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I am not sending in safe treats...... - Peanut Allergy Information

I am not sending in safe treats......

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.... and I'll tell you why.

I got to thinking about this....A LOT. My older son, PA/TNA, is entering 3rd grade. My younger son, EA, is entering kindergarten. I can't go into detail about what is going on with us & our school, but one thing I've been thinking about, and need input on, is the safe treat idea.

Here is what I figure. If I send in safe treats for both my sons, it gives them an out for excluding them. The teacher, the school, the parents..... they all don't have to worry, feel guilty, care, etc., as long as we give them an out. Now, I'm sure I can bribe my boys into not caring about getting some piece of junky sugarness from their classmates, but if the school allows a student to be excluded in their classroom...... FA's aside..... isn't there something illegal about that? Are schools allowed to celebrate Christmas, excluding their classmates that might have other faiths? Why would they be able to exclude a student, through something that isn't even and educational requirement, or necessary to their education in the classroom?

I feel that their teachers should have to look at my children, while they sit there, not being able to partake in what they allow to come through their doors. I also feel that the parents & students who want to bring in unsafe foods should also have to look at my children. They all should know that they are knowingly excluding my children. Sending in a safe treat already sets them apart. They won't be getting the same thing, or be able to be part of the so called sharing that people want to do when they bring in junk food. So why should I make it easier for them?

How many times do my children have to be excluded..... and in an "in your face way".....before their teachers and parents/students care enough to include them?

{PS. -- some of you know that I'm breaking my exile here, and only here, but I need input, opinions, legal thoughts.......}

On Aug 11, 2007

Interesting.

My first thought is that they will think that you are a mean and bad mom.

My second thought is what is the acceptable solution for you? Not being sure of your comfort zone...for me I can't really come up with an acceptable solution that doesn't include me providing all the snacks for all the kids...but that's just me. Would you want other parents to call manufacturers? Do you trust other parents to feed your kids?

Or would it just be an end to treats/snacks at school?

On Aug 11, 2007

You know I have never thought of it that way. By not sending safe treats for your child then the others cannot have treats because my child would then be excluded.

I am so green when it comes to all of this. I have spent the last 6 years with my first child trying to figure what he was allergic to and how to keep him safe. It never occured to me that while I was educating my child about his food allergies, that I should have been trying to figure out a way to keep him safe at school. Preschool was a 2 day a week deal and they became nut free when he started. But the public school system is in the "kid business" so therefore I thought they would watch over my child. Boy was I mistaken.

------------------ #1 son - peanuts, tree nuts, walnuts, eggs, every weed, grass, tree, mold, dust, cats, dogs, horses, and has asthma #2 son - peanuts, shellfish, eggs, every grass, weed, tree, mold, dust, dogs, cats, horses, cows, and has severe asthma

On Aug 11, 2007

I forgot to say though, I DO provide safe snacks and treats for my son. I also provide his lunch. I keep an extra stash of safe snacks and treats in his classroom. I do not want my child to feel completely excluded. My son knows what he cannot have, and he thinks what I send him is cool. I do not trust anyone to feed my child either so therefore I provide everything for him!

------------------ #1 son - peanuts, tree nuts, walnuts, eggs, every weed, grass, tree, mold, dust, cats, dogs, horses, and has asthma #2 son - peanuts, shellfish, eggs, every grass, weed, tree, mold, dust, dogs, cats, horses, cows, and has severe asthma

On Aug 11, 2007

[b]My second thought is what is the acceptable solution for you?[/b]

My acceptable solution is the following:

1) Prepackaged, individually wrapped food items, with full ingredient list/allergen warnings.

2) No Peanuts/Treenuts for my one son, No Eggs for the other. No "manufactured in" "made in facility"...etc.

3) My sons still would only be able to eat foods fitting that standard if DH or I had expressly allowed them. But at least they'd be safe for the classrooms, and keep the classrooms safe for my children.

For those that think that limits what is out there..... look next time you are at the store. There are so many individual things out there now, that availability and convenience is a weak argument. My kids just scarfed down little individual bags of apple slices with caramel dip yesterday. They would have fit the criteria too -- for both kids -- and for many Wellness Policies.

And, being thought of as a mean Mom could just be added to the list of what I'm sure they think of me already. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

On Aug 11, 2007

[b]Do you trust other parents to feed your kids?[/b]

Forgot to answer this. NOT A CHANCE.

But the first hurdle is to get the parents & teacher to realize providing safe foods (if they MUST bring it in) is essential. If not for safety, than at least to not exclude. The schools might have a hard time justifying excluding a student flat out with something that isn't necessary to their education, than fighting about making a classroom safe based on FA's and not killing a kid. I think flat out exclusion would get their attention. Especially if birthday treats,and the like, could be passed out in the hall, at someone's BIRTHDAY PARTY AT HOME.... or just not in the classroom.

After they figure that excluding a child, in their own school, in their own classroom, is a jerky thing to do, then maybe they'd ask what they could do.... and then you hand them the criteria.

It could be just my school, but the desperation with which some of these Moms need to send in a cupcake is near fever pitch. I think they'd come close to selling the family dog if their child couldn't bring in a birthday treat. And what teacher is worth their salt if they would knowingly let a student of theirs be blantently excluded right under their eyes..... and is that worth something on the legal end of things?

On Aug 11, 2007

Hi gvmom, I can appreciate where you're coming from with this. If you and I shared a school, though, I don't think I could take the same approach with my child's PA and Celiac Disease, which currently requires avoidance of milk and soy as well, per GI's instructions. [And so far, accidental glutenings have been much harder to avoid than accidental peanut exposures.] If I took the same policy in your school, it would probably begin to encroach on the foods your kids could eat, KWIM? Your apples would work for me, but the dip probably would not - many of them contain skim milk or other dairy.

So it depends on whether you're willing to extend the same approach and mindset to other children's allergies, should those children enter your school. Maybe "just fruit and veggies" / no crackers, etc., would work. But maybe that becomes more restrictive than you had in mind.

It might be helpful to think about how you would approach your school if your child also had milk or wheat allergy, in addition to PA and EA? Or MFA?

I'm not trying to kill what might be a great idea for you and your school, but I'm just trying to provide some extra food for thought as you figure out what precedent you want to set for the way food allergies are handled in your school.

Best wishes - April

On Aug 11, 2007

[b]So it depends on whether you're willing to extend the same approach and mindset to other children's allergies, should those children enter your school. Maybe "just fruit and veggies" / no crackers, etc., would work. But maybe that becomes more restrictive than you had in mind.[/b]

Me personally, I'm not sending in food for birthdays this year. Last year for my son I sent goody bags, with pencils & such, that had a prepackaged, individually wrapped, with ingredients, Rice Krispie Treat.

Had there been a child who could not have eaten something in those ingredients, that would have made the classroom unsafe for them, I would have eliminated the Rice Krispie Treat entirely. Which, again, I will do this year. But also, let's say another parent hasn't told the other parents about their childs food related issues, and the teacher hasn't said anything, having something that the child could take home because of the packaging, and run past their parent before eating, would be do-able. Also, in the case of FA's, 504's, etc., having the item, with ingredient listing/allergen warnings, lets you know if the school is followiing up on what they are supposed to do, in addition to allowing those students who do read, whose parents do trust them to decide, to be able to read the contents for themselves..... as a second check, so to speak, for food safety.

We wouldn't let our kids eat things without our looking at the foods, but some other parents may let their child who is in 5th grade, or older, do so.

I know that in 1st grade, the only check for food safety that the teacher did was to ask the parent dropping the food off was, "Does it have nuts?" If they said no, that was good enough for her. Would that be good enough for me..... no way.

On Aug 11, 2007

[b]If I took the same policy in your school, it would probably begin to encroach on the foods your kids could eat, KWIM? Your apples would work for me, but the dip probably would not - many of them contain skim milk or other dairy.[/b]

I meant to answer this too. Sorry.

If you took the same policy, if your child and mine were in the same class, I'd call you to see what suggestions you had that could be safe. You know why? Because I wouldn't want any child to be excluded. I'd call, if sending food in was that important, because it is supposed to be about sharing right? I'd want all children to be part of it.... including those that had dietary needs.... no matter what they were.

About my example, I know that the little bags of apples also come without the caramel. So, if it were my intent to send apples, I'd omit the bags with caramel.

My thought is that if the teachers/parent/students actually visually see that their actions are excluding a child, maybe they would be more likely to call the parents and find a way to include the child.

By sending in unsafe foods, with a safe treat getting handed to our kids, the fact that they are excluded is glossed over.

Seeing a child, sitting at their desk, empty handed, waiting..... doing nothing... while kids around them eat junk.... well, it may seem just as mean as I am by not sending something in.

On Aug 11, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b] It could be just my school, but the desperation with which some of these Moms need to send in a cupcake is near fever pitch. I think they'd come close to selling the family dog if their child couldn't bring in a birthday treat. And what teacher is worth their salt if they would knowingly let a student of theirs be blantently excluded right under their eyes..... and is that worth something on the legal end of things? [/b]

It's not just your school, it's our school too -- 3000 miles away from yours.

In fact, I wouldn't put it past one parent here to send in a cake decorated with peanuts-in-the-shell & the word [i] Entitled [/i] done in pb icing. I'm really NOT kidding.

Honestly, I think you're on to something here & so far as all food allergies & all kids' bonafide medical needs would be accomodated in a non-exclusionary way, then I see this as a real solution.

And IF there would have to be an exclusion that cannot be successfully, safely, satisfactorily worked around, then NO FOOD PERIOD.

Period.

[b] Period. [/b]

~Elizabeth, my .02-worth.

PS -- Exile-schmexile. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

On Aug 11, 2007

Yes, gvmom, I know exactly what you are saying. I have been thinking about how on earth I am going to manage my DD's classmates 17 birthdays this year along with holiday parties. The 'sure, just send in something safe, a safe snack bag, something OK for her' provides safety, but not inclusion in anyway shape or form

So legally, what does a 504 give us in the way of inclusion? I know it provides equal [i]access[/i] to the same opportunities in the least restrictive way. But I'm not sure about in the least [i]emotionally stressful[/i] way for a child. KWIM? No, I agree with you, as I see my kids constantly being the one to be left out of every blessed thing. I always return my thoughts to a food free classroom ...a place where all kids experience the same food status....NONE. No food, no allergy issue.

On Aug 11, 2007

I know there are starting to be some studies about the emotional impact of food allergies on children. I'll have to look for one.

Will the next step be a visit to the child psychologist? Seriously, think about it. We're talking about emotional well being here. I know darn well that my child *must* experience some unpleasant feelings over not getting the same things as all of the rest of her class....being the *only one*, essentially ostracised (sp).

edited to add this article abstract...

[url="http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpsoc/bjhp/pre-prints/266553"]http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpsoc/bjhp/pre-prints/266553[/url]

[i]Can illness perceptions and coping predict psychological distress amongst allergy sufferers?

Author: R. C. Knibb and S. L. Horton Source: British Journal of Health Psychology Publisher: British Psychological Society Abstract:

Objective: The aim of the present study was to measure the extent to which illness perceptions and coping strategies are associated with the levels of psychological distress amongst allergy sufferers.Design and methodOne hundred and fifty-six allergy sufferers (all members of Allergy U.K.) completed a postal survey consisting of the Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R) and the COPE. Psychological distress was measured using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS).ResultsMultiple regression analyses indicated that illness perceptions explained between 6 and 26% of variance on measures of psychological distress, coping strategies explained between 12 and 25%. A strong illness identity and emotional representations of the allergy were associated with higher levels of psychological distress, as were less adaptive coping strategies such as focusing on and venting of emotions. Strong personal control beliefs were associated with the lower levels of distress, as were adaptive coping strategies such as positive reinterpretation and growth. Coping partially mediated the link between the illness perceptions and the outcome; however, illness identity, emotional representations and personal control retained an independent significant association with psychological distress. Conclusion: The findings support a role for illness perceptions and coping in explaining levels of psychological distress amongst allergy sufferers.[b]This has implications for targeted health interventions aimed at reducing the strength of illness identity and emotional representations and increasing a sense of control and the use of more adaptive coping strategies.[/b][/i] emphasis mine

I would think that a food free classroom would reduce the strength of illness identity.

[This message has been edited by lilpig99 (edited August 11, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by lilpig99 (edited August 11, 2007).]

On Aug 11, 2007

I can seriously see your point, but I don't think I would do it myself for the following reasons.

1. I would not be willing to make my child the pointy end of the spear, as it were. PA dd is starting K this year, and with that age, I know I wouldn't, but then you are not dealing with that age, I know. I think my fairly mature 3rd grader (no FA's BTW, just using my experience with her age level) would resent being made an example like that, regardless of how much I explained the reasoning. It might make perfect sense at home, but her sitting at an empty desk in the middle of a party I think would feel pretty awful, and all your reasoning would be forgotten. 2. I have NO faith in the teachers and ALL the other parents taking enough pity on a child without food to change their actions. I think they will all assume you are the meany, not them, and will happily, in blissful ignorance, continue to send whatever food they deem good for their child.

In a perfect world, yes, I agree with your plan, but I don't think it would actually work and for my kids, I'd worry I was making them be even more excluded.

I think a PN free/gluten free/food free classroom needs to come from the top of the school, and until the principal or higher decides that it's a priority, it's not going to happen.

