conflicting allergies in the classroom

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:08am
Flounder's picture
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My daughter with MFA entered JK in the fall. So far we've been lucky.

Now I've learned that another parent is insisting her son be allowed to have certain dairy products for snack (cheese, yogurt tubes or milk cartons to drink). My daughter has had an anaphylactic reaction from contact with milk.

The room is supposed to be nut and milk free. Her logic is that her son's diet is restricted due to peanut/egg/wheat allergies and an exception should be made for him re:milk so he can have the things he likes/can eat. She doesn't seem to care about anyone else and it's glaringly obvious that she is another obstacle instead of a possible ally.

I'm afraid I might just snap at her if I try to plead my case. Last week I was preoccupied with my youngest and her ongoing health issues and I let it go. But today she put chocolate milk in a water bottle and her son taunted my daughter about it.

Has anybody experienced a similar situation with conflicting allergies (and obtuse parents) at school?

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:26am
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Quote:Originally posted by Flounder:
[b]My daughter with MFA . . .
My daughter has had an anaphylactic reaction from contact with milk.
The room is supposed to be nut and milk free. [/b]
So your daughter is allergic to nuts and milk? Anything else?
And the boy is peanut/egg/wheat?
What about only fruits and veggies with no dip?
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:28am
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This is why banning doesn't help "all" kids...there are too many allergies to ban certain ones and not all! In this situation, they need to set up a safe eating area for everyone. I will be discussing this same thing with our principal, the lunchroom is very safe(set up that peanut-free tables and those eatign pb also sit all together at a table, and wash after)....so when my next son enters Kindergarten, how will they protect him, milk allergy. I hate to do it, but he'll need to sit at a milk free table(most likely alone, everyone drinks milk at lunch)...but that is the only way I see him staying safe. I think ALL kids need to wash hands after eating, so I will address that(the pb-eaters do now). There are just situations where not every one can win, so you need to make changes, make adjustments to keep both of these allergy kids safe.
In this situation, I don't think any food should be allowed in the classroom itself, it's too risky. And not fair(apparently) to the parent of the other allergy child(or your child either), his diet is very restricted, I would respect that(I have a similar child at our school, allergic to SOOOO many foods, he can actually eat pb sandwiches though, who am I to insist it's taken away from him....he just eats it safly at the pb table now).
I of course am the minority here...and I also don't know your school set-up(if they can eat in another area of the school, safely, wash hands etc...)
this was just a suggestion. But I can see your point and hers(the other mother). Good luck
EDIT, I just saw Greenlady's post...I can agree with her as well, if it is the policy, the school needs to address it, not you. And I have to agree also, the taunting needs to be reported and handled VERY seriously!!!
------------------
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig and EE)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited February 26, 2007).]
[This message has been edited by chanda4 (edited February 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:30am
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Oh, what a terrible situation! It's bad enough when ignorant people are thoughtless, but to have someone who should know better be so unsympathetic must be very disheartening.
My solution would be to work through the school and not deal with the other parent directly. It shouldn't be your job to police the school's policy.
I would specificly bring up the taunting incident with the school administration - that kind of bullying could grow ugly fast. If you'd like, I can post a link to a picture of a boy having a serious allergic reaction after a classmate blew a strawful of milk in his face that you could share with the administration. (It was in Dr. Wood's 2005 presentation to the FDA).
As far as a peanut/egg/wheat allergy, it seems like there are still plenty of possible snacks that don't contain milk. It doesn't sound like a case that he NEEDS to have milk products in the classroom (I'm presuming he can get his dairy group at lunchtime?)
Good luck to you, and let us know what happens!

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 3:31am
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COPYING
[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 4:31am
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This makes no sense what so ever. She claims to understand the need to keep allergens affecting [i]her[/i] child out of the classroom, but is unsympathetic to the needs of your child. Nice.
The evil in me would insist that your daughter be allowed to have egg enriched wheat noodles because [i]your[/i] daughters diet is restricted. heh heh. This parent is not only incompassionate, but plain stupid.
As far as her son taunting your child. I would jump on that one hard and fast. Do a search on bullying on this board to get some good insight on why you need to seek to make an example out of anyone who tries to do this to your child...and quick. Shall the rest of our children bring guns to school to taunt others with death?? Because that's what this behavior amounts to.
I hope things get resolved for you...it isn't easy...

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 4:33am
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Hey, how about chocolate soy milk for her little bundle of joy?

