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Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 3:08am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

First off, BASP I apologize for calling you a troll - mea culpa! I guess after years of dealing with people telling me if I would just calm down and realize that my child's allergies are due to his misaligned aura or my own negative thoughts, I get a little skeptical. Again I am sorry.
I would like to take you thru what happens to my 6 year son when he ingests even the smallest amount of peanuts (or tree nuts, or legumes). First off he vomits. Then his lips swell to 4 times normal size and split open. Then his head and body start to swell to about 2 times normal size. His throat then starts to close. At this point he begs me to give him an epi shot. With trembling hands and a beating heart I do. Next we rush to the ER. Time from first injestion to his throat closing - 7 minutes.
Last night I went out to dinner with old friends of my parents. The man told me he had shell fish allergies. Now, we were at a sea food restaurant, so I immediately asked if he had an epi-pen on him. He explained to me that he only gets a slight stomach ache when he eats shell fish. So people have different definitions of "allergy." For my son, his allergies are LIFE THREATENING. It's different ball game.
My son's doctor is Alan Green in Glendale, California. If you want to see his records, call me and we arrange a get together! In my mind, and I don't know you at all, your daughter probably has a minor peanut allergy or one that hasn't progressed to anaphylaxis...yet. I wish you all the best, but try to walk in others shoes. And when you see that militant mom, tell her thanks for making your school safer so that all kids can learn.
I like to change the word "militant" to PASSIONATE! I am passionate about keeping my kid safe at school.
------------------
mom to Ari(6) - severe nut allergies, asthma, you name it - and Maya (9), mild excema
[This message has been edited by that'smetrying (edited August 31, 2006).]

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 3:24am
BASP's picture
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Joined: 08/29/2006 - 09:00

GAIL W: You make a very good point. It would be difficult for me to allow someone else to see her records and determine if I'm going far enough. To that point then, if you were me how would you handle it with this particluar mother? Maybe you can suggest a better way for myself and the other parents in the school to deal with her.
As far as THAT'SMRTRYIN's apology, there no need for it. Nothing gets people more worked up then handling issues involving their own kids. It sounds like the situation your dealing with is many, many times worse then where I am.
My daughters peditrician said 80% of these kids don't get worse as they get older so I just have to hope she falls into that 80%.

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 3:35am
Overwhelmed's picture
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Joined: 03/31/2006 - 09:00

I think BASP may be my principal in disguise!!! Seriously though, my DD is severly allergic to eggs and nuts, I would be jumping with joy if my school was so diligent. Besides, I am so sick of everything in life revolving around food---no wonder our society is so obese! My goodness, our kids can't play T-ball for an hour without food? They can't make it from 8:30am-11:45am without a snack? We never ate so much when we were children.

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 3:42am
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krc
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Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

overwhelmed-
i agree. way too much food in school and i think I would be pushing for a no food policy even if my dd wasn't PA.
I don't like the sports snacks either. It's like our kids can't do anything without receiving a food "reward" after.

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 5:09am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by BASP:
[b]GAIL W. . . if you were me how would you handle it with this particluar mother? Maybe you can suggest a better way for myself and the other parents in the school to deal with her.[/b]
I guess it depends on what your goal is. . .
If your goal is to learn about this other mom's experience and to better understand her, then I'd reach out to her in the hopes that I could gain some knowledge and compassion about her situation.
If your goal is to find out from her what "proof" she has to convince you that the accommodations in place are justified, then I think you should probably [i]not [/i]talk to her and speak with the principal instead. I mean, anything that happens in the classroom is accountable to the principal, so I think your questions should be directed to the principal. Ask the principal to justify to you his/her decision regarding specific procedures (e.g. hand washing). If procedures are in place, the principal is accountable to you to explain why. Another mother isn't accountable to you, right?
Personally speaking, I've always appreciated it when another parent is igenuinely nterested in Mariah's PA and asks me questions. I think you could approach her and just simply say that you also have a child with PA . . . and that your DD's allergy hasn't required the same precautions that the school has put into place for her son. Ask her if she'd mind sharing what her son's PA is like. I'd try to be open minded and just simply listen to her with the goal of just trying to understand her experience. No judgements [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img].
I think all of us here have probably had some experience when another parent has asked us questions about our child's PA and it becomes pretty clear that it's just a guise to try to obtain information. Their real agenda is to venture into a fishing expedition to render their own verdict as to whether or not they feel they really need to comply with the school's food allergy policies.
So, as another poster pointed out, I wouldn't necessarily assume that these are "her" rules. If her child has a 504 plan (or an IHP), then the accommodations have been word-smithed and scrutinized by staff, most likely a committee, including administrators. My DD's 504 plan, for example, is not only signed by the principal but also signed by the Assistant Superintendent of our SD.
So.... What is your goal here? To genuinely learn from her? Or to obtain proof/accountability that the school's practices are justified?
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 31, 2006).]