Our culture is so rooted in food, these are huge hurdles to overcome.

------------------ Lori Jo,

Rose, 7-31-02, PA Noah, 7-29-05 Beatrice & Georgia, 8-14-99

On Aug 11, 2007

[b]The schools might have a hard time justifying excluding a student flat out with something that isn't necessary to their education,[/b]

I am writing this down...this is a good thought gvmom.

you better stick around [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

On Aug 11, 2007

[b]but then you are not dealing with that age,[/b]

I actually am. I have two sons. One is 5, and entering kindergarten. The other is 7 1/2, entering 3rd grade. Both have FA's.

Apart and aside from food allergies though, isn't there something, legally, that would prohibit the exclusion of a child in the classroom?

I mean, it seems that the approach, which centers around parents rights to send in whatever garbage they want, overrules our child's right to life, is a big problem.

If you take a few steps back, and make another point about a larger issue of school sanctioned, teacher sanctioned, exclusion of a student..... isn't there something there that would garner some attention, in a legal sense?

Is it legal for a teacher to knowingly allow exclusion of a child in their classroom..... at all? Is it legal for a school to sanction exclusion of it's students.... at all?

Nothing would prohibit parents from passing out their junk food outside of the classroom, not on my child's time, and not on my tax dollar....... but is it legal to use my child's educational time, my tax dollars, on state property, to exclude him?

I mean, I'm not talking about the illegality of "Separate but Equal".... it is completely separate and excluded. Is that legal? Would it make a Principal or Teacher be more likely to pay attention? Do something?

And, I am glad, lilpig, that you brought up the psychological aspect. Do you think that if those of us brought this in, asked for the school psychologists to evaluate the impact of the school sanctioning exclusion on our children, someone would listen?

I know that personally we are approaching things the way of the 504, but I'd like to add a bigger picture element that transcends the FA's since they seem to be so difficult for these people to get. And if in the mix, there is a larger legal issue that they can't ignore looming over their heads, then so be it.

In fact, I'm gonna have to make a note about the psychologist thing right now.

[b]PS -- Exile-schmexile.[/b]

Well, I like to stick to my word... but I'm on borrowed time right now, and I'm too fried. I thought I could make this one exception since it was schools, and it is important in real life.

edited for spelling

[This message has been edited by gvmom (edited August 11, 2007).]

On Aug 11, 2007

gvmom, my son is going into 7th Grade this year, so the treat thing is becoming less and less common, which is a good thing.

He had a "peanut free" classroom, in which he ate, up until Grade 4.

And I must be a mean or bad Mommy as well but here's what I did - maybe even demanded.

If my child could NOT eat the treat (meaning it was unsafe) - it meant it should NOT be in the classroom to begin with so NO CHILD got to eat the treat. If treats were brought in, that were not okay, they had to be given to the other children (still excluding my son kinda) at the end of the day to take home with them.

To me, at that time, NOTHING was going through that door (classroom) if it was not safe for my guy to partake in as well. I did not think about how this would wash with other parents or anything. I never had any repercussions (well Grade 2 and 3 were a bit of a horror show - but an accumulation of stuff, KWIM?) and I don't think my son did either.

I remember him going skating in Grade One with Ron on a field trip and some parent had brought in Tim Horton's Timbits for when the class got back. They were distributed to the kids to take home after.

I don't know if I was really fortunate with Jess in JK, SK, and Grade One, but I had no problem with the teacher (or principal) accepting this.

In Grade 3 (posted about here somewhere no doubt), I checked the food for a Christmas party and there were two things that were "may contain" (at that time I didn't allow "may contains" in the classroom either - although I finally gave up on that due to great advice from members here). I told the teacher that those two treats were not okay to be at the party. She said they were. I said no, they're not and if you allow them to be served, I will pull my son out of school to-day and you will be hearing from the Ontario Human Rights Commission tomorrow.

The substitute (thank heaven it was) principal told her that she had to get the things out of the room. It was in my son's written school plan, at that time, that no "may contains" were allowed in the "peanut free" classroom.

I stayed and used the teachers' kitchen to cut the candy pizza into I don't know how many pieces and whatever the other thing was and bag it all up for the kids to take home.

I know I must sound harsh and horrible, but my stance, at that time, was that if my son couldn't partake, then NO ONE could - and they didn't.

There is no need for the amount of stuff that comes through that classroom door every year - it's this feeling of entitlement or something I've really become aware of (and funny that I've only become aware of it within the last year or so when really, as a PA parent, I *could* have been aware much earlier) - that kids have this big to-do at school on their birthdays and then the big to-do at home as well? I don't get it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]

I can't explain the "entitlement" thing I'm talking about right now coherently - I know what I want to say, but I don't know how to say it - it has to do with society and this sense of entitlement and what damage I believe it's doing to our children.

After Grade 4, no food was to be eaten in my son's classroom, but, of course, there are parties. In Grade 4, I went in and checked the treats (remembering now that I did allow "may contains"). They were all, for the most part either packaged goods or fruit and veggies.

In Grade 5, I stopped going into the school and physically checking myself. My son is old enough.

Now, there are cupcakes that come into the classroom and I've just basically told Jesse that there are other food choices there - not to have the cupcake; read his labels; whatever.

He has never complained when he couldn't have a cupcake. And that would only have been in the last two years. He's always found enough other junk to fill up on and feel part of the party.

I certainly read here through the years about people sending safe treats in for their children, but NO, I was not going to do that. And I didn't. So, I'm a BAD MOM too. So be it.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 11, 2007

I don't know what the ADA covers. I know when I had to deal with the Ontario Human Rights Commission (in Grade 3, in particular, because the principal didn't even want my kid through the door), anything that I brought to their attention was seen as, not illegal, but a violation of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. I would have to think of what things I did bring to their attention.

In Grade 4, with the BENCH situation, I know I dealt with Anaphylaxis Canada (maybe even for Grade 5) and did NOT get the answer I wanted to hear from them at all - they thought the bench was okay if due to limited resources. I can't remember if I contacted the Ontario Human Rights Commission or not and if I did what they had to say. I'd have to check the thread.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 11, 2007

Sorry, trying to brainstorm with a half working brain (only to-day [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] ). I just read the 1st page of one of my bench threads (I think there is more than one) and is this something that could help in any way - ?

DUTY OF CARE

Under Duty of Care, the teacher is acting on behalf of you, the parent. In her/his case they're acting on behalf of say 20 parents. So, as the parent of 20, could they exclude 1 or 2 children and serve 18 other children?

Might be a stretch - I'm not sure.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 11, 2007

I'm kinda working on half a brain too. But you are on the same page as me I think ATM.

The whole notion that isn't there some standard, some legal something, that prohibits exclusion of a child... apart and aside from FA's? Doesn't Duty of Care extend to all children? If there is something that is more of an umbrella protection..... that all children are entitled too... can we tip the scale in our favor. Or at least make them gulp a bit?

By not sending in safe treats, it will make that painfully clear. Yes, I realize there is a cost to my children.... but the remedy is that they be included. And, how do they do that? By following x,y, and z (so to speak). And they do that, not through a debate about FA's, but because it is what they must do for all students.... is that making sense?

And you know, ATM, one of the problems last year is that we had a teacher who said she'd not let stuff in. If it wasn't safe for DS, then it wasn't supposed to be in the class, and nobody got it. She said she'd enforce that part of our 504 to our faces she said it.... and to the principal. And she still let stuff in. The only way I could have stopped the mess of the last year was to have just sat outside the door of the class all day long, every day. And really, the year before that, how I found out about all the stuff being dropped off and let in, was because I was there everyday, throughout the day, picking up and dropping off my son for lunch (since we didn't have a 504 yet that year).

On Aug 11, 2007

I appreciate where you are coming from and have 2 comments:

1) I also want to get away from baked goods in the classroom, and the resulting exclusion. I have asked my school to consider packaged treats only. Safer for everyone IMO. I have chosen the safety angle...preventing that ONE mistake. I am just worried a substitute teacher will give my kid the treat that comes in the door on the day the sub is there, etc. To me it's a risk because my kids are young (1st/K) and not assertive.

2) The safe treat box is supposedly kind of cool at our school -- it's unique and the other kids sometimes want one too and say "it's not fair" that they don't get one -- LOL. I haven't personally experienced this yet but maybe someday!

3) I wouldn't want my kid to have nothing just to make an adult point about exclusion. I try to keep my kid out of the firing range as much as possible, keep him happy, and focus on education and accomodations behind the scences.

On Aug 11, 2007

I like your take on this. My main concern would be this: would your kids be tempted at all to eat the food if a child feeling bad for them offered to share it? It might be pretty tough for a child to sit there while everyone else was eating and not eat it.

Based on some of the stuff you've posted in the past, I sadly don't think it would stop stuff from coming in. I guess you could always try it and see how it goes...It would be wonderful if basic human decency actually came in the picture and people did the right thing with stickers or pencils or something other than FOOD!

I hope you don't stay in exile...Meg

On Aug 11, 2007

I may have gone insane, but I am fairly sure that for the first 5 years my son was in school, I did stop it from happening or if it did happen, the food was taken home with the children after school.

As I say, starting with Grade 5, it was something I let go of - trusting my son to read labels and to refuse the cupcake (but there were other "safe" treats for him to eat).

I have four girls here right now and a son running around with I don't know how many friends buzzing to get in and as I say, I may have gone insane.

I'll try to get back in here later to explain things better.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 11, 2007

Firstly, I hereby second lilpig's comment of "you need to stick around". (Hence my exile comment -- this PA community needs your contributions. Truly.)

Secondly, I think that possibly having the child's pediatrician &/or allergy doc include a brief statement within the health-needs-documentation letter to the effect of "additionally, for this child's _________ (name) emotional and psychological well-being, it is important that all events and activities be fully inclusive, and without ostracism, to include food-related activities, should those occur."

How's that?

Word-smith as you like & need.

I personally would want that stipulation and evaluation coming from our personal docs & NOT from the school-sponsored (& "controlled") doc or health rep. KWIM?

~Eliz

On Aug 11, 2007

PS -- [b]ATM[/b], it is GREAT to have you posting & sharing your experiences with those who may not have been around here when you were going thru all of the earlier school years & battles. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

~Eliz

On Aug 11, 2007

There was an article in the last edition of Allergic Living Magazine [url="http://www.allergicliving.com"]www.allergicliving.com[/url] about the psychological effects of FA's. It was mostly about adults, but could still perhaps be pertinent. When I saw the cover, which advertised this particular article, I thought, thank heaven, research is finally being done about the psychological effects of FA's. I posted the link under Main Discussion (or Media), I believe, but I'm not sure if the article is still available on-line or not.

So, ajas_folks, I think your suggestion was great.

There is commotion again, so I'll try to get back in and post some more later.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 11, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]Is it legal for a teacher to knowingly allow exclusion of a child in their classroom..... at all? Is it legal for a school to sanction exclusion of it's students.... at all?

[/b]

One example I can think of is a "suspension". "Systematic exclusion contracts" actually plan for exclusion based on one or more reasons.

So, maybe, it hinges on the basis of the exclusion. IEP's have something called a "manifestation determination" in their behavioral discipline policies.

I know you're not referring to behavior policies or problems, but it's the whole idea of how exclusion is sometimes sanctioned (or guarded against).

You might want to look into what is often termed a "pattern of exclusion".

More importantly, something GailW pointed out once that (in so many words) "Least Restrictive Environment" is not something all students enjoy. Rather, it's a privilege granted to those who have the protection of let's say a 504 or an IEP.

I'm not sure "Least Restrictive Environment" actually guarantees a child with a disability will participate in the exact same way as a non-disabled peer, but just in the "Least Restrictive Environment".

Whether he knew it or not, my principal tried to negotiate a "systematic exclusion contract" based on my child's food allergy through email and over the phone and verbally. He'd also call several times during the week to suggest I manage my child's allergy by having me pick him up from school if certain foods were being served that day, in spite of his IEP dictating the contrary. Keeping him home was always the first option in the school's eyes, despite my child being protected under IDEA.

It was really rather underhanded, since my child was always made aware there was a possibility he could go home before the phone call came. He's a good student, but always rather stay home. Can't say I blame him.

On the subject of treat boxes. In the younger grades, I'd send one, but it was rarely remembered or utiized, so I'm not too sure not sending one would be much different than if you did. In fifth grade, I packed them with blockbuster gift cards, which made sure my child would remember for the teacher. He was always looking for a way to get me to the video store.

Our protection plans never allowed parents to send in treats that weren't safe (but they often showed up anyway) with a heavy influence on not sending food to begin with. Recently, some of the schools in our district adopted "no home baked/made", labels only, within the wellness guidelines policies. It virtually excludes most of the garbage parents like to send in anyway.

I spent the last several school years dealing with hot lunch moms, pto fundraisers, candy sale leaders, and treat day reps. I can totally see why a principal might nearly beg me to keep my child home (and safe) on certain days. (Or when the school nurse was absent and no sub could be found). Many times, I found what slid out of these parents' mouths completely intollerable, selfish dribble. So much so, I often couldn't stomach dealing with them directly, and needed an intermediary like the principal or my child's case worker. I can tell you one thing, it sure gave me more sympathy for my principal.