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 5:20am
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Edited to add: the pictures in the link below are very distressing, especially for a parent of a child with food allergies. Please feel free to skip if they cause more stress!
Just in case it's helpful, here is a link to Dr. Wood's powerpoint presentation. The child with the reaction to milk blown at him is on slide 7.
[url="http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/05/slides/2005-4160s1_02_wood-Food%20Allergy-FDA_files/frame.htm"]http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/05/s...files/frame.htm[/url]
Here is an excerpt from Dr. Wood's transcript (p. 28-29), describing this slide:
DR. WOOD: The first couple of patients I am going to show you have urticaria or hives. This is a total body hive reaction that this boy is experiencing, a patient I have known since he was an infant.
He is school age at this point. This reaction occurred when he was in the grade school cafeteria, was being teased about this food allergy, another child blew a straw full of milk across the table into his face, and he had this really significant reaction.
Here's the link to the whole transcript:
[url="http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/05/transcripts/2005-4160t1.doc"]http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/05/transcripts/2005-4160t1.doc[/url]
[This message has been edited by Greenlady (edited February 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 5:25am
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Turn it around-- this child has already violated any grace that might have been granted regarding a [i]food preference[/i] by taunting your contact-anaphylactic child with an allergen. In a [i]preschool[/i] setting, no less.
End of story. Time for a surgical strike with the school-- agreed, too-- [i]NOT[/i] with this obviously idiotic other parent. It wouldn't be the other family who would be liable if something dreadful [i]were[/i] to happen. It would be the school.
Your poor daughter. She must just dread interactions with this other child. He sounds rather mean-spirited from your description. My daughter would happily give up [i]anything[/i] she eats for another child's safety. Happily.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 5:51am
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I can think of any number of snacks to send for my kids that are dairy free, we avoid PN/TN/Soy and egg (due to our nephew with egg allergy and asthma- there is no egg in our house). It's only one snack right? As long as the child can consume his dairy products at lunch, what's the big deal?

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 6:38am
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Flounder,
I'm glad to see you posting!
Just a question before I jump in here - is your JK full or half day?
If it's half day, I really can't see why this should be an issue at all; fruits or veggies should be adequate to get them through the morning. If it's full day, I can see where the diet restrictions would cause trouble. I also think there should be [i]no[/i] food in the classroom, and a safe place for snacking with provisions for washing up afterwards.
Without all the info I'll also join in by saying the school should address it, not you. I hope they will be supportive. The bullying has to be addressed - swiftly.
Chandra, I'm with you - I'm not a big fan of out and out bans, and this is a perfect example of what can happen when there are conflicting needs. I am, however, a fan of imagination and flexibility and I'm sure if the school is willing to work with both sides, they can come up with a solution.
Amy

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 7:56am
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Chandra, You are not alone! I don't support peanut bans either except where the child has a history of exquisite sensitivity. At this point that means my sons do not need a peanut free elementary school. But they do have a peanut/treenut free classroom and no snacks, birthdays included, are permitted. There are maybe half a dozen occasions where food it allowed in the classroom. I would PREFER they stopped serving PB&J in the cafeteria but I won't request it unless they show signs of a problem.
Anyhow, welcome back Flounder. My boys still ask about your family. It's the school's responsibility to address it with the other parent, not yours...but I can see why you would be tempted to work it out with the other parent on your own....it's silly though...one snack and liquid milk? No way...that has to be the riskiest allergen to have in the room especially with preschoolers. Good Luck!
Luvmyboys

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2007 - 10:17pm
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I'd suspect that food preference has some very similiar brain activity associated with it as that associate with sexuality. I mean, when talking about desire. I coul be wrong. I just don't think it's so easy to say that asking people [i]to give up[/i] a food [i]preference[/i] is as simple and such a no-brainer as it sounds. There's probably a lot of brain associated with it.
Kinda like when they talk about sexual preference.
I need some coffee.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 12:12am
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I think it's true that it is hard to change ingrained preferences. I personally have pretty strong taste preferences that include frozen chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate frosting eaten with a spoon from a can.
However, I can control my behavior. Well, most of the time. :-)
Food preferences, like sexual preferences, can been fulfilled at appropriate times and places.
[This message has been edited by Greenlady (edited February 27, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 1:33am
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Quote:Originally posted by Greenlady:
[b]Food preferences, like sexual preferences, can been fulfilled at appropriate times and places.[/b]
Exactly.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 1:39am
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Quote:Originally posted by Flounder:
[b]But today put chocolate milk in a water bottle and her son taunted my daughter about it.[/b]
Is there any justification for this?