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 5:52am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

To continue Gail's very succinct points, if my own experience is anything to go by, this other mom's apparent hysteria/militance may stem from a feeling of being perpetually on-guard because nobody [i]ever[/i] just listens to what she's trying to tell them. I think we all agree that our child's basic safety (in terms of life and death situations) is pretty non-negotiable as parents. That being so, we PA moms have a tendency to turn up the volume (usually figuratively, by using much more graphic and inflammatory rhetoric) in order to better be heard. (Which of course does not work very often... then you just look hysterical.)
Anyway.
I'll bet that if that is the case, all you need to do is set aside your previous judgments about her situation/behavior and keep an open mind as you speak with her. Think about trying to empathize with how [i]she feels.[/i] If I'm right, as soon as she sees that you are really hearing her, she will relax. Noticeably-- her entire demeanor will change.
You don't have to think she's [i]right[/i] about all her opinions, by the way. Just don't start every conversation looking to prove her [i]wrong[/i]... or as Gail pointed out, pump her for information. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] I hate that.
I am usually pretty pleased when people want to talk to me about my DD's allergies. Right up to the point in the conversation where it becomes clear to me that this is really about [i]them[/i] telling [i]me[/i] some little gem of wisdom that they think I desperately need to hear, telling me how dreadfully allergic some friend-of-a-friend is to some food that virtually nobody on earth is [i]ever[/i] truly "allergic" to (complete with a host of reasons why they don't carry epinephrine for the "allergy"), or "tripping me up" somehow to demonstrate that there is no way that any human being could possibly be [i]that[/i] allergic to anything.... That's how 95% of those conversations go. The most insulting ones have the person telling me about how I really should try some "cure," how I "made" my daughter allergic, or worst of all, that she should just try to "like" her allergens a bit more.
I can't fathom the nerve of some people. I wonder if they tell blind people they just need to stop relying so much on that service animal?
Anyway-- I think it is a good idea for you to forget what [i]you have heard [b]about her from someone else[/b].[/i]

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 7:19am
Christabelle's picture
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Joined: 10/03/2004 - 09:00

BASP said: "CHRISTABELL, don't confuse someone having a difference of opinion with you with them being a troll."
You aren't tolerant of differences of opinion, yet you expect others to be tolerant of your differences of opinion. Let me repeat - don't dish it out if you can't take it.
I still smell a troll! Just one w/ a better than usual cover story. Sorry, but something doen't jive w/ BASP.

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 7:43am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] What is your goal here? To genuinely learn from her? Or to obtain proof/accountability that the school's practices are justified?[/b]
I want to clarify that I think both of these goals are absolutely legit. I am sincere in putting forward the goal of holding your principal accountable.
I realized that's because the accounatbility [b]cuts BOTH ways. [/b] * I * have the right to hold them accountable for my daughter's safe access to school, and *other parents* have the right to hold administrators accountable on the practices they've implemented to achieve that.
I didn't realize until today from answering your question, BASP, that I harbored some resentment regarding this exact scenario. It's been so long ago that I'd almost forgotten about it. The first year of elementary school, a group of parents met with the school principal to object to some of the accommodations that had been implemented in my daughter's classroom. That was 7 years ago. . . . and I still to this day feel uneasy when I see that group of moms. We were the "first" PA kid at our school, and the changes seemed 'going too far' to many parents. I was really hurt that they went to the principal; one mom was trying to organize/rally a large group, a 'power in numbers' approach, to meet together with the pricipal to object to these new procedures.
But now I realize that this is exactly what was supposed to happen. They *shouldn't* have asked me about it or have asked me to provide them with 'proof' of these new practices. It was appropriate for them to take it to the principal. Collectively, even. Because the principal is accountable to them, not me. Your question really clarified this for me personally. And I feel some inner resolution to some residual anger I realized I'd held on to for years.
[i]Thank you.[/i]
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 31, 2006).]

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 10:18am
jcarroll30's picture
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 09:00

It is as simple as this BASP. Would you allow children to bring guns to school? No - and thats because they would endanger your children. For parents with children with nut allergies, a nut is as dangerous as a gun. So you can ask the same question of schools in LA for example - are they going too far in having metal detectors at the entrances? Take one look at Columbine, and the answer to most parents is that it is not "overkill". I think you are completely correct to question and think about why your school does what they do, and I respect that - but I think your viewpoint is a bit selfish and skewed in this case.

Posted on: Thu, 08/31/2006 - 11:04am
bethc's picture
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Joined: 04/18/2005 - 09:00

BASP, I wonder if your pediatrician gave you some misinformation. He wouldn't be the first one. I've never read that 80% of kids with peanut allergy don't get worse with age, and I've been reading about this a lot in the last year and a half. I have read that peanut allergy tends to get worse with each exposure. Some kids do start out with a bang. But some are like my DD, who just got hives until she'd had a bunch of accidental exposures. Then she had an anaphylactic reaction. Peanut reactions are unpredictable and depend on a lot of factors. But the general trend is worse over time. Each additional exposure has the possibility of greater severity and/or faster progression.
They do believe that 20% of kids outgrow it, but they usually fit some specific criteria, including only one mild anaphylactic reaction before they started avoiding peanut exposures entirely for a number of years.

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