On Aug 11, 2007

Ok....first...please know that *I* wasn't calling any of you bad moms! Not at all! I am humbled by your Goodmomness! he he [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

gvmom - I really strugle with what you are suggesting and I would so far agree with Lori Jo. Our kids have so much to handle aleady why make it worse - but I am not against being the pointy part of a stick myself and what you are saying does make sense to me.

What of the child whose religion does not celibrate birthdays? Are they not excluded at every celebration? Just a thought.

I think the really hard part of this is that the current labeling laws are not good enough to make this easy or even doable for other parents. If they were I think it would be a no-brainer.

I don't understand why birthdays need to be celebrated in school anyway? I would be all for no-food celebrations and no birthdays. (I'm the mean one! grrr)

My son is currently on a very restricted diet. I think the only packaged foods I can think of that would be ok for him are Enjoy Life Products, dum dums, smarties and Fritos. Perhaps some potato chips too. I don't let him eat fruit prepared by others either and unless those apples were labeled that they weren't processed in a facility with nuts they would be a no-go unless I called. I don't like calling on things that other people buy. It puts me in a weird position so I don't it.

I hope I am making sense....got up at 5am and just had a 3 hour nap...circulation is not at full capacity at the moment.

On Aug 11, 2007

Oh, I forgot to mention, the "treat" boxes were not meant for what the parents sent in, (they were supposed to send in safe treats off an approved list--which always approved a non-food item) but were used for individual impromptu treats the related service personel (like speech therapy, OT, social work, etc....) would want to give him, especially when working with him one to one.

It was kept in his homeroom, and although not intended for use as a substitute for stuff that shouldn't have been there anyway, was frequently used as one.

It was really weird how we needed to remind the people who *should* have been using it to use it, and tell the people who shouldn't have to fix the problem.

[This message has been edited by The #l Mouser! (edited August 11, 2007).]

On Aug 11, 2007

[b]I'm not sure "Least Restrictive Environment" actually guarantees a child with a disability will participate in the exact same way as a non-disabled peer, but just in the "Least Restrictive Environment".[/b]

True. And I would guess they could argue that LRE isn't guaranteed for 504, that it is IDEA/IEP specific. Have to check the language.

But what about the idea of Duty of Care, or "Prudent Person Standard of Care" idea. Hope I can word this right..... low on sleep too.

If, you take it out of the Disability Law specific speak, and say that you've informed the school about the harm that will come to your child based on specific actions, ie exposure to Peanuts/Treenuts, and they knowingly expose your child to them, have they violated the standard of care? They can find many ways to wiggle around, but if you have "informed" them.... can you have a legal basis, or an additional one, to make your case, should a reaction occur?

The only way to not violate a right to a safe learning environment, based on the idea that exposing a PA/TNA child to their allergen could kill them, is to maintain a PA/TNA free environment, no?

If the measure is what a reasonable person, or a prudent person, would do, in the given situation.... wouldn't that (minus the obnoxious parents) mean that a reasonable person, who is the stand in for the parent, exercising reasonable judgement, not allow the harmful substance to be in the child's learning environment? Or at least given to the child it could harm? And if you can't give what is in the classroom to the child, then wouldn't it have to be excluded?

Additionally, I've also mused at what the district's response would be if a request were made for proof of increased liability insurance?

On Aug 11, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]But what about the idea of Duty of Care, or "Prudent Person Standard of Care" idea. Hope I can word this right..... low on sleep too.

If, you take it out of the Disability Law specific speak, and say that you've informed the school about the harm that will come to your child based on specific actions, ie exposure to Peanuts/Treenuts, and they knowingly expose your child to them, have they violated the standard of care? [/b]

I've often fantasized about this too, unexpectedly arriving at the conclusion that if I'd risk leaving my child in that type of environment, then that's the defineable "Duty of Care", with all it's limitations.

Rhonda once pointed out the Tatro case. It might have been in the context of "Standard of Care". (Seems like it should have been)

I think a Standard of Care is dependent on more than just the Standard itself. Case in point. I worked two jobs once. One with a much less stringent Standard of Care and one with a very demanding one that required a lot of independent thinking. Even tho the Standard of Care was not as rigorous at the one job, and time did not permit many things I knew would be of benefit, I felt that somehow, if push came to shove, I would be held accountable for the higher Standard of Care, since I was skilled at it and it was routine for me. So I quit the job with the lesser standard of care. I just didn't feel that with my experience, I would ever be able to justify the lesser Standard of Care. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that while my physician may direct my school to do something, I'm not sure if they are obligated to follow it, unless somewhere in their chain of command, they have someone (or a team of people as the case may require), capable of delivering that Standard of care. I'm not sure if my physician can delegate to just anyone. This is where I think the Tatro case might be of value. I don't know if remember this right or not (or if LRE was even mentioned in the Tatro case), but if I do, the school was required to find a way (license, skilled personel, whatever) to provide the level of care a child needed to access school in the Least Restrictive Environment. I don't know, people might see this differently.

On Aug 11, 2007

You may want to push for Non-food celebrations. My district just wrote a food allergy policy and in it is:

"No unplanned celebrations allowed. Non-food celebrations will be encouraged. Examples could be planning a fun activity for the class, reading a book, or donating a board game. Your teacher may have additional suggestions".

Now, the sticky part is that they CAN still bring in cupcakes/food, with notice. Even bakery stuff, which I am very uncomfortable with. I am advocating for packaged food treats such as pkgd Rice Krispie Treats or Popsicles. But the Admin and PTO presidents feel strongly that moms have a "right" to bring in cupcakes on their child's bday and we can only change the culture slowly, because it's an All-American tradition.

I am just hoping the teacher will *strongly* encourage the non-food celebrations. I think the policy is a good start.

On Aug 11, 2007

I still sent in a box of safe treats even though my ds's class is peanut free and had no food except for 4 celebrations which I helped plan and attended. The teacher gave me a strange look and said 'I don't understand...'.

I'll tell you what I told her...just my reasoning...In the district we had just moved out of there had been 2 prior incidents. 1) A man with a gun in town resulted in a school lockdown until he was caught. 2) A tornado warning as kids were boarding there busses resulted in all children being held at school. If for some reason the school ever had to lockdown for an extended period of time you can be sure they would raid the cafeteria to feed the kids. I never want my kids to have to choose between hunger and the risk of a reaction. So my kids have a little box with 3 safe snacks for unforseen circumstances.

Luvmyboys

On Aug 11, 2007

GVMOM-I'm glad you are not in exile. I didn't know you were---just knew I hadn't seen a post from you in a while...

Now, my DD had a safe container of treats at school (nothing really fabulous as she is egg, peanut, tree nut allergic---not too many prepackaged/long shelf-life options available for egg allergic, but she definitely had treats). There were at least 3 occasions that DD had her regular, old snack while the other children had some baked good (pumpkin bread, brownies, and the final straw was one of the aids brought in her own cake to celebrate her OWN ADULT birthday--no notice provided to us). So DD held it together at school while the other children ate birthday cake or cupcakes..I don't remember. She got into the car and broke out in tears. She was 5 at the time. I don't care what plan you have (or even if you don't have a plan)---how 3 adults (at least 3 were in the room) and the 4th was also aware, could sit there and pig down sweets to celebrate A STAFF MEMBER'S BIRTHDAY with the rest of the class while 2 children ate their crackers...is just absolutely unbelievable. No offer to get her treat bag, no call to me (as I have requested should something like that come up--I would bring DD a treat), no acknowledgment until I brought it up, no real self-accountability from the staff involved. No big deal in their minds.

I'm not providing DD with safe treats in a box at school this coming year. The 504 now states that any food celebrations/sweets are to be prearranged and if one comes in without prearrangement, it is to be distributed outside the classroom as the children are leaving. I will continue to send DD in with her own safe treats for the days that have been arranged. I also put Gaks Snacks or Divvies packaged cookies in her backpack, so that she can go get it and not have to rely on the mercy of staff.

I have tried and will continue to try to impress upon the staff just how risky those baked goods are. I don't think anyone would intentionally lace the treats with peanuts or tree nuts, but it a known risk, they've been made aware. Edited to add, DD only eats food provided by home. No exceptions--this is our rule.

As far as discrimination and exclusion, the school is only obligated to provide a similar experience. So, if your child eats his own treat that is probably an OK substitution as far as legal issues. If the school said he could not bring in his own safe treat (i.e he can either eat like all of the children or not eat at all), that would be discriminatory. For example, schools have field trips that wheel-chair bound children cannot attend. They have to provide an acceptable substitution for that child to experience, but they don't have to cancel the entire field trip.

I've had many conversations with OCR over the past few months and it is interesting which issues pose a legal risk to the school and which ones don't. I can't elaborate; you can email me if you want.

I was hoping your lack of posts re: the school meant things had improved. I guess there are many of us not sharing as much about our difficulties with the school.

I don't think the school or other parents will feel badly at all for your sons. They will deflect that responsibility back at you saying (aloud or to themselves), "Isn't it too bad Mrs. Gvmom doesn't take the time to send her child in a treat". Then they'll go back to stuffing their faces [img]/peanut/boards/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/shocked.gif[/img]

I've been quite calm this entire summer, but now I'm starting to worry about what we will encounter this year. Only a couple of more weeks left. DD couldn't be more excited about school starting and getting to eat lunch there!!!

Our school's Wellness Policy now recommends (they can't 'force' the teachers, just "recommend") food-free bday celebrations or once a month bday celebration. It will at least eliminate the many days of treats.

GOOD LUCK!!! Nicole

[This message has been edited by PinkPoodle (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by PinkPoodle: [b]Edited to add, DD only eats food provided by home. No exceptions--this is our rule.

[/b]

Anything that came in off the "approved list" was only served after I had inspected the labels of each sealed item in it's original packaging. (For individually wrapped single serves, that meant in the box they came in.)

It was really disgusting, particularly on the "birthday day" each month. (Last friday of the month all birthdays for the month were celebrated all at once---you might want to suggest that). This pile of artificially flavored, preservative packed, corn syrup laced, and artificially dyed junk to be distributed with a gleeful smile by the adults in charge. Imagination is a thing of the past.

I always told my child in advance that I'd pay him a dollar for each item he brought home and didn't eat, to be spent as he saw fit. Then I'd toss the stuff with a vengeance.

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]

Additionally, I've also mused at what the district's response would be if a request were made for proof of increased liability insurance?

[/b]

You'd think the 504 coordinator and/or the district's attorney would already be consulting the policy provisions. But then again, never mind. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

No coffee running thru my veins yet, but wanted to say that I would also request the name and contact info for the liability insurance carrier for the district -- though that info is typically public record & available *somehow*. Are the minutes of your school district's board meetings available online? Ever read them to see what is matter of public record in how they intend to deal with special needs such as food allergies?

Ever been to a district meeting? (Some places we've lived, these meetings are televised *live even* on the public access channel.)

Just me. Thinking outloud before coffee. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

~Eliz

PS -- we all needed to be detectives or attorneys in another life. No stone unturned, no clue uninvestigated, no suspect left alone. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

The P.A.M's -- the Peanut Allergy Minds!

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

How is your child being excluded if he could have a treat that you've sent in? The bottom line is that he would have a treat (who really cares where it came from as long as it is safe?) and he would not be excluded. Maybe you are the one feeling "excluded" because the school is not doing what you want them to do.

Not to send him a safe treat sounds like a passive-aggressive attempt to get the school to do what you want ...perhaps at the expense of your child's feelings.

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by BS312: [b]How is your child being excluded if he could have a treat that you've sent in? The bottom line is that he would have a treat (who really cares where it came from as long as it is safe?) and he would not be excluded. [/b]

This reminds me. In kindergarten, My younger son was "excluded" on an almost daily basis due to his allergy. (Kindergarten parents can give new meaning to the name "Loo-loo" when it come to food.)

Long story short, I ended up sending in little wrapped items in his treat box for him to have instead of the food items. I wanted to STRONGLY ENCOURAGE how great inexpensive non-food items could be.

The kindergarten teacher (battle axe) did a pretty good job of keeping peanut/nut laden items out of the classroom (but some homebaked goods allowed), but never to the point my child could eat the same food items. (I wasn't counting on her to either)

I filled the "treat box" with little items from the dollar store (most under 2 bucks) and wrapped the items in tissue paper to make up for the specialness of those ginormous cupcakes. In this particular class, it was customary for parents to begin the pecking order by sending in 50-75 dollar platters of bakery goods for occassions not only birthday related.

For instance, bears football games were one "Special" occassion. <<>>

My long story just got longer, my apologies, the treat box not only had the little wrapped items, but a few miscellaneous, incidental safe "candy" items. But I will wrap it up by saying that the kindergarten teacher REFUSED let him choose the little non-food wrapped items (he KNEW they were non-food too, and was my picky eater, not really wanting all the sugary garbage.) edit to add: He may not have eaten it, but he sure would have looked it over and claimed it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

She said it made the events celebrated "more special for him than other students". Apparently, it was okay to exclude him, but it wasn't okay to make up for HIS inconvenience.

[This message has been edited by The #l Mouser! (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by BS312: [b]How is your child being excluded if he could have a treat that you've sent in? The bottom line is that he would have a treat (who really cares where it came from as long as it is safe?) and he would not be excluded. Maybe you are the one feeling "excluded" because the school is not doing what you want them to do.