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 2:39am
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pink
[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 3:00am
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I can understand, as I read MommaBear to be pointing out, that there are some food textures, smells, appearances, etc. that are outright repulsive to some people. They have no control over it. And it severely limits their diet. I understand that to be the point. That this 'preference' (or "orientation" or whatever we call it) is a real, bonefide medical issue.
But regardless, these can be met under appropriate times and places.
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 27, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 5:14am
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Quote:Originally posted by Greenlady:
[b]
Food preferences, like sexual preferences, can been fulfilled at appropriate times and places.
[/b]
Ah yes, but I dare say you couldn't say that if children were being introduced to sex before maturity. When I was a child, I spake as a child...
WHOOPS. Whaddya know. Looks like children ARE being introduced to sex long before they are capable of handling the responsibility and just look what happens. Anarchy.
Maybe milk should be an "over 18" only product. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] (just kidding)
But looks like some of us assume all chilren have a mature sense of judgment. Big news, people, [i]it's normal for children to be ego centric[/i]. I'm afraid for children, for whatever reason, that [i]aren't[/i]. I could be wrong, but I think: [i]Big Red Flag[/i].
So, therefore, we shouldn't be passing judgement on a child who likes his chocolate milk. Address the bullying issue and leave it at that. Save the judgement. People who teased me to the point that I almost starved myself to death, actually, in some cases, grew up and matured into some very thoughtful adults. Yeah, there were a few who actually met with bad ends due to their destructive behaviors, but so did a few of the more angelic people I knew during my school career.
I always cringe when I see a lynching in progress, particularly when we are speaking about a young [i]child[/i]. It's easy to get caught up in it, particularly when emotional topics are discussed, but please, people, provide guideance, don't toss the baby out with the bath water.
I've been seeing this quote quite often, but probably very true:
[i]"Be the change you wish to see".[/i]
The most honest form of compassion is that bestowed upon the most unlikely recipient. It's [i]easy[/i] to show compassion to people that you agree with. People who bend over backwards for you. People who you get along with.
[i]So what[/i], I say, to that kind of compassion.
That mother is probably a very likeable person, and maybe merely exhausted. More and more, I am finding it easy to sympathize with schools. At least when it comes to these types of power struggles.
No advice, just personal feelings.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited February 27, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 5:43am
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Quote:Originally posted by NicoleinNH:
[b] I think there is a huge difference in sexual preference--most who live their lives with the same gender prefer sexual "orientation"--not "preference". Asking someone to make a complete life style change would be difficult, yes. Asking someone to substitute a food once a day for a snack while in a classroom with multiple issues---it is a no brainer. What is particularly ridiculous in this situation is that the mother of the other child insists that certain foods not be in the classroom, but Flounder's DD is not entitled to the same safety measures (???). Again, we're talking SNACK, ONCE A DAY, not a life style change, Mommabear. My son desires Sprite and he is allowed to have it on special occasions, but we cannot send it in to school---no soda allowed---no matter what the desire or preference may be.
Nicole[/b]
Your missing my point. We do ourselves a huge disservice when we ignore the very primitive nature of food preferences, orientation, whatever label you want to slap on it.
Try to force people to your way of thinking, your needs, and justify it under an (air quotes) "ethics/compassion" agenda and don't be surprised if they bare their teeth.
Complaining people just aren't as "compassionate" as we are or passing judgement on their children/comparing their moral ethical compass to our own children's probably isn't the solution. You know, tooting our own horns.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 5:45am
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I see your point, MB... and I don't disagree.
BUT-- this other parent deliberately placed a forbidden item into a container (to disguise it?) [i]and sent it into the classroom.[/i] I don't see any other explanation for how it got there-- assuming that this 3-4 yo child probably didn't do it himself. Hardly a "thoughtless" moment, either... not like accidentally grabbing the wrong prepackaged snack. KWIM?
As far as the taunting goes, it probably [i]is[/i] just a case of typical preschool social skills, but to a child that is highly contact sensitive, it must really have been a terrifying experience.
The other child must either understand why what he did was truly awful-- if he cannot do that (and developmentally, maybe he can't), then there is certainly (IMO) no room to compromise about allowing dairy products into the room in his possession. He might not "mean" any harm to Flounder's DD, but I can see how it could come to that anyway, regardless of his 'intent.'
As I said, [i]the school had an enforcement problem, and also had a bullying problem.[/i] The school should deal with them appropriately.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 6:58am
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Mommabear-You're missing my point--it is one snack a day and the classroom is peanut-free, milk-free---nothing to do with a moral compass. This is the school's issue to address. The room could be sock-free for all I care; my point is that everyone needs to adhere--preference, orientation, or desire aside if you choose to send your child to public school. If the rules are too much for a family, they can address it with the school, find a private school, homeschool, or just go with the flow like we sometimes have to do in a society. There are rules at my children's school that I think are silly, but I follow them and expect my children to follow them.
I didn't read some of the threads in the middle so I am not sure what has been said about the child. You are 100% right--he is a child and should not be vilified for acting like a child. This is preschool, right? The context is much different than a teenager doing the same thing.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 7:55am
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b]So, therefore, we shouldn't be passing judgement on a child who likes his chocolate milk. Address the bullying issue and leave it at that. Save the judgement.
I always cringe when I see a lynching in progress, particularly when we are speaking about a young child. It's easy to get caught up in it, particularly when emotional topics are discussed, but please, people, provide guideance, don't toss the baby out with the bath water.[/b]
Why did you quote me? I'm not judging [i]the child. [/i] The mother, who knows first-hand the dangers of food-allergies, knowingly sent chocolate milk into a 'milk-free' classroom. [i]That behavior[/i], oh ya, I'll judge.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 9:12am
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The school set the policy and enforces it. It was the their decision to ban peanuts/nuts and milk from the JK room.
This mother is asking the school to make a special exception for her son using the fact that he has food allergies as justification. For the few hours (half day) they are in school it should be a non-issue.
I'm only asking what others have done/would do to handle a similar situation. I don't dislike parent or child but I do think knowinlgy sending milk into a milk-free room needs to be addressed.
I don't get the impression that my daughter is feeling threatened. From what I understand he just smugly told her what was in his bottle in a "look what I got away with" kind of way.
There are four kids in the class with allergies but my daughter is the only one with dairy. She is allergic to many other things (egg, fish/shellfish, legumes, seeds and more) but peanut/nuts and milk are the main concern at school.
There is no lunchroom or cafeteria service. The older grades eat lunch in their classrooms so it is impossible to keep food out. The only option is to keep the most dangerous foods out, if that makes sense.
Thanks for the advice. I'm just going to remind the school why we need to stay milk-free for now and hope for the best while they handle the situation.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 9:33am
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Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] Why did you quote me? I'm not judging [i]the child. [/i] The mother, who knows first-hand the dangers of food-allergies, knowingly sent chocolate milk into a 'milk-free' classroom. [i]That behavior[/i], oh ya, I'll judge.
[/b]
I didn't quote you.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 9:35am
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I think the child should disciplined for taunting your daughter with the chocolate milk. That's a little too close to bullying for my comfort.
My son has had another MFA student in his class since the 1st grade. We don't have bans, but when they were younger, I did my best not to send my son to school with liquid milk products or yogurt because of the spill factor.
------------------
Cheryl, mom to Jason (9 MFA including peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and egg)
Joey (7 NKA)
Allison (4 milk allergic, suspect shellfish, avoiding PN/TN for now)
Ryan (1) nka *knock on wood*

