lives.

Posted on: Fri, 01/03/2003 - 12:27am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Peg541, this thread was brought to my attention late last night by another PA.com member and friend of mine.
I'm like cynde, who was one of the first people that replied to you. My PA son is only just 7. I have no idea what to say to you that could possibly help you feel comfortable sending your child off to college. The only thing I can do, is see myself in the same situation, and asking the same question of fellow PA.com members in ten years.
Peg, in another thread, I had wanted to say I was really pleased to see another parent join who had an older child. I have always looked up to and respected Claire who posts about her son Chris (who is in his early teens) because I know that she had to pave the way with her son (as you did with yours) and basically paved the way for the rest of us coming along. I want to hear what difficulties parents of older PA children encounter, not because I can help them unfortunately, but because I too, will be one one day.
You had a response in this thread that would make a newcomer simply run from this board.
How do I know that? When I first became a member, and it's not all that long ago, I started a thread and the first response I got I thought was really nasty. I was crying and upset. Sitting here shaking at my computer.
I had another person from PA.com contact me off-the-board via e-mail and tell me not to worry about what the person had said and to keep posting. I have remembered that ever since (obviously [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] )
You have received a lot of good, informative, caring advice in this thread and I really hope that you can find some help from those of us here even if we don't have a child your age.
I know, as Syd's Mom pointed out, I have really enjoyed reading your posts in other threads on the board where you are able to help other PA parents. Please don't think you'd be constantly in *help* mode here, but that we may, just by being PA parents ourselves, be able to offer you some type of caring, support and encouragement.
I can't even begin to imagine what you're going through. I truly can't. I really related to different things you said about how you have dealt with your son re his PA (the very open discussions, etc.) and how you had to deal with the schools so that your son would be safe (I'm still doing that).
I hope you did find some information posted that answered your question. I also hope that you will choose to ignore any negative comments that were made and continue to post here. I know of many members that would be extremely upset should you leave because you got hurt by comments made here.
erik, I really liked what you posted. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------

Posted on: Fri, 01/03/2003 - 12:28am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Interesting.
I don't think I have to defend myself here. I thank erik, helenmc, Syd's mom and river for their thoughful and on the spot supportive and intelligent posts.
Happy New Year to us all.
Peggy

Posted on: Fri, 01/03/2003 - 12:38am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Oh Cindy, thanks so much. I'd never leave and I'd never get upset because the one thing I know in life, the most important thing I know in life is my responsibility to my children.
Cindy I have looked for your thoughtful posts in every thread on this forum. Keep it up and thank you. You ask questions we all should be thinking about and you encourage all of us to learn. What could be more necessary than education?
I have made my email address public and anyone that ever has a comment or question can contact me. I'm always open for discussion and I understand the members that have young children looking toward the future. I've been there.
Peggy
[This message has been edited by Peg541 (edited January 03, 2003).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/03/2003 - 12:56am
Peg541's picture
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Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

I'm editing this post out because as I said I do not feel the need to defend myself.
Thanks guys.
Peggy
[This message has been edited by Peg541 (edited January 03, 2003).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/03/2003 - 5:18am
CVB in CA's picture
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Joined: 10/15/1999 - 09:00

I do not think it is the least bit unreasonable to try and meet with dorm food service or emergency services as the parent.
I was a student, I lived in a dorm, and I was a student employee of dorm food service. Students just don't get much respect or even a straight answer! They assume you are being a wise ass or a whiner.
I don't know too many 18 year olds able to take on a university food director without a little moral support. Just walking in cold without advance prep will get nowhere. They won't give you the time of day, let alone and ingredient list. I don't care how old or responsible for your own allergy you are, if you can't get to the source of the right information you are in trouble.
It's not a restaurant - THEY DON'T CARE if you want it your way and the server won't know where a lot of the food came from in that buffet line, where it was stored or who made it. They are feeding hundreds and thousands a day sometimes. It' an institution and a big buearacracy with it's own procedures and problems.
Resident advisors have very minimal control or ability to set rules for their dorm floors. Students the same.
I too am familiar with a case of someone being unprepared for college and the reality of their medical condition. In this case it was a diabetic girl. After her third diabetic coma in 2 weeks, she left school to go back home. She had not developed either the knowledge or personal self discipline to regulate her condition. She was requested to leave for her own safety. But her R.A. and dorm advisor were at least aware of her medical condition, and knew what the problem might be when she was found passed out. Otherwise they probably would have assumed she was drunk.
At my school Freshman and Sophmores were required to live in "approved" housing and be on the University food plan. Numbers and types of appliances allowed in the rooms strictly limited. Food choices and avilability were limited.
We had many physically "disabled" individuals at my university. Some accomcadations were made. Wheelchair students were assigned to newer dorms, first floor rooms and dorms with larger shower stalls.
Exemptions to food plans could be made on religious and dietary basis- kosher, 7 day adventist, etc.
HOWEVER- this all had to be reviewed up front, with administration approval and documentation. Some limitations could even be grounds for having your own apartment- i.e. the prized exemption from dorm food and "supervision".
Also, if you were over 21 when you entered as a Freshman you were allowed to be exempt more easily. A forty year old I knew with two kids was automatically exempted from all this rigamarole, as were married couples with one partner over 21.
When an institution makes rules about how the student lives, they also assume some liability about those living conditions.
A non-residential school such as a commuter college, junior college or trade school does not mandate how the students live and do not assume any liability or responsibility over their residence conditions. A residential school with dormitories assumes some legal responsibility and some liability with that.
A new college student away from home for the first time assumes a lot of life responsibility all at once. They may or may not be ready for it. Helping them secure information for them to use is the act of a responsible parent.
What the student does with the information is up to them.

Posted on: Fri, 01/03/2003 - 6:16am
LisaMcDowell's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2002 - 09:00

Hi All,
Peg, you know I understand all your e-mails, especially the current ones. Do what you need to do, that's your right. People come here for their own reason(s) whether its for information, solutions, support, crutches, different perspectives, food for thought, etc. However, I think it is very important to everyone that other perspectives on the same topic are offered, regardless. It is always a person's choice to take things personally or not. Sorry, I don't buy into what others are saying to me it just sidesteps the real issue, & I can see that there those that want to protect...
Everyone else, refer to the story about "N". I am forever grateful that God brought her into my life years before Chelsea was born; she taught me just how manageable PA is because I hate stress & turmoil). I pray that God will do the same for others.
Has anyone contacted FAAN, yet?
Hi FJ-"N" is the same person I told you about I just used the 1st letter of her last name. I'll ask her to give some input, same w/the web...I just have to warn you that she is Miss Too Tough Survivor (lack of a better word).

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