Not to send him a safe treat sounds like a passive-aggressive attempt to get the school to do what you want ...perhaps at the expense of your child's feelings. [/b]

Do you approve of a child continually missing out on having the same treats as the 20 other members of his class...20 times a year for birthdays, plus holiday parties?

It sure is fun to be our little ones, always missing out, over and over. Ostracised in a way.

What does one do to change it?

Kudos to gvmom for thinking out loud, for serving as a catalyst to better our kids school experience. Whether or not you agree, it's does me mighty good to ponder.

On Aug 12, 2007

[b]And, I am glad, lilpig, that you brought up the psychological aspect. Do you think that if those of us brought this in, asked for the school psychologists to evaluate the impact of the school sanctioning exclusion on our children, someone would listen? [/b]

You know, I would bet in the years to come, food allergy research will also include the psychological effects of FA. With so many kids these days having them...we all know what our children go through. It will come in time I'm sure. I think it is definitely worth mentioning this issue at the very least. I would think any reasonable school psychologist could at least admit to a child with FA's having a different realm of experience than non FA children in their school/class...and that experience might very well feel like ostracization....self esteem issues, etc.

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by BS312: [b] (who really cares where it came from as long as it is safe?) [/b]

Our child DOES.

The other 17 children in his classroom DO.

The TA in my son's class did (negatively).

Some of the other parents of the kids in my son's classroom seem to be bothered too.

(Last year was 2nd grade for my son.)

Some of the other children exhibited clear resentment and jealousy of our son and his perceived "specialness". It really even torqued them that there were "911" drills that the class practiced as a simulated PA reaction situation for my son.

My son was singled out and picked on due to his PA. He was already the "different" kid due to the fact he was new to the community, new to the school, we are military, and he'd been only homeschooled prior so he was WAY ahead of nearly all the other students.

[i] He desperately just wanted to be one of the other kids. [/i]

Your experiences (and others') may never have been as ours have been. Very fortunate, if that is the case. But please recognize that MANY of us have children who may really struggle emotionally and behavior-ly (not a word) as a direct result of ther "specialness" or ostracism due to PA.

With the peer pressure that begins ever-earlier, many kids just want to fit it, to participate to the exact same degree that all the other classmates do. In EVERYTHING.

Is that asking TOO much? I don't think so.

We use time outs with young children as a means of punishment and behavior modification. Removing the child from the group is often VERY effective, in this regard. But it is PUNISHMENT. Young children are typically not able to discern the subtle difference between being removed from the group or singled out as a bonafide means of punishment vs. as a safety measure.

The emotional well-being of a child is critical, IMHO, and in the opinion of most child-rearing experts.

Not ranting. Just extremely passionate about raising children who are "whole" emotionally.

------------------ ~Eli[b]Z[/b]abeth, Mother to 2: DD age 5, NKA, treated as though PA/TNA DS age 8, PA, possible TNA, Latex, legumes? (PA diagnosed & ana reaction 1999) Member here since 2000

PS -- Edited to add, I'm certainly not advocating the loss of individuality and helping a child find his or her own way.

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

Well, since I'm the only one that seems to have actually done it - not had food celebrations (sorry, wrong wording - editing - they had food celebrations, but they were safe for my guy) in the classroom, I'm going to have to sit back to-day and figure out how I got there. KWIM? Without harming my child's psyche. It just didn't happen. It was against his written school plan and I think that the years that it really worked, JK, SK and Grade One (although still continued with it in Grades 2, 3 and 4), it was because the teachers were young and they were scared something would happen to my guy. So, they would rather turn away the Mom with the plate of cupcakes then risk having to use that Epi. Does that make sense? I just know that it DID work for me and it did not harm my child's psyche and he was not left out - but now I have to think about how we actually got to that point - what I did do in those early grades (even though your one son is going into Grade 3) to get it to be a do-able thing.

I can honestly say that also during the time that it did really work for us (again, JK, SK, and Grade 1), I never felt any personal repercussions (I did have a Fun Fair person say some nasty words to me on the phone) even for myself, the adult.

And I'm not going to say that this happened because I'm Canadian.

But why did it happen?

Let me think about it.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

[This message has been edited by Alternative to Mainstream (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

Oops. Dbl post buffoonery.

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by lilpig99: [b] It sure is fun to be our little ones, always missing out, over and over. Ostracised in a way.

What does one do to change it?

[/b]

I don't know what to tell you, besides love your children unconditionally, be strong for them, and show them they are special to YOU. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] People can't take that away or eat it in front of you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] I'm 39 and not much has changed. When your family unit is what's special, not much else matters in the long run. You get through. At least I did.

On Aug 12, 2007

Just wanted to note in this thread (have talked about it[i] ad nauseum[/i] elsewhere on boards) -- I believe food has ZERO place in the classroom unless it is truly being used as a teaching tool -- i.e. cultural study of different culture or peoples. There should be NO treat jars (food treats) given by teacher nor should there be ANY birthday celebrations for individual persons. Those belong at home/elsewhere with individual families & those they choose to invite, not in the classroom on the classroom's time, the taxpayer's dime, or on exorbitant tuition paid for private school.

Food-free classroom is my dream classroom for our son.

------------------ ~Eli[b]Z[/b]abeth, Mother to 2: DD age 5, NKA, treated as though PA/TNA DS age 8, PA, possible TNA, Latex, legumes? (PA diagnosed & ana reaction 1999) Member here since 2000

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

ajas_folks, I totally agree with you about food in the classroom. It ties in my *entitlement* thinking that I still can't clarify (and doesn't need clarification for this thread anyway).

I didn't have PA.com when Jesse started school, so I didn't know what other parents did. I wouldn't even have thought about a safe treat box for my son. I also didn't have Jesse's written school plan for JK either - it was another member of PA.com that wrote that.

So, it started working in JK, but how? We had a letter sent out saying that there was a PA child in the classroom and that all food being sent in for snacks and lunch had to be peanut free, including no may contains.

Jesse's teacher, at that time, admitted to me that she was scared to death to have a PA child in her class (he was the only *known* PA child at the school at this time).

So, I think it was the "peanut free" classroom (the posters wouldn't even have come until later because again, no PA.com) and the teacher's diligence (out of fear?) that kept stuff out of the classroom.

Way back when, when I still believed in homemade treats going into the classroom, I would actually make a batch of carrot muffins and take them in for no reason at all. My ideas about my children (PA or not) eating homemade food have changed considerably since then, believe me.

So, for SK, I'd have to check dates - I'm not clear if I had the computer for the beginning of SK or not. Same "peanut free" classroom with no "may contains". This was the year where I was adamant that *inclusion* meant ANY and EVERY school event, including after school events (or before school programs even) and that's when I worked to have a "peanut free" Fun Fair (with a LOT of help from people here). I obviously had the teacher's co-operation, and more importantly, the principal's. We even had "safe" ice cream.

It was at that point that the principal began talking about having a "reduce the risk" school for the next year (Grade 1 for Jess). He did go to that school for two months before we moved from that small town to a larger small town.

Oh, sorry, in SK, we also had a newspaper article done in the local newspaper educating people about PA and about my son specifically (with his permission).

I also gave the teacher in SK, any newsletters I got from FAAN and when she was finished with them, they went into the school library.

At the end of SK, that was when I did the BE A PAL certificate, sticker, and Alexander the Elephant Who Couldn't Eat Peanuts colouring book at the end of the school year.

Sorry, also, for SK I would have provided the Safe Snack and Lunch List and I am not clear if that was available to me for JK as well (since it was not from PA.com that I got it).

How do I explain that people just "got it"? Not that there weren't little rough patches along the way (everything has been posted here), but they did.

Okay, Grade One - totally different school district. "Peanut free" classroom again also with no "may contains". Safe Snack and Lunch List sent home along with a letter about the "peanut free" classroom. Again, a young teacher - and she did turn away anything unsafe at the door.

Oh, sorry, for JK, SK, and Grade One, all food going into the classroom (since the class was "peanut free") was checked by an E.A. (educational aide) to make sure that it was safe to go into the classroom.

For special occasions (not birthdays), I would go in and physically check everything myself.

Okay, so that's the years that it was really do-able. Two different school districts. More information certainly presented to the community in the second year Jess was in school, but no, they just "got it".

I'll come back in later with the other grades (less successful, more hair tearing out kinda).

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by BS312: [b]How is your child being excluded if he could have a treat that you've sent in? The bottom line is that he would have a treat (who really cares where it came from as long as it is safe?) and he would not be excluded. Maybe you are the one feeling "excluded" because the school is not doing what you want them to do.

Not to send him a safe treat sounds like a passive-aggressive attempt to get the school to do what you want ...perhaps at the expense of your child's feelings. [/b]

I kind of agree...even though I think the discussion is totally valid and interesting.

I don't know...I'm pretty new at this...but I think much of what our kids feel about this comes from us and what we teach them and how WE feel about it. And I think sometimes from what I have read and the people (moms) that I have talked to we seem kind of schizophrenic about it. We downplay food celebrations and then make a stink if our kid has something different. If we really think that food celebrations should be or need to be downplayed for our sanity and more importantly to show our children how to navigate in life without always focusing on food - which for them will result in a lot of exclusion way past the point (age range) of 504's - so we say to them...hey you can't have this...but you can have that...and we make "that" as good as we can...and sometimes it wont be as good and sometimes it will be better and then we move on.

My son got a chocolate coin and a childrens show yesterday. What in the world could I substitue a for coin that came out of a treasure chest? Nothing will be as good as that coin. Oh well.

But then at bedtime...DH decided to tell DS that the tooth fairy would probably want that coin - so he came up with some story and this morning there were 4 quarters in place of the coin. Ds hasn't found them yet. It should be fun.

I'm all for bans...I'm all for fighting for our rights. But I think we have to be careful not to do our children a disservice in the meantime. And we need to teach them that they are different and that's ok.

On Aug 12, 2007

ajas_folks - I just read your post. My post sounds like a direct repsonse to yours - and it wasn't. I hadn't read the whole thread.

I'm sorry about your situation. PA just sucks and we are all trying to get through it safe and whole. I just didn't want you to think that I was responding to you post in what may have sounded very cold.

I think a lot of what comes into play that none of us can control is how our community responds. I think that even though I have a pig headed teacher or two the majority of our community is very supportive and educated.

On Aug 12, 2007

Sarah, I once did my son a GREAT disservice by not filing a complaint with The Ontario Human Rights Commission for a YEAR of torture we went through at his school in Grade Three. I even told him that. I told him that what had happened to him that year was NOT okay and that I was very sorry but due to circumstances at the time, I was not in a position to follow through and file the complaint.

I don't think asking for inclusion of your child with regard to food (especially since everyone seems so food obsessed and I'm not clear why), is doing your child a disservice.

I think the thing that is irritating to me (there was something else similar on the board once, but I can't remember what it was) is that I have seen it done and done successfully and without repercussion.

I don't think what gvmom is presenting is not do-able (or I wouldn't spend time in the thread telling her how I found it to be do-able), and that's it again. I know it is do-able. Without harming my child's psyche. Perhaps even showing my child that yes, I am willing to fight for this because exclusion is wrong. Exclusion is not okay.

Perhaps I'm not getting something. I don't know. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

[This message has been edited by Alternative to Mainstream (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

Going back to address a bunch of stuff (and this is long

On Aug 12, 2007

[b]I don't think what gvmom is presenting is not do-able (or I wouldn't spend time in the thread telling her how I found it to be do-able), and that's it again. I know it is do-able. Without harming my child's psyche. Perhaps even showing my child that yes, I am willing to fight for this because exclusion is wrong. Exclusion is not okay.[/b]

Yes!

The problem is that the means of exclusion for our children is through food. If our children were in wheel chairs, or had a other health impairment that didn't involve ingesting food, would we gloss over the exclusion in the same manner?

Do you teach your children that exclusion is okay by sanctioning it for them, or trying to make it not as harsh by providing safe treats?

Honestly, my kids have gone to other birthday parties outside of school. They have gone with safe cupcakes in tow... and they don't end up eating them. Not because they are embarassed, or feel bad. It is because they are busy playing and don't really care about food as much as other kids. But they are also among their peers who might pass by the party food too because the venue allows them to not feel like food is the essential part of the activity. It is only part. Not the whole. So big deal.

In school, stuck at your desk, with allocated time, that food becomes the focus. The primary activity. EVERYONE is expected to partake.

There is a big difference.

Edited to add, that it also is important for me, personally, to show my sons that standing up for what you believe in is important. Who you are, what you believe in, and if you live your life according to those things, is all you really have. When you look into a mirror, what do you think about that person looking back at you?

[This message has been edited by gvmom (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]My children are learning lots of things there.[/b]

I don't doubt it. I've always said there were some lessons I'd never be able to teach them, nor provide the environment they occur in, myself. Especially a lot of those that have to do with human nature.

Quote:

[b]And if this year I add passive-aggressive to my list of things I must employ

On Aug 12, 2007

I keep thinking about this for those of you who think I

On Aug 12, 2007

[b]with allocated time,[/b]

Could this be part of the legal basis? Specific time allocated at school for food ingestion? Like lunch? But then here's the problem,-- the law allows for safe [i]substitution[/i] at lunchtime (via USDA Accomdating Children with Special ...)? They speak of discrimination occurring only when a substitution is not offered. The whole school is not required to be offered the same lunch. This might viewed as being legally acceptable for the classroom as well.