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 9:58am
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Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]
The other child must either understand why what he did was truly awful[/b]
for a preschooler??? C'mon! Flounder says : [i]"From what I understand he just smugly told her what was in his bottle in a "look what I got away with" kind of way."[/i]
My boys do it to each other constantly...[i]and they are brothers.[/i] From the same womb, even.
Even if [i]the child[/i] meant to [i]intimidate[/i], bully, I wouldn't for a minute expect he knew what the consequences might [i]actually be[/i] [b]IF[/b] he ever [i]acted[/i] on that intimidation. That takes a lifetime of conditioning to understand, even after one commits the act...
Even *I* look at death differently now, working where I do. A simple ride to the store in a car carries a much different potential than it did previously.
Another poster recently expressed that until someone experiences a [i]loss[/i] of a certain magnitude, they probably shouldn't work in a position where they care for people dealing in loss and tragedy.
And yes, after I experienced the loss of someone soooooo close to me, and so suddenly, only then could I begin to understand the implications. It's not something you pick up in a lecture, from a textbook, or a reprimand.
I would never expect a child to fathom the consequences of an action like that. I've told my son a hundred time: [b]Do not pick the baby up from her crib and walk down the stairs![/b]
She's a bit irresistable. He's 11. He's a bit clumsy. Lot's of sensory issues that contribute to that. [b]Too careful,[/b] even. He doesn't listen, even tho the spirit is willing, ya know? He loves her silly. *That* is the driving force. I find it hard to compete with.... He just cannot fathom the danger, even tho he can verbalize my admonitions back to me, and he is one of the more "sensitive" and compassionate children I've ever known.
Children are, if nothing more than for survival's sake, driven to do what rewards *them*, and sometimes, even popularly among those of the preschool age, at the expense of others. Geeze. They just learned to play [i]side by side[/i] I wouldn't read that much into it, let alone expect them to develop an adult's instincts and social mores during a reprimand.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 10:01am
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Quote:Originally posted by NicoleinNH:
[b] If the rules are too much for a family, they can address it with the school, find a private school, homeschool, or just go with the flow like we sometimes have to do in a society. [/b]
a caveat. I had a school use some very similiar language and rationale with me, explaining that my severely pa child [i]should be homeschooled[/i].
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited February 27, 2007).]