But I know what you're saying...a teacher wouldn't tolerate a non-food allergic child's parent uttering these words to your child 'You cannot eat this, you just sit there and wait until the other kids are finished.' So when we're the ones sending in safe snacks, have we become that parent?? Maybe so.

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]I keep thinking about this for those of you who think I

On Aug 12, 2007

[b]Could this be part of the legal basis? Specific time allocated at school for food ingestion? Like lunch? But then here's the problem,-- the law allows for safe substitution at lunchtime (via USDA Accomdating Children with Special ...)? They speak of discrimination occurring only when a substitution is not offered. The whole school is not required to be offered the same lunch. This might viewed as being legally acceptable for the classroom as well.[/b]

You know though, this could be an interesting legal point. I'm going to have to go back through the booklet that goes with the USDA form for meal accommodations to review the language.

Point is, if the school spends enough time to find a safe substitution at other times, why not just dispense the safe substitution for all?

[b]I don't doubt it. I've always said there were some lessons I'd never be able to teach them, nor provide the environment they occur in, myself. Especially a lot of those that have to do with human nature.[/b]

There are lessons that I know I couldn't teach them.... but I wish they could have been older for some of the things they are learning. It saddens me to know some of the stuff they are learning about human nature. [i]Your mother better love you...[/i] right?!

[b]Spartans Rule! Beware though, it's not a philosophy easily bridled and not as effective when applied inconsistently or on a whim. It tends to permeate it's environment.[/b]

Well, I still keep toying with my t-shirt idea. Lots of activist slogans I keep thinking of that I'd love to wear through the halls. And I do think they'd be very consistent with my actions. I'm sure some of them already feel my "I Hate You" shirt, even though I haven't made it....YET!

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]There are lessons that I know I couldn't teach them.... but I wish they could have been older for some of the things they are learning. It saddens me to know some of the stuff they are learning about human nature. [i]Your mother better love you...[/i] right?![/b]

High five, but with extreme sobriety.

Quote:

[b]Well, I still keep toying with my t-shirt idea. Lots of activist slogans I keep thinking of that I'd love to wear through the halls. And I do think they'd be very consistent with my actions. I'm sure some of them already feel my "I Hate You" shirt, even though I haven't made it....YET!

[/b]

Then I'm sure you can appreciate my idea: "I'm breeding your kind out of the gene pool." (in neon green alien puffy paint on a black maternity shirt.

I should make it in time to register my children at the district office for school this week. I'm just starting to show. Won't they be surprised?

I've avoided registration. Just haven't been able to bring myself to do it.

On Aug 12, 2007

I really appreciate all of the thoughts and views in this thread. It really has helped me to think about this school year.

As I was thinking about all of the views in this thread I was answering to the computer--for both sides of this point of view.

I would love to have a food free classroom. There is no need to spend so much time on food. And I generally feel that way most of the day--outside of school. Why does everything revolve around food. I don't know if I feel that way because of my children or if I would feel that way without their allergies--I wouldn't be able to seperate the reasoning.

I also appreciate the lessons that my children have/will learn from this situation. Our number one rule--no food ever from anyone but Mom and Dad (and after a few years--Grandma and Grandpa). What a great way to enforce this, they have to have their food from the snack box, backpack or lunchbox. You (talking to my children) are in charge of saying no thank you I have food allergies I will have food at a different time, or from a safe source.

Another lesson my children learn--Life is not fair, you are different from other people. Every person has something different or special about themselves. Yours (again talking to my children) just happens to be with food. This is not going to change, you will need to accept this fact and move on to the next thing. (I'll cry in my room at night for you--you don't need to see how much I wish you didn't have to deal with this)

My children also learn that they must find their voice and they must become independent. And I prefer for them to learn this--now--when they are younger--in a little bit of a protected environment. The reality is that we have been very lucky in the adults that have encountered my children. Do they all get it--no--but they all understand the importance of letting me make those decisions for my children.

On the other hand my 2 children are very different peronality wise from each other. My older child handles not being included with food, waiting for a "treat" at a different time, and he is ok with being different. He still sucks his thumb (in 2nd grade) it drives us insane--and whenever we ask if kids make fun of him he states--If they make fun of me--they aren't my friends, just like, if they make fun of me for not eating peanuts, I don't need to be frineds with them. I can't ever argue against that--and what a valuable lesson he has learned.

That said my younger son has a much harder time with this concept and it does hurt him in very obvious emtional ways. And of course that tears my heart out and I want to do nothing but make it all fair (I want to for my older son-but I am grateful that his soul is different--or maybe it has become different). But, I can't and he has a long life ahead of him to learn how to deal with the fact that he is different. And I want him to deal with that before he realizes that our family is different in other ways--we have different finances than others, we have different views on accaptable movies, or tv shows. We are not all talented in the same way..ect..

I don't know what the answer is--or what the right answer should be. And I really really really would love it if our culture was not about food, but, I can't change everything. I need to provide my children the tools to survive life and to work with the culture we live in. I know it is the same argument that people use for not banning peanuts (which I am for most days). And my kids do sit at a peanut free table--that I asked for, they do not have a 504--one goes to a large private school, one goes to a small private school. And thankfully most days I worry more about if my son will pass the timed math test than what snack was served at school. But my heart still skips a beat during lunch time,snack time, and whenever the school number comes up on caller id.

No answers--just thoughts.

------------------ Michelle mom to: DS #1- 7 - peanut, tree nut, asthma,environmental allergies DS-#2- 4- Milk, Peas, Peanuts, Tree nuts, Asthma, environmental allergies

On Aug 12, 2007

gvmom: Forgive me, I am coming to this thread a little late and have not read the entire thread in detail, but wanted to offer another avenue.

Perhaps you could ask you school board to institute a wellness policy that requires non-food birthday celebrations. Our school's policy is written:

"Our district has developed a wellness policy which purpose is 'to assure a school environment that promotes and protects student's health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.' At the elementary level this means: *vending machines are not available during school hours. *Teachers/staff will not use food as rewards. *physical activity is important. We will not regularly consequence children by withholding recess time. *Food items will not be permitted for birthday celebrations. *snacks brought into the classromm should be age appropriate and healthy choices."

My son's classroom goes further to help with his FA and peanuts or made in facility products are not allowed in the classroom.

I find the wellness policy goes along very well with food allergies. It limits the teacher's discretion to allow cupcakes, candy, etc...

We still had some issue come up last year. Twinkies were brought into the classroom once for a birthday. The teacher called me and asked me if they were safe for ds. I said "yes, but isn't it against the wellness policy anyway?" She said "oh yeah" and sent them back home with a note.

I think as my son gets older the policy changes a bit at the middle school level, but I have decided to deal with middle school in 5 years and not worry right now.

On Aug 12, 2007

Ask yourself about the peanut free table, if in fact you do not like the idea of a peanut free table because it is not 'least restrictive', why is it restrictive? Because it is excludes the peanut allergic child, right? Does OCR specifically talk about the exclusive nature of peanut free tables, or was there a law suit about it? If so, they might already be legislating 'anti-exclusive' concepts.

On Aug 12, 2007

[b]Perhaps you could ask you school board to institute a wellness policy that requires non-food birthday celebrations.[/b]

Our district does have a wellness policy. In fact, so does our state. It developed guidelines for districts.

Non-food celebrations are encouraged. Healthy foods are encouraged. Nothing is set as THE rule that HAS to be followed though.

Everybody loves a loophole. Especially cupcake queens.

On Aug 12, 2007

[b]Point is, if the school spends enough time to find a safe substitution at other times, why not just dispense the safe substitution for all?[/b]

Then I would wonder how they would accomodate MFA's at the school. That can get really tricky.

edited to add bold

[This message has been edited by lilpig99 (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

All hail the cupcake queen. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by lilpig99: [b]All hail the cupcake queen. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img][/b]

I think the old Bonking Wand we used to talk about here must have been invented for just those Cupcake Queens. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

~Eliz

On Aug 12, 2007

Yes, Elizabeth, it sounds like it would be quite appropriate [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img].

On Aug 12, 2007

Isn't the fact that the birthday child is bringing birthday treats for everyone, indicative of trying to have an [i]inclusive[/i] environment? The child certainly isn't bringing just his own cupcake, so everyone else can watch him eat it. No, that wouldn't be any fun, that would exclude others. Hence....well you know.

(This fact may have already been stated somewhere in this thread, but I'm just thinking out loud here..not re-reading.)

On Aug 12, 2007

Yeah those cupcake queens can be very forceful [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]. Without the administration behind a policy, a policy is useless.

On Aug 12, 2007

The main point is that it isn't that the actual act of bringing food into the classroom for everyone to share isn't an inclusive act, with a purposeful motivation to exclude.... the point is that this is in a public institution, paid for with public tax dollars, with laws that they have to follow. It is that the school needs to meet their end of the bargain, being a state funded body.

If the school has entered into the legal bind of a 504, or even the argument of "Standard of Care", they have responsibilities to their students over and above the actions of what would be viewed as an act of sharing by one of the students.

They can recognize the generosity of those students wanting to include everyone in a non-educational social event, however, that doesn't override their responsibility to act in the parent's stead and/or according to a 504, and not allow something that would exclude a child, creating a potentially hazardess situation -- in a physical sense, in addition to creating a situation that causes mental harm due to ostracism and stigmatization.

(now I need to post that so I can read it in a normal format... WHEW)

[This message has been edited by gvmom (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

Good article posted over here today:

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/002109.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum8/HTML/002109.html[/url]

On Aug 12, 2007

'Teacher will not allow food that would exclude the child; creating a hazardous situation physically as well as mentally'

One could add this as an accomodation...make it binding legally.

You'd just have to sell it to them.

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote from [i] Food Allergies for Dummies [/i] by Robert A. Wood, MD with Joe Kraynak:

[i]Studies show that food allergy has a marked effect on quality of life, and this typically peaks in adolescence when the effects of being different are always magnified. [/i]

Quote is from Chapter 14: Empowering Your Adolescent or Teenager.

Somewhere today I read something online about truancy and boys -- a study in California, if I recall -- that ostracism in school is one of the main reasons why boys are truant.

~Eliz

On Aug 12, 2007

Okay, thinking out loud here...do your really think that not having the same birthday treat as the other children results in ostracism (sp?) and stigmatization? I don't think my son is emtionallly scarred from this.

While it was a little tougher when he was younger, he has learned that an unsafe birthday treat brought in by an absent-minded parent does not equal a personal attack on him.

The reality of his life is he can't eat everything that every other child eats. I, personally, think his emotional well-being is healthier because he accepts this, (and takes steps to minimize missing things...like having his own treat box) and has moved on. [Ironic because he has just walked in the door from a lazertag birthday party. As it turns out, the cupcakes were may-contain, so he skipped them. He is not bothered in the least...as he knows I will let him have ice cream at home (a no-no usually in the middle of the afternoon at our house). He would tell you that the important part of the party was playing lazertag and NOT the food. I am glad he feels this way.]

Again, thinking out loud, not saying that what is right for us is right for everyone else.

kelly

On Aug 12, 2007

But what of the child that it *does* affect? Wouldn't it be best to include all?

On Aug 12, 2007

gvmom, I know I'm not giving you what you are really hoping for in this thread...I just can't think of much from the legal standpoint.

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by lilpig99: [b]But what of the child that it *does* affect? Wouldn't it be best to include all?[/b]

I will come back later to expand on this, but, our child is clearly one who is profoundly affected emotionally by this . . . partly due to his own emotional coping abilities, or lack there of, and partly due to the other childrens' (and staff's) "in-your-face" treatment of him with regard to the ostracism as to birthday & other celebrations in class.

But I have whopper lightning all around & have to shut down . . .

I'll be back. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

~Eliz

Edited to fix wording for clarity.

Also to add -- I feel fortunate that I've been able to recognize and respond to our son's negative emotional responses (and, frankly, deep resentment and anger manifestations) as to his peanut allergy and mistreatment (perceived or otherwise) by classmates and staff at his school.

I know I am not alone.

I dare say that there may be some in the PA community who are not aware (yet) of the possible emotional toll that this allergy may be taking on his/her child. Some children are masters at hiding pain. Some manifestations may be delayed . . .

It is a delicate-enough balancing act raising a child to be emotionally healthy when that child is already seemingly "normal" in all ways and/or "main stream" in all ways. But throw a wrench into the works as to a permanent, often negatively singling-out characteristic & the parent may often find himself/herself dropping off that tightrope and into the net below. Just pray the net holds each time. Or that there even IS a net.

~E

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

From Texas Association of Student Councils Handbook 2004 --

[b] [i] A safe school environment includes the following:

>Physical safety which is freedom from threats and physical harm, aggression, injury and damage to property

>Emotional safety which includes freedom from rejection, ostracism, social exclusion, isolation, mocking, taunting, name-calling, sarcasm, racially or sexually abusive comments, and humiliation. [/i] [/b]

Schools everywhere seem to be focused more & more on the safety & security, in all aspects, of our children while in the "care" of the school.

Maybe some consistency & enforcement by the district to go along with policy?