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 10:09am
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Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] Is there any justification for this?[/b]
Possibly because she sees her son already disadvantaged, and, yes, hasn't it been argued on this board that [i]milk[/i] is impossible to ban because of it's necessary nutritional value? Sure. I can see her justifying it. Even tho I'm for food free classrooms and banning allergens as necessary from them.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but snack is eaten in the classroom, right? That's where snack is. She might feel cornered, with no alternative to doing what she feels her son [i]needs[/i], already being limited. Can anyone say "Potential eating disorder"? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Anywhoooooo, I'd argue for allowing the child an exemption, allowing him to eat it in let's say the nurse's office, but I've tried to argue for exemptions related to peanut butter before, allowed outside of the classroom, and, well, you know how far that got. Maybe the mother has experienced something similiar?
Who here would allow [i]rules[/i] to come between them and what they feel their child absolutely needs? Puh-leeze, I've read about parent's turning entire school districts on their heads in the process.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 10:23am
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Some snack ideas...
What about Enjoy Life snacks (free of top 8 allergens)?
What about the individual foil/straw packs of Chocolate Silk? (as another poster suggested) (I recently switched Nate, my 6-year-old, from chocolate milk to this, for non-allergy reasons...it took exactly 1.5 days for him to start liking the Chocolate Silk just as well.)
What about Cherrybrook Kitchen gluten-free chocolate chip cookies made with soy milk, milk-free margarine and/or egg replacer? (I get mine at SuperTarget) (They're good, by the way...)
I know that the wheat allergy is a tough one...have you ever looked at [url="http://www.allergygrocer.com?"]www.allergygrocer.com?[/url] You can check little boxes to eliminate your chosen allergens from your search, and it will bring back all the things you CAN have...plus it has great info about the manufacturing standards for the various foods...what is made on a dedicated line, what has its own room, etc.
Maybe you and the other mom could have fun looking for safe snacks together, and you can place an order and split the shipping costs.
The milk needs to go, and the taunting needs to be addressed...but hopefully there are friendly resolutions to the snack issue.
April

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 11:03am
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Silk soy milk is made on shared equipment with regular milk. Most milk allergic people don`t drink it for that reason.

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 1:25pm
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Whoops, you're totally right. Like I said, we switched for non-allergy reasons...sorry for any confusion. Still, wouldn't Silk be a better compromise in the classroom to "reduce the risk"?

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 1:33pm
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] a caveat. I had a school use some very similiar language and rationale with me, explaining that my severely pa child [i]should be homeschooled[/i].
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited February 27, 2007).][/b]
And, Mommabear-what did you do? Make your own rules and ignore the school's or did you ADDRESS THE SCHOOL, as was my first suggestion with parents/students who need the rules to change or modify. I've also had it suggested that I should homeschool my peanut allergic child, but that is not the route I've chosen. I chose to address my concerns with the school. I didn't run around the school hanging up "Peanut Free Zone" signs and sending notices to the homes of the students with what I thought the rule should be...I addressed the school. Unlike, a parent who knowingly sends in a food product that is not permitted in a classroom. That parent has every right to question the school and get the rules changed, but until then she/he needs to respect what rules are in place (and not send milk for that brief snack).

Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2007 - 2:18pm
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Quote:Originally posted by April in KC:
[b]Whoops, you're totally right. Like I said, we switched for non-allergy reasons...sorry for any confusion. Still, wouldn't Silk be a better compromise in the classroom to "reduce the risk"?[/b]
You`re right. I was forgetting that the child who would be drinking the Silk is not actually allergic to milk. Makes sense, and by the way, Silk chocolate soy milk tastes great.

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 12:12am
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Quote:Originally posted by NicoleinNH:
[b] And, Mommabear-what did you do? Make your own rules and ignore the school's or did you ADDRESS THE SCHOOL, as was my first suggestion with parents/students who need the rules to change or modify. I've also had it suggested that I should homeschool my peanut allergic child, but that is not the route I've chosen. I chose to address my concerns with the school. I didn't run around the school hanging up "Peanut Free Zone" signs and sending notices to the homes of the students with what I thought the rule should be...I addressed the school. Unlike, a parent who knowingly sends in a food product that is not permitted in a classroom. That parent has every right to question the school and get the rules changed, but until then she/he needs to respect what rules are in place (and not send milk for that brief snack).
[/b]
What did I do, you ask?
[i]I took my child home and homeschooled him for two years.[/i]
The statement cut me to the quick. Left me naked. [i]Terrified me.[/i]
I was crushed. It was the ultimate form of bullying. So............[i]a caveat[/i]. Don't become what you despise.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited February 28, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 6:11am
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] What did I do, you ask?
[i]I took my child home and homeschooled him for two years.[/i]
The statement cut me to the quick. Left me naked. [i]Terrified me.[/i]
I was crushed. It was the ultimate form of bullying. So............[i]a caveat[/i]. Don't become what you despise.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited February 28, 2007).][/b]
Not my intention, at all, Mommabear---just trying to say we all have to follow rules set by others whether we like them or not, so if the parent had a problem with not being allowed to send milk for a snack in a preschool room with an allergic child, then she should address the school. If the rules are so horrendous that she simply cannot follow them, then yes, I do think she should seek an alternative.
Sounds likes that is what you decided to do. My comment shouldn't have "cut you to the quick" or "terrified" you; there is nothing scary about saying follow the rules, find a way to change the rules, or find a different setting. What is the other choice? Keep sending products into a class where it is forbidden? Send your children the message that the rules do not apply to them? From the posts I've read from you, it doesn't sound like disregarding the rules would be your style, either.
Flounder;s DD's school set the class up to be peanut-free, milk-free; not Flounder.

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 7:25am
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Quote:Originally posted by NicoleinNH:
[b]
My comment shouldn't have "cut you to the quick" or "terrified" you; there is nothing scary about saying follow the rules, find a way to change the rules, or find a different setting. What is the other choice? Keep sending products into a class where it is forbidden? Send your children the message that the rules do not apply to them? From the posts I've read from you, it doesn't sound like disregarding the rules would be your style, either.
[/b]
your missing my point, the "rules", the way of doing things, weren't about to bend, adjust, or [i]accommodate[/i] my child's needs. Sending my child into an environment where the decision making, supposed leadership would tell me that, *was terrifying*. At least terrifying to send my child there. And hey, soooooooo dissapointing. It always is when the supposed "experts" come up with turdy statements like that.
I'm a "rule oriented" person, and believe you me, I know better than anyone how [i]stupid[/i] following a rule because it's a [i]rule[/i] can be. My line of work is intriguing to me, because it causes one to think [i]critically[/i], which was, at first, [i]a novel idea[/i] to me.
Rules, like anything else that requires interpretation, common sense and some bit of gray matter, should allow for critical thinking, times when the rules should bend, [i]or be re-evaluated[/i].
A doctor writes an order. A [i]rule[/i], a [i]guideline[/i] (can we say that word here? --lol) for a certain set of conditions. But, hey, conditions change, and therefore, so might the rules need to. A smart cookie will call the doctor, give an update, collaberate, and take orders for a new rule. Not just blindly follow the last set of orders.
I'm thinking both parents should collaberate with the school (translate, bring their concerns forward in a non-confrontational, non-accusatory manner) and work something out. Both sides *need* something, not just one. A rule should be devised that meets both needs. That's how *good* rules operate.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited February 28, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 7:29am
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Quote:Originally posted by NicoleinNH:
[b] Flounder;s DD's school set the class up to be peanut-free, milk-free; not Flounder.[/b]
sounds like the rule is only meeting select individual's needs. Maybe it needs re-evaluating.

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 7:31am
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No-- I suspect that MB's point was just to say that such statements, [i](You should really just homeschool your child [b]if they are really so_______[/b])[/i] often strike us as parents as extremely [i]chilling.[/i] Frighteningly hostile.
If their attitude in [i]front of ME[/i] is 'That is [b]SO[/b] not my problem,' then what on earth will it be when I'm [i]NOT[/i] there to advocate for my child?? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] indeed.
I want to just clarify for MB, too, that my quote (cut short) went on to suggest just what she did. The boy is [i]probably not[/i] capable of understanding the cause and effect here. That the situation might well present an UNintentional hazard... no malice needed.
Flounder's clarification about the boy's behavior also helps me-- I realize that this was not what I was thinking about "taunting" at all... I was thinking about gleeful threatening behavior... clearly not what was happening. It is also good to hear that her daughter didn't interpret the behavior as threatening. It really does sound like fairly typical kid stuff. Gender and common genes aside. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
But the fact that the dairy product was there, in a "dairy-free" room remains. This of course assumes that this was, in fact, what was IN the bottle... you know, I seem to recall that children of this age are [i]not always known for the total accuracy... even veracity... of their statements.[/i] Particularly to their peers. KWIM?
Given Flounder's DD's reaction Hx and the age of the kids involved, AND the short time they are there.... I really have to agree that allowing dairy would be pretty foolhardy on the part of the school.
But hey-- maybe this other family would be willing to sign some kind of waiver assuming responsibility so as to be allowed an "exception?" More power to 'em in that case.
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 28, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 8:36am
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Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
[b]No-- I suspect that MB's point was just to say that such statements, [i](You should really just homeschool your child [b]if they are really so_______[/b])[/i] often strike us as parents as extremely [i]chilling.[/i] Frighteningly hostile.
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 28, 2007).][/b]
I know that statement too well, regarding my own daughter. I'm sure most of us on this board have been given that suggestion. In the context I was writing, it is not quite the same. Not even close. Not when you consider this is a half day preschool program with a snack. I was pointing out the VARIETY of options: address the school, advocate changes, opt out. Rules should have "gray" areas, as Mommabear said, but in larger systems, that isn't always the case (such as schools). My son isn't allowed to bring a ball to school any longer because the 2nd graders (he's in 1st grade) had some problems with fighting over balls. That, to me, is a stupid rule in the sense that it doesn't apply to him or his entire grade, but I don't go ahead and send a ball in anyway. I don't call the school complaining that it is my child's right to bring a developmentally (and essential, IMO, as essential as milk at snack--it is perception and subjective) play object to school. Insisting that a child bring a milk product in for preschool snack in a "milk-free" room is ridiculous.
[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited February 28, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 9:01am
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I apologize for not being clear (had some long days recently). I shouldn't have used the word taunted. Coming from a 4 year old who can be overdramatic at times it came off that way when I first heard about it. This boy definitely did not intend harm and he was not trying to scare her, I don't think he even makes the association that milk can be scary for her.
I had a friendly chat with the mom today. I explained that I am not out to control anyone or anything and suggested some of the alternative snack options. I also explained that I am all for finding a solution that works for everyone...one of the school's suggestions is that he can have his milk on the way out to recess instead of at the table where they all share materials (I shudder to think if there was a spill). I'm fine with that and so is she.
Once we talked a bit she pretty much did an about face and said she never realized that a milk allergy could be serious. She actually seems willing to try soy milk. The conversation ended on a positive note and I'm feeling much better about everything.