~Eliz

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 12, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

[b]gvmom, I know I'm not giving you what you are really hoping for in this thread...I just can't think of much from the legal standpoint. [/b]

I don't think I hope for much these days. And really that isn't a snap at you.... just the reality of my life.

I think the thing is, I'm thinking about it removed a few steps.

It can feel like a personal thing when parents ignore including your child. I mean, if we sent in cool stuff for all the kids but one, don't think it wouldn't get back to us... even if it was an accident in making a number count.

Point is though, this is about a public entity that our children are required by law to attend.

School isn't like the real world. There is all sorts of stuff there, that in the real world, we never would agree to with respect to our FA children. Or at least I wouldn't.

I wouldn't leave my kids with a person who was only required to be shown how to use an epi-pen and get a brief explanation of FA's -- would you? But, according to the law in most places, without a 504 that outlines agreed upon measures that hopefully are more extensive, that is what you get.

In the real world, a birthday party is more than, "come on in, sit down, eat a cupcake, leave". There is stuff that goes on... including parental supervision and parental okay about food consumption....that schools don't think they should be required to do.

I wouldn't send my 5 year old to a party without either DH or I, I wouldn't let him eat a cupcake that I didn't have the ability to check the ingredients on (and that means more than a casual "Does this have eggs?), and I wouldn't even take him to a party that the only thing to do was to sit down and eat a cupcake. Think about it. What if your kids were invited to a birthday party? Outside of school. The only thing happening at this party was the consumption of a cupcake. The parents were going all out. These cupcakes were going to be out of this world, decorated beyond belief, and completely unsafe for your child. And these people inviting you were wonderful, sweet, kind people. Near Mother Teresa.

Would you take your kid?

Do you think your child would want to go and sit amongst all the other kids, enjoying their special, amazing cupcake, while yours had what you could figure out from home?

Honestly, I'm okay with my kids being different, and for the most part they are okay with it too. But I'd skip that kind of party. If that goes on at school though, your child is legally bound to be there.

How about if that cupcake eating extravaganza were to happen at your house. Those wonderful people decided you shouldn't drive anywhere, so the entire party is coming to your house. Now, I guess if you allow your child's allergens in your home this won't be an issue. But I don't. My kids should be able to be safe in their classroom. They have a right to a safe school according to our state constitution. Shouldn't that extend to their personal safety in a classroom that they are mandated to be present in?

Of course, I also don't have a problem with laws requiring modifications providing access to the handicapped. My Dad and I had a big discussion about that one day when he was griping about some proposed plans to a firehouse. But that is another story..... though in the real world, are accommodations for disabilities dependant on the sanctioning of a local government are they? For those places receiving Federal and State funds, they are a must aren't they?

I guess I'm just thinking Bigger Picture. Plus, I'm also thinking from my point of view. With my experiences from this last year... and those prior. Which I wouldn't wish on anyone.

Holding the school responsible for what it is they are required by law to do, when our kids are mandated to be there, is what I want. That is why the questions about legalities about exclusion & "Standard of Care".

On Aug 12, 2007

BTW, that big diatribe from me above just now is I guess more of my thinking as a response to kelly's post.

Sorry, long day here.

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]I guess I'm just thinking Bigger Picture. [/b]

LUKE, I am your father... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] (SCHWOOOP-ahhhh)

On Aug 12, 2007

Personally, when I think about my son, particularly when he was younger, he would have been more traumatized by having a special treat box - being centered out.

Our PA children learn quite quickly that they are different than other children and that it's not a visible physical disability so people don't see it - they have to be told about it.

I was trying to think of the threatening/bullying that I've posted about here and it had NOTHING to do with Jesse and a "peanut free" classroom that did not allow those unsafe cupcakes. Those incidents were totally separate.

Again, I have to say, that I must be really different because I felt it was healthier for my guy to feel that there was no need for him to be excluded (for his psyche) than it was to send a special treat box in and have him mortified.

And, again, posting in the thread because it was do-able. I've seen it done. Now I feel as though I've gone both insane and blind!

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b].... and I'll tell you why.

Are schools allowed to celebrate Christmas, excluding their classmates that might have other faiths? Why would they be able to exclude a student, through something that isn't even and educational requirement, or necessary to their education in the classroom?

I feel that their teachers should have to look at my children, while they sit there, not being able to partake in what they allow to come through their doors. I also feel that the parents & students who want to bring in unsafe foods should also have to look at my children. They all should know that they are knowingly excluding my children. Sending in a safe treat already sets them apart. They won't be getting the same thing, or be able to be part of the so called sharing that people want to do when they bring in junk food. So why should I make it easier for them?

How many times do my children have to be excluded..... and in an "in your face way".....before their teachers and parents/students care enough to include them?

PS. -- some of you know that I'm breaking my exile here, and only here, but I need input, opinions, legal thoughts.......}[/b]

I don't have anything to add about the legalities, but my experience is that schools (around here) seem to exclude children based on religion all the time. In first and second grade, they even wrote letters to Santa. The second year of this my DS protested arguing that kids who aren't Christian are excluded. It absolutely didn't help him make his case that his Hindu friend and his Jewish friend also gets visits from Santa and liked the activity.

With regard to the teachers having to care (I think that's basically what you are hoping for, right--because if they actively try to include it means they must care for our children, right?)--I don't know that this can be fostered in this way. I could be wrong. I think folks are used to seeing FA kids getting the short end of the stick and assume that they're used to it, that it doesn't bother them. It's just one more let down, right?

One year a person (room mom) who I ultimately trusted to bring a safe treat for DS because she is FA herself and ended up getting it initially balked at my saying that we need to be able to bring treats anytime treats are brought--this would be at two classroom parties each year (birthday cupcakes are only served in the cafeteria during lunch). She said that it wouldn't be fair to the other mothers.

First of all, I wasn't suggesting that we be the only ones to bake snacks--just that we always were able to do so. I wanted DS to be eating the same thing that other kids were.

Second of all, I don't know why other mothers wouldn't be hugging me since I'm taking away some baking burdens.

Third of all, and I responded with this, "It's not fair for my son to always be the odd one out wrt food and it's certainly not fair for him to have an allergic reaction because it is treat day."

I'm rambling now, I know.

I am with you on the exclusion thing. Always having your own treat is excluding. I think I've accepted that it is just a part of this thing, though. So I appreciate your post and making me question that.

But I don't know that a teacher is going to care about exclusion to that extent. And if a teacher isn't already moved by this allergy, seeing my child go without won't move them (it happened this year and no one batted an eye).

But I'll be very interested to be proved wrong. You'll keep us posted about this, won't you?

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b]

And I'm not going to say that this happened because I'm Canadian.

[/b]

I am. It's what I was thinking while reading your post--before getting to this sentence. You Canadians live different lives than we do down here (for the most part). And you're very lucky. I can't say I haven't thought about moving your way before. But brrrrrrrrr. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b][b]They speak of discrimination occurring only when a substitution is not offered. The whole school is not required to be offered the same lunch. This might viewed as being legally acceptable for the classroom as well.[/b]

You know though, this could be an interesting legal point. I'm going to have to go back through the booklet that goes with the USDA form for meal accommodations to review the language.

Point is, if the school spends enough time to find a safe substitution at other times, why not just dispense the safe substitution for all?

This is an interesting avenue because in the lunch example (USDA) the SCHOOL is required to provide the substitution. They couldn't possibly provide a substitution cupcake for MFA children without it being certified as: MFA-free. Have they ever seen the price of cupcakes from Divvies [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]? We (PARENTS) are the ones providing the substitutions---and yes, I know we are not talking about LUNCH, but if the SCHOOL is sanctioning this activity of cupcakes galore during class hours (not us parents---I would definitely prefer a non-food celebration room & my guess is most of us here prefer that), then the SCHOOL should be obligated to provide the alternative.

I do not allow DD to eat any food at school other than what I provide. However, if the school was obligated to provide, let's say Divvies, then I would just double-check that it was Divvies, and let her have it. Instead, I am either baking from scratch, freezing, thawing, frosting, packing, etc...or ordering from treats that are egg-free, peanut-free, and tree nut-free. It is quite an expense...

Just a thought.

Now, I have more to post about DD and her exclusions in school this past year...I'll start another

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by McCobbre: [b] Second of all, I don't know why other mothers wouldn't be hugging me since I'm taking away some baking burdens. [/b]

Because they think they are earning gold stars, angel wings, brownie points...whatever..to bring in some fabulous looking baked good. These are the Cupcake Queens.

I guess it is a foreign concept to those of us who HAVE to bake for our child's safety. It gets a bit routine [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

I did teach myself how to decorate cakes, cupcakes, cookies quite well...love when I am asked where I bought DD's birthday cake at her home parties. Not school---oh, please. Her bday is in the summer, but they can't let that pass---they said all summer birthday would celebrate their 1/2 birthdays. The teacher's idea of "half" was at her 7 month mark--not 6 month--hubby and I had a chuckle.

On Aug 12, 2007

In regards to DD being left out with the aid's celebration of her own ADULT birthday--this wasn't another parent; it was the school staff. I did speak to the teacher about it and she apologized FOR THE AID. No responsibility on her part--the one who's signature was on the 504. And I was given the robotic response of "Your daughter appeared fine".

Yes, she appears better than fine. I'll even say she has more self-control than most of her peers. I am always amazed at how she conducts herself---but actually sacrifices herself. I wish she was the type of kid who would throw a tantrum, yell, cry..react in some way to let the adults have it thrown in their faces that they all stupidly overlooked how hurt 2 children's feelings were (she and another child with food allergies who didn't even tell the parent)--trust me, our kids learn to not rock the boat, not draw attention to themselves, particularly in regard to food issues.

These people DO NOT CARE or DO NOT BELIEVE there is emotional damage by what they do or not do for our children. It isn't exclusive to peanut allergies. Pick any disability and go to a similar support board and the same discussions are happening over there.

I am thoroughly disgusted with the behavior shown by staff at my DD's school last year. We have a new principal, new teacher, and a new nurse. I hope for better. I expect better. I will demand better. My mind set is a lot like yours gvmom. We tried our best to not argue every violation last year--let some things go. Not this year.

Perhaps we can get a group rate with our tshirts (Mouser, gvmom, and me).

GOOD WISHES & LUCK FOR ALL OF US FOR A BETTER SCHOOL YEAR!

[This message has been edited by PinkPoodle (edited August 13, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

Speaking of singing songs, gvmom, was it your kiddo who had to sing the hymn "Now Thank We All Our God?" or was it "Come Ye Thankful People Come" at school at Thanksgiving?

Teaching history to some, religious exclusion to others. Yes--it happens.

On Aug 12, 2007

[b]gvmom, was it your kiddo who had to sing the hymn[/b]

It was "We Gather Together". And yet another cause to be looked at like a 6-eyed monster when I asked about more information about this hymn. You know, cause my son was supposed to be singing something religious in a public school. Freak that I am, interested in the actual curriculum and if they are breaching a church/state thing.

[b]I hope for better. I expect better. I will demand better. My mind set is a lot like yours gvmom. We tried our best to not argue every violation last year--let some things go. Not this year.[/b]

I hope things go better for you too.

I think we all should expect better.

AND

I think we all should demand better.

We documented every violation, with a smile, and with understanding. Make sure you do too.

This year, I'm done being nice though. I am frayed. I am tired. And I'm done with this rolling over and being a quiet, don't make waves, thing.

We have reached a line. We have certain things that we are waiting on. School is two weeks away too.

This is the time that PETA or ActUp should recruit me......*raising arm in defiance* *letting out a barbaric "yeah"*

[b]These people DO NOT CARE or DO NOT BELIEVE there is emotional damage by what they do or not do for our children. It isn't exclusive to peanut allergies. Pick any disability and go to a similar support board and the same discussions are happening over there.[/b]

And I almost say, let it be at their peril. If they don't care, make them... if only to save their jobs. Whoever it is. To ignore the rights of those with disabilities is obnoxious, and those that do so shouldn't find themselves in fields that deal with children at the very least. The right to accommodations is protected by the federal government. Letting schools get the best of us because we let them get away with it shouldn't be acceptable to any of us anymore.

And really, there is a line that I draw as far as how far we would take things with the school..... the cost to our children that we don't think makes it worth it... but I'll tell you, we aren't going down without a bit of a fight.

[b]Because they think they are earning gold stars, angel wings, brownie points...whatever..to bring in some fabulous looking baked good. These are the Cupcake Queens.[/b]

Loved this btw. *snicker* *snicker*

Oh, and also, I do realize I'm working backwards through some posts. Sorry. I'm crazed right now.

[b]With regard to the teachers having to care (I think that's basically what you are hoping for, right--because if they actively try to include it means they must care for our children, right?)--I don't know that this can be fostered in this way.[/b]

What I'm hoping for is that first I can appeal to their humanity. Appeal to the fact that they would say that they would care. Next, if that failed, I would appeal to their sense of not being revealed as a hypocrite along with a violation write-up. Last, I would write a violation write up, followed possibly by the notification of my intent to file an OCR complaint. Finally, filing a complaint. (this of course presupposes that an OCR complaint hasn't been filed yet)

[b]I think folks are used to seeing FA kids getting the short end of the stick and assume that they're used to it, that it doesn't bother them. It's just one more let down, right?[/b]

I don't think people are used to seeing it. I think they are used to seeing parents making it okay. They are used to seeing parents gloss over the fact that their child is being left out. They are used to hearing, "oh, well, that's okay... we'll just have this safe little thing over here... no worries.." as we turn away, smile disappearing off our faces, stomach turning, and sinking feeling in our hearts. That is what they are used to.

Maybe they should hear, "Can I see the list of ingredients and allergen warnings please?" "I'm sure you didn't purposely set out to exclude my child.... did you receive that notice that we sent home to the parents about his FA's? I know it had all of our contact information on it so people could ask us questions." "Oh, well, I'm sorry you'll have to take these cupcakes home after you went to all that trouble, maybe next time you can call me and I'll give you some ideas for safe things that the entire class can eat... including my child." "BTW, did your child like the goody bag I sent for my son's birthday? The kids didn't even miss the food they had so much fun with that stuff." "TA-TA Muffy, Biffy, Taffy, and HEATHER".

Okay, okay... fantasy. But it could happen! And remember, eventually Winona does get the red bow!

[b]But I don't know that a teacher is going to care about exclusion to that extent. And if a teacher isn't already moved by this allergy, seeing my child go without won't move them (it happened this year and no one batted an eye).

But I'll be very interested to be proved wrong. You'll keep us posted about this, won't you?[/b]

I can try though. They might not care from their heart. But how many OCR complaints do they want? Do they want an examination of their implementation of "Standard of Care" laws..... if I ever figure out what body deals with that?

If the USDA has reign over food dispensed in the school.....if I ever figure anything out on that end.... do they want a complaint being investigated by the USDA?

And, really, I'm not big on proving people wrong.... you know, like I have some thing I want to prove to people.... but in this instance I do hope that I can prove you wrong in the sense that we end up having some better results this year, even including using my proposed idea as part of it all.

Hopefully, you won't have to encounter such stuff as all this in your new place!

On Aug 12, 2007

Last year when we were getting DD IEP I started reading about the psychological aspect of PA. Basically, we were freaked! It is hard enough to raise a daughter (or son)to be self confident, feel like they 'fit in,' be a leader, and all the other personality traits that makes them feel on top of the world. Add to that struggle a built in identifier to 'keep your child safe' that puts them at seperate tables, gives them seperate treats, makes them the reason the class can't go on certain field trips, make certain crafts...... and we wonder why our kids have food anxiety? are hesitant to make new friends? Hate new situations?... I just don't understand why it is O.K. to openly discriminate against our kids.

When the psychologist did our evaluation he saw the potential for a bright, carefree, social child to develop psychological issues from other people's reaction to her PA. He specificaly listed 'seperate tables and other acts that singled out' our daughter as detrimental to her long term mental health. When I read it I wanted to say "duh," but I understood that it needed to be put in because of things I had read on PA.com. Sometimes I think administrators just don't think. They see an easy answer and don't look at what they are doing to an individual child for what? Do they forget it is just Peanuts? Add to that Cupcake Queens who choose to not get the 'life or death' part of our situation but want to 'show off' their momminess...... and our kids are sunk if the school chooses not to uphold their 504 or IEP.

I agree that we should-as it is safe- give our children every chance to feel like any other kid at school.

Sorry for the rant. I just wish people could see how NORMAL life without peanuts can be.

On Aug 12, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]I can try though. They might not care from their heart. But how many OCR complaints do they want? Do they want an examination of their implementation of "Standard of Care" laws..... if I ever figure out what body deals with that?

[/b]

okay, so don't hold me to this, it's just off the cuff and not really official. It's just an impression.

Standard of Care is generally a term applied in the healthcare field. And let me tell you, most of the time, there's no one specific absolute way to handle each instance. It revolves more around what another similiarly trained, prepared, reasonable, and prudent professional would do in the same situation and a combination of supportable options to form a path. It's where the educational background and experience comes in.

There's not always *only* one course of action, one just better be able to justify their actions with documentable support. [i]Evidence Based[/i]. People are individuals and of course, sometimes, medical history figures into determining the *best* course of action. Sometimes, there are not a lot of choices, and the ones there are aren't too thrilling, either.

A standard of care is generally arrived at through the collaberation of many diciplines. They are not always something you will find in a book chained to the entrance of an institution entitled: "Our Standards of Care." (Although you might find "Standard Operating Procedures" somewhere in the administrative offices---or "Policy and Procedures" in certain institutions.)

[url="http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa-197.pdf"]http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa-197.pdf[/url]

This 2004 article mentions "intensive glucose managment" as becomming the "standard of care" in the icu. Well, guess what? It has. For a while now. And as the article indicated, a [i]protocol[/i] was developed. To *me* many times, a Standard of Care is best described as something that involves lots of little subplots, policies, protocols, SOP's and evidence based practice to create effective [i]management[/i]. But sure, you just might find some smaller bits of the big picture in black and white. I'm just saying that *to me* it's always not black and white. It's maybe what another prudent, similiarly trained, possibly licensed, and reasonable individual would do. In that situation.

But standard of care---Google had a good definition (IMHO):

[url="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=define%3A++standard+of+care"]http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=define%3A++standard+of+care[/url]

check out the last one.

anywhoooo. some are referenceable directly, like *our* Unit Standards. (might be different elsewhere) ie: turn and reposition at least every 2 hours and documented, vital signs every one hour and documented, open heart patients a one to one for the first twenty four hours or until extubated, iv sites checked every hour and documented, etc...

Here, the curse of [i]guidelines[/i] (remember the "wellness policy guidelines"??):

[url="http://www.guideline.gov/summary/summary.aspx?ss=15&doc_id=4915&nbr=3512"]http://www.guideline.gov/summary/summary.aspx?ss=15&doc_id=4915&nbr=3512[/url]

[url="http://www.thoracic.org/sections/clinical-information/critical-care/evidence-based-critical-care/scientific-statements-and-practice-guidelines.html"]http://www.thoracic.org/sec tions/clinic...guidelines.html[/url]

so....sometimes, I don't *think* it's always something [i]tangible[/i]. Until an expert witness is invited to the party. Or several. The more in agreement....

But [i]guidelines[/i]. Remember that Mass. Document? It meant something to me. It's not often in the field of education I see something that [i]concrete[/i]. Well, at least not I'm like to seeing in my profession.

So. Professional Organizations. Governing Bodies. Licensing Bodies. [i]Guidelines[/i]. Professional Journals. What another reasonable, prudent, similiarly prepared (and licensed?) person would do. Or a whole bunch of them probably is a lot stronger statement when they agree, than not. It can get pretty messy....

Or, sometimes, it's straight to the point. Finito. Mano-a-Mano.

ps....maybe that "guidelines" clearing house might be something of interest. I don't know.

ie:

[url="http://www.guideline.gov/search/searchresults.aspx?Type=3&txtSearch=school+allergy+management&num=20"]http://www.guideline.gov/search/searchre...nagement&num=20[/url]

You know it's not advice, I still can't pinpoint a lot of this stuff all in one place, in black and white myself, but hey, after fifteen years, I still feel a confidence when I walk into work, and the links may not be accurate or current still.

[This message has been edited by The #l Mouser! (edited August 13, 2007).]

On Aug 12, 2007

I smell a bear.

On Aug 12, 2007

I'm supposed to be upstairs watching a movie, waiting for the Perseid Meteor shower, but I snuck away.

A little cheese perhaps for you Mouser. Thought you might like something to sink your teeth into. Like you, don't hold me to the following links, they too are just off the cuff and are what have helped add fuel to my musings:

[url="http://www.ocde.us/downloads/legal/LiabilityForNeglSept2001.pdf"]http://www.ocde.us/downloads/legal/LiabilityForNeglSept2001.pdf[/url]

[url="http://www.educationlawconsortium.org/forum/2005/papers/daneu.pdf"]http://www.educationlawconsortium.org/forum/2005/papers/daneu.pdf[/url]

There is another pdf that I saved a copy of but now can't get the website.

See where those take you for now........

On Aug 12, 2007

[b]I smell a bear.[/b]

Yes, it's managed to squeeze itself into a smaller skin and grow a longer tail. Less obtrusive than it's caucasian maligning counterpart that was also an alter ego.

On Aug 13, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by lilpig: [b][b]I smell a bear.[/b]

Gvmom's reply: Yes, it's managed to squeeze itself into a smaller skin and grow a longer tail. Less obtrusive than it's caucasian maligning counterpart that was also an alter ego. [/b]

ROFL [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Don't know if it's because I'm totally punchy right now, or that was the funniest thing I've read on here for a while...

You've got me thinking gvmom (which is dangerous btw) I'm going to read through the various links, think more, and comment more later.

I will say this though -- and not happily. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] My ds could be a case study for the psychological aspects of FAs. While he is frequently a very happy little boy, he's always bringing up food discussions with others, always looking to compare what people are eating, and is now able to express to me how much he hates his allergies. While I'm glad he can confide his feelings, I'm miserable that's how he feels.

I don't know if his feelings are somewhat tied to being allergic to the fabulous trifecto of milk, eggs, and peanuts, or he would feel this way no matter what.

He's definitely one of those kids who wants to fit in, with clothes, sports teams, friends, you name it.

While I fully believe some kids can accept their "differentness" wrt to FA, I [b] know [/b] there are some who struggle. I've been trying to preach the whole "everyone is different" thing and he could care less. I'm very afraid for my ds starting Kindergarten for so many reasons, his feeling excluded is definitely one of them [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] Meg

On Aug 13, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b][b]I smell a bear.[/b]

Yes, it's managed to squeeze itself into a smaller skin and grow a longer tail. Less obtrusive than it's caucasian maligning counterpart that was also an alter ego. [/b]

I gave you more than the fifteen minutes (never even got my cup o'joe) you gave me, and I will indulge you further. I think I've been quite hospitable, tho you never even told me what you thought of my shirt. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

I got up early just for you. It's the first thing I came to. There's a good chance I might regret it, given the tone I'm reading. Band lessons today, appointments, back to school shopping, a little time in the pool. Ant remediation.

this link:

[url="http://www.ocde.us/downloads/legal/LiabilityForNeglSept2001.pdf"]http://www.ocde.us/downloads/legal/LiabilityForNeglSept2001.pdf[/url]

the bolded ideals within. sounds like they come from somewhere, yes? Noteably, the court cases cited don't instill great confidence in thinking a school would be obligated to assume the same duty of care as *I* would regarding my children, (considering my background, and my experience with their specific needs) but rather, that of the general public conglomerate, although some looked more on the promising side than others. I could be wrong on all counts) Remember who the author of the document is. Keep it in mind.

Anywhooo. Those items that give the ring of a Standard of Care. The [i]Ideal[/i]. By themselves, pretty open ended. Up for interpretation. I guess what were looking for is a document(s) defining the scope of each one, not just court cases, right?

For instance, in healthcare, there is a Standard of Care (although some might term it a "Policy") that relate to the expectation of Privacy.

[url="http://www.hhs.gov/news/facts/privacy.html"]http://www.hhs.gov/news/facts/privacy.html[/url]

To me, in so many words, the link describes more the general scope, than defining the standard itself, and general expectations as well as mentioning the actual law these expectations should stem from. The driving force behind the standard. And as I would expect the idea of Monitorability and Enforcement methods for Achieving this Standard of Care (the Law, encouraged by research, journals, professional organizations, governing bodies, etc...) are mentioned as well. It's the law that creates the actual defacto limitations, which, still, are probably open for interpretation.

I'm just not counting on the educational system to have that kind impetus. If I'm wrong, I'd be thrilled. It takes a certain level of.........compulsion, interest, regard.

First off, one need be able (or want) to get up early due to it. School hours. As if. Not a soul in my child's school building until fifteen minutes before the doors open.

I've quit asking that my two oldest children, both with IEP's meet their *primary* teachers prior to the start of school. You'd think I'd had asked for their first born. (Or their bagel and java chip lite.) It's just not [i]do-able[/i]. (yeah, that was sarcasm)

I don't know if there is a school nurse hired yet, I don't know if they found an aide, I don't know if there is even *the* classroom I was promised. That was agreed upon in the IEP. What do I know?

I know I'll manage. If that's how they want to run things, I can play ball. Whatever, you're sick of my rambling. I *do* tend to talk about myself, or situations surrounding me, particularly when drawing parallels, but hey, it's not like I have much else to draw on. I'm not a social butterfly, and my experiences in that arena, *are* pretty limited. Always have been. I've never been good at uncomfortable silences and neither are my children. It's almost like we *have* to have *something* to talk about. To hang on to.

Back to Patient Privacy example as a Standard of Care.

The Expectation.

Don't forget, it's not just something they put in writing and therefore became. In order to implement this standard, there have been numerous changes, based on definable characteristics.

Particularly in the way we gather, document, store, retrieve, and disseminate information. It didn't happen overnight, and it's a animal continually in progress.

Quality Improvement.

I used to be able to use as many pages of nursing documentation notes to describe something. Now, it's electronic. It's limited to a series of check boxes and pre determined descriptors. There is a little "annotative" box but it's limited to so many characters. (It's quite a relief actually, but I'll tell you, there's always a trade off with such things. I always felt there was a greater impetus on behalf of the patient when charting was more [i]freestyle[/i]. Less inhibited.