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 10:49am
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Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
If their attitude in [i]front of ME[/i] is 'That is [b]SO[/b] not my problem,' then what on earth will it be when I'm [i]NOT[/i] there to advocate for my child?? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] indeed.
exactly.
Quote:[b]But hey-- maybe this other family would be willing to sign some kind of waiver assuming responsibility so as to be allowed an "exception?" More power to 'em in that case. [/b]
That's ridiculous. Or..........it's an indicator that parent might need an IEP or a 504 to cover their child's needs. KWIM?
I'm never one to create documents that aleve the schools of their responsibility. That's what that waiver would entail. Besides, c'mon, do you think a school could possibly allow a private individual to assume liability for the safety of another child, not their own???! Is that even possible? Would that document hold up? Can a school transfer their liability for a child to an individual who is not that child's guardian?
Ridiculous, IMO, but I could be wrong. I mean, patients, or their families do not have the authority to absolve me of the [b]Standard of Care[/b] I am responsible for. My employer can't do it either. It's part of my licensing and Nursing State Practice Act.
Don't make me laugh. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Any whooo....I'll reraise GailW's recent school thread later....there was something, a theme, I've seen recurring.
No advice, just still laughing.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited February 28, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 1:26pm
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Quote:Originally posted by Flounder:
[b]Once we talked a bit she pretty much did an about face and said she never realized that a milk allergy could be serious. She actually seems willing to try soy milk. The conversation ended on a positive note and I'm feeling much better about everything.[/b]
That is so great to hear! Kudos to you [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 1:55pm
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Flounder-Thanks for sharing your great news/update!
Nicole

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 2:19pm
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Quote:Originally posted by NicoleinNH:
[b]
Insisting that a child bring a milk product in for preschool snack in a "milk-free" room is ridiculous.
[/b]
Insisting a child, specifically [i]a preschooler[/i], who is not allergic to milk, not be allowed to have a milk product for snack is even more ridiculous. Obnoxiously ridiculous. Provide an area for him to eat it or a method for containing it safely.

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 2:41pm
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Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b] Insisting a child, specifically [i]a preschooler[/i], who is not allergic to milk, not be allowed to have a milk product for snack is even more ridiculous. Obnoxiously ridiculous. Provide an area for him to eat it or a method for containing it safely.
[/b]
Yes, an area outside the classroom. Preschool snack is messy and gets everywhere. Why are you belaboring this, Mommabear--did you move to Canada and enroll your children in Flounder's DD's preschool? The school decided the classroom is peanut-free and milk-free---that is their decision, not yours. Call the school obnoxious, if you must, but don't label me for pointing out how ridiculous it is that parents cannot adhere to rules for a fraction of their child's day (snack--not lunch).
The initial topic was that the classroom was peanut-free/milk-free---it wasn't my suggestion to make it that way, but since the school had declared it, it is then up to them to enforce it.
I guess the same can be argued at my DD's school--there are peanut-free classrooms and even non-allergic children cannot bring the offending food in. The school has limited resources and containing certain foods seems to make the school safer/easier for staff/perception of less liability. I don't view our school as being obnoxious for having 2 peanut-free classrooms in each grade. Not at all. Lunch is not restricted--except at the "obnoxiously ridiculous" peanut-free table and the school being "obnoxiously ridiculous" in removing peanut products from the cafeteria menu.
I'm just happy Flounder and the other mom worked out a solution. This post was about Flounder's situation; not yours, and yet so many remarks were taken personally by you. Hmmmm, maybe it is the ambiguous tone with typed responses.
[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited March 01, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 2:49pm
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Quote:Originally posted by NicoleinNH:
[b]
I know that statement too well, regarding my own daughter. I'm sure most of us on this board have been given that suggestion. In the context I was writing, it is not quite the same. Not even close. Not when you consider this is a half day preschool program with a snack. I was pointing out the VARIETY of options: address the school, advocate changes, opt out. [/b]
How about opting [i]in[/i]? Special Education designation?
You know what they say about geese.
Quote:[b] Rules should have "gray" areas, as Mommabear said, but in larger systems, that isn't always the case (such as schools). My son isn't allowed to bring a ball to school any longer because the 2nd graders (he's in 1st grade) had some problems with fighting over balls. That, to me, is a stupid rule in the sense that it doesn't apply to him or his entire grade, but I don't go ahead and send a ball in anyway. I don't call the school complaining that it is my child's right to bring a developmentally (and essential, IMO, as essential as milk at snack--it is perception and subjective) play object to school. [/b]
All depends. If your son had Occupational Therapy and a ball was part of it, he just might be allowed to bring it in. Here, lookie:
Quote from gailw's link, from this thread:
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/002810.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/002810.html[/url]
[i]"- A rule preventing students younger than sixth grade from preparing food. The rule does not include certain lessons for special education students."[/i]
Wouldn't be the first time I've seen exemptions from policy and [i]rules[/i] for special education students.
Guess it might depend on whether your child had a disability, a disadvantage, to where something they needed to level things out a bit, (or just make up some ground), might be considered a necessity, and whether you pursued having a designation regarding it....but I might be way out there. Schools might be writing these things into policies just on a lark. For entertainment value.
But if they aren't, I'm of the tendency to believe they don't have to, in order to make it so. KWIM? I'm of the tendency to believe the mention just serves as a [i]reminder[/i] to those who just as well might believe they are the only pebble.
Just because my school doesn't post a special education student's rights in the weekly bulletin doesn't negate them.
So.....I'm of the belief that we need to think in terms of how we can accommodate others, bend a bit, even if it means we aren't asserting every right we might [i]believe[/i] we actually have.
I'm glad Flounder and the other mother found some common ground. It's what I was talking about in a previous post when I said "non-confrontational". I'm sure that takes a bit of bending. Restraint. Not shoving it own someone's throat how much we *think* we are entitled to.
Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:[b]"I'm thinking both parents should collaberate with the school (translate, bring their concerns forward in a non-confrontational, non-accusatory manner) and work something out. Both sides *need* something, not just one. A rule should be devised that meets both needs. That's how *good* rules operate."[/b]
Quote:Originally posted by Flounder:[b]I had a friendly chat with the mom today. I explained that I am not out to control anyone or anything and suggested some of the alternative snack options. I also explained that I am all for finding a solution that works for everyone...one of the school's suggestions is that he can have his milk on the way out to recess instead of at the table where they all share materials (I shudder to think if there was a spill). I'm fine with that and so is she.[/b]
Oh, and speaking of rules. My son's middle school does not allow cell phones. But hey, next year, he's going to be carrying one. With the school's knowledge and permission . He could this year as well, but we decided to wait a year. It wasn't a hard win, either. I could give you a whole boat load of other examples, but c'est la vie, huh? So much for [i]general[/i] rules and policies.

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 3:01pm
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Quote:Originally posted by NicoleinNH:
[b] Yes, an area outside the classroom. Preschool snack is messy and gets everywhere. Why are you belaboring this, Mommabear--did you move to Canada and enroll your children in Flounder's DD's preschool? The school decided the classroom is peanut-free and milk-free---that is their decision, not yours. Call the school obnoxious, if you must, but don't label me for pointing out how ridiculous it is that parents cannot adhere to rules for a fraction of their child's day (snack--not lunch).
The initial topic was that the classroom was peanut-free/milk-free---it wasn't my suggestion to make it that way, but since the school had declared it, it is then up to them to enforce it.
[/b]
My point is....[i]there just may come a day[/i] (or already exist) where two children with IEP's or 504's or whatever Canada calls them, have conflicting needs, and the school can not um....[i]rule[/i] against neither, and well, I guess they will either have to be placed in different classrooms, or rules be created that provide *both* or fail to exclude either. Might already happen all the time. Schools might just work their um....magic....without involving parents. I mean, you think they don't?
Look at the language of IDEA and ADA. You think that either provides for [i]mutual exclusivity[/i]? [b]I think not.[/b] That would imply we have a perfect world.
Quote:[b]I'm just happy Flounder and the other mom worked out a solution. [/b]
posting at the same time.
Quote:[b] This post was about Flounder's situation; not yours, and yet so many remarks were taken personally by you. Hmmmm, maybe it is the ambiguous tone with typed responses.[/b]
your making me laugh again. Sorry if I drew upon past experience. Some people have it.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited March 01, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 3:05pm
MommaBear's picture
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I wasn't the first to mention "homeschooling" either. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]
Oh, and NicoleNH, I wasn't the first to use a personal example, and I do believe you were the second:
Quote:[b]In my daughter's current class we didn't ask that the class be "egg-free" even though she also allergic to egg, but she is in kindergarten. In preschool, her classroom was peanut free, egg free, tree nut free, cantaloupe and honeydew melon free.[/b]
You asked me a question, I answered, and now you cite me for it?
(still laughing)

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 3:10pm
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Oh, and I broke TONS of rules when I kept my child from attending school for [b]two years[/b]. Flaunted it even. Not a shred of documentation, besides withdrawing him and telling them I was "homeschooling". Oddly enough, not even a truant officer visited me. No advice, Individual Mileage May Sure Vary.
[i]You asked.[/i]

Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2007 - 3:15pm
MommaBear's picture
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and whooo-boy! did you take a look at the comments posted in the link that GailW posted?
Caveat: [i]Don't become what you despise[/i]. Compassion for those you do, is the most honest form of compassion there is.

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