I could squeeze a lot into those pages, and if I [i]needed[/i] more blanks, there was always the xerox. And yes, the system does appear to provide the institution [i]as well[/i] with a greater degree of protection. It's a bit on the dummy proof side. Which isn't always a bad thing either, since it does afford a checklist of sorts. But I wouldn't exchange having skilled employees for those who need dummy proofing. KWIM? You know what they say about things getting lost in translation. Sometimes, the descriptor I need isn't there, and I'm forced to check a little white box that really isn't as accurate (or call down to "Information Systems" and ask why.

Anyways.

Wouldn't it be great if there was something like the link I posted for Privacy, for Food Allergies in schools? Who knows, maybe there is.

The link may not be accurate, applicable, current, etc... It's just a way to demonstrate an idea.

On Aug 13, 2007

If I willingly send my child into a situation that I, the *expert* in caring for my child, deem unsafe, am not satisfied with, have been "vocal" against, how does that define "Duty of Care"?

On Aug 13, 2007

Oh, and I'm not saying that Standards of Care are limited to the healthcare field, just that they appear to be more evident and more utilized there. I'm not saying that as fact, just how it appears. It's stuff we toss around every day. It's part of our language. It's part of our identity.

Thanks for breakfast.

On Aug 13, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]that was also an alter ego. [/b]

Originally? Where I got the idea?

It's my nickname at work.

(apologies for serial posting, but I don't really like to edit at this point...)

On Aug 13, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by mommyofmatt: [b] ROFL [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Don't know if it's because I'm totally punchy right now, or that was the funniest thing I've read on here for a while...

[/b]

Yes, I am quoting myself. The #1 Mouser (any chance we could shorten this to mouser?), I interpreted the tone as good natured teasing, that's why I was laughing...Meg

On Aug 13, 2007

McCobbre, you really do think it has to do with being Canadian?

We didn't have the written school plan until Grade One, but the "peanut free" letters went home from JK on.

Why was it do-able?

I'm not saying that I shouldn't have been a fly on the wall of the classroom sometimes when a parent was told they either had to take things home or divvy (?) them up to be taken home after the school day had ended. I'm not saying the Cupcake Queens went away with smiles on their faces, but they did go away.

I remember posting here about one Hallowe'en party that I was disappointed in - lack of homemade goods - under Living with PA - and it was pointed out to me that I was, in fact, lucky. I could read ingredients (or the teacher could or my son could).

I am unclear as to when the whole homemade anything eating by either of my children became something that I thought was not necessary - also due to what I had read on this board.

I didn't use the word do-able to offend anyone. It was the best word I could think of using (I know it's not a word) to say what I wanted to say when my thoughts are coming out disjointed; not all at once with regard to what I feel I have to say; and when I'm dealing with the vibes I'm dealing with in my own household.

Anyone else who has posted - if you have read my posts in particular - do you feel it is because I'm Canadian? Because if it is general consensus then it doesn't matter one wit how I was able to make it do-able, if it's a Canadian thing when gvmom is in America.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 13, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by McCobbre: [b] You Canadians live different lives than we do down here (for the most part). And you're very lucky. [/b]

May I second that?

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

~Elizabeth

On Aug 13, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b] Anyone else who has posted - if you have read my posts in particular - do you feel it is because I'm Canadian? Because if it is general consensus then it doesn't matter one wit how I was able to make it do-able, if it's a Canadian thing when gvmom is in America. [/b]

Just my point of view on this (no expert on Canada), but just off the top of my head --

>Canada seems to have better labeling laws, which sure helps in dealing with FA

>Canadians seem to be -- on the whole -- less "all about ME" as is the stereotype (rightly deserved, IMHO) of Americans

>Canadians often have a "live and let live" or, perhaps, more tolerant nature toward those with differences, be they religious, ethnic, health, etc. (Or, perhaps, the discrimination, when it occurs, is far less publicized than it is in the USA.)

But, just because you have the pluses (as viewed by me) you may in Canada, this does NOT mean that how you managed to get the food-free classrooms is not VERY applicable here -- clearly [i] you played a big part [/i] it why it was do-able. So, please continue to share anything you can in that vein here.

We can all learn from each other, regardless of what side of the border or ocean we are on. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

~Eliz

Edited so it better means what I'm trying to say.

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 13, 2007).]

On Aug 13, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b] I obviously had the teacher's co-operation, and more importantly, the principal's.

[/b]

Re-read all your posts in this thread, and this is the single sentence that stands out for me.

In Texas (grade K & 1) the principal was clearly NOT going to work with us at all -- even said exactly that in first phone conference with me. Her attitude was the single-most important driving factor as to why we homeschooled there & did not put son into school.

In Georgia (grade 2 & now 3) the public school's only solution (per the District Superintendent) was to send our son miles away to a school for which we were not zoned, which had the worst academic performance and records and reputation for the entire area. It was the ONLY school where they would put 504 into place which included full-time nurse. (Teachers in this state are not required to administer meds -- and many refuse out of liability, so nobody would have been onsite to give EpiPen at any other school.) We put our children into private school, at least 2 other new-PA kids there -- and it has worked (with bumps & some real mistakes plus a few other parents really peeved, but no reactions) so far ONLY because the teachers were highly co-operative and in-the-know and "take charge" (meaning no parents buffaloed them).

[i] I suspect that how you approached the principal, combined with possibly the principal's naturally receptive nature was instrumental in getting his/her support.[/i]

More and more, in the USA in general, the principal is under such pressure no meet the NCLB (No Child LEft Behind) benchmarks and to "bring up" their school's test scores that they could give a mouse's behind when it comes to dealing with special needs situations. There is also an "executive privilege" (negative) mentality growing among many school administrators & principals in our country. A "Don't _____ with Me" mentality as to his/her domain, if you will. It is sickening, because many of them have lost sight of the fact that this is supposed to be

all

about

the

CHILDREN.

~Elizabeth, needing coffee

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 13, 2007).]

On Aug 13, 2007

Just my personal experience here, but wanted to add that my current situation in south Georgia may be highly unique -- by virtue of the fact that this IS a place where the [i]need [/i] to fly the confederate flag AND serve everything with a helping of their beloved peanut (huge Georgia cash crop) is [i]possibly genetic[/i]. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

~Eliz

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 13, 2007).]

On Aug 13, 2007

I live in the North (no peanut crops) and still meet lots of resistance from the school. Food=Birthday Easy equation---what don't YOU get??!! I'm the stupid one, apparently. Why complain, "its just a cute little assignment" (or treat---whatever the situation is at the time). I'm a kill joy, I suppose.

It is hard for me to see the necessity of cucpakes on a child's birthday at school as my children went to another school for 3 years were there was no food at birthday celebrations. The kids brought in a special story and pictures to share about the birth day or if they were adopted, they brought in a special story related to their situation.

The kids always had so much fun seeing their friends as babies in pictures. The teachers made a big deal of the birthday child by making him/her a birthday crown, a birthday sticker to wear, and a little good bag to take home with all non-food items.

Too bad that school only goes up to kindergarten.

On Aug 13, 2007

[b]ROFL Don't know if it's because I'm totally punchy right now, or that was the funniest thing I've read on here for a while... You've got me thinking gvmom (which is dangerous btw) I'm going to read through the various links, think more, and comment more later.[/b]

Glad you got a laugh. If only I could have posted a picture of the image I got of a ginormous hairy bear smushing itself into an itty bitty mouse suit

On Aug 13, 2007

Just want to jump in here and say (with great sadness, actually,) that EB's TX experience is unfortunately NOT LIMITED to the So US.

In fact, it pretty much mirrors what we were told by everyone we talked to prior to Kindy. Pretty much--[i]"Ohhhh, no, [b]don't go away MAD.[/b] Just....ummm, Go Away." Yeah. That's it.... "You have to understand...... "[/i]

[b]Oh do I???[/b]

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Every. Day. In. Every. School.

"We can't..." "You can't expect us to....."

"We just cannot...." "You need to be realistic-- can't dictate to other parents....

real world-- can't shelter-- just the way it is...."

Ohhh, I understood plenty. We homeschooled too. Our other option was medicating our aerosol-sensitive child to the point that she wouldn't even be sufficiently [i]alert enough to ATTEND school[/i] just so that she could stand being in the damned building each day.... and eating in the nurse's office, wearing GLOVES at specials, standing aside while classmates participated more actively, etc.

Such exclusion would leave my daughter an emotional CRIPPLE. I kid you not. She is outwardly one tough little cookie. Only [i]I[/i] have had the pleasure of watching her have a full meltdown-- and she did. Nearly hysterical. All over a bloody birthday party invite that never came from her so-called 'best friend' whose grandmother decided they simply could not possibly stand to be so nervous with my child present. Three years later-- she [i]still[/i] isn't really 'over' this. Be [i]very, VERY[/i] careful not to assume that "It doesn't bother _______." Because that's what my DH thought, too-- until I filled him in on the absolutely [i]shocking[/i], heart-rending meltdowns she has had about such exclusion. No, the 'food' isn't that important. But being made to sit with others and having to answer questions or respond to whispers and stares about why you are [i]different[/i]-- well, that IS.

There is a reason adolescent girls are at the highest risk of a FA fatality. They don't want to make waves-- just are [i]so bloody SICK[/i] of never fitting in. They'll go away and curl up on a bathroom floor to die alone rather than tell their friends that they can't go in to a Chinese restaurant. Just because they want to be 'normal'-- for ONCE.

My daughter KNOWS she's different. I just make it so that she doesn't spend the bulk of her time having her nose rubbed in it. Her life does that just [i]fine[/i] without any help from me. KWIM?

I don't know if I would have the.... ummm, 'cajones' to send my DD without a treat-- I'd be a little too afraid that she'd be tempted if someone (incorrectly) told her something was 'safe.' But I think it may be all that you [i]can[/i] do at this point, gvmom. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

I also think that the most likely outcome is the one already pointed out in this thread (see? I have been following along, just didn't have anything useful to add.... probably [i]then OR now..[/i]. but anyway [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )-- that is, that the nasty passive-aggressive people running this circus will just turn it around into [i]"Boy... what a [b]shame[/b] your mommy is such a ______ that she couldn't be [b]bothered[/b] to send you a treat to enjoy.... (adult pouting face here) I know [b]I[/b] would NEVER do something so MEAN to one of [b]my[/b] kids.[/i]"

I don't think my own daughter is tough enough to sit there and take that. She would either internalize that and worry that I don't really like her... or she'd retaliate verbally, and probably abusively. With liberal profanity, in my estimation. I'm not sure which of those would be worse under the circumstances of the school environment, but I can definitely tell you which one I personally see as the healthy emotional response to that sort of thing. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

But if your kids (and you) are up to it, I think it may stand a chance. MY hat is off to you for being willing to try.

~Corvallis "Killjoy" Mom

Another suggestion-- Find Kimberly Roy, the graduate student who was doing 'psych surveys' on PA a few years back. She was at Kansas, I think. In any case, she posted in research. I'll see if I can find the thread for you. Here it is. (She's on the up-and-up, BTW-- I checked her out before we ever participated in her research study back in '04) [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum16/HTML/000136.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum16/HTML/000136.html[/url]

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited August 13, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited August 13, 2007).]

On Aug 13, 2007

I was unable to read "all" postings due to time but....

I DO agree that food treats should not be what is important in life! Don't send in any replacements because they don't need it -- unfortunately, I don't think the other parents/kids will ever realize the situation.

I am please to say my almost 11 year old has never cried or been upset that he could not participate in a birthday or other treat at school. I sent cookies in a few times in first grade (because I thought I should) but then stopped that. He is obvioulsy different than a non-food allergic child BUT he has NEVER felt excluded.

Even as early as 3 when he would attend outside birthday parties, he would not eat -- just fed him before if necessary. He likes being with other kids, etc. -- food is not making the party!!!!!!!!!!

I think that parents should teach children that getting a cupcake for a birthday celebration is not imperative. If the parents start early not making a big deal, then it won't be.

A similar topic was up 6 months?? ago.

*We have a place at Mt. Tremblant and our family would LOVE to live full-time in Canada. When I was 14 I wrote 20 colleges in Canada to get information*

[This message has been edited by Spoedig (edited August 13, 2007).]

On Aug 13, 2007

Pure & simple, food or no food,

if our son is "odd man out" simply because of his PA, he is bothered, sometimes deeply.

An even playing field in this matter doesn't seem too much to ask.

SIGH.

Whatever happened to wishing the birthday boy or girl "Happy Birthday," singing the birthday song en masse with 3rd grade gusto, and leaving it at that??

Food free. Frenzy free. Cupcake Queen free.

~Eliz

On Aug 13, 2007

What has helped with my situation is that our school strongly encourages healthy foods for parties, trying to take the emphasis off cupcakes and cookies.

It's a lot easier to include FA kids with the party foods are 100% juice, crackers, veggies and fruit.

------------------ Cheryl, mom to Jason (9 MFA including peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, coconut, sesame, squid) Joey (7 NKA) Allison (4 milk allergic, suspect shellfish, avoiding PN/TN for now) Ryan (1) nka *knock on wood*

On Aug 14, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]Glad you got a laugh. If only I could have posted a picture of the image I got of a ginormous hairy bear smushing itself into an itty bitty mouse suit

On Aug 14, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: [b]

"We can't..." "You can't expect us to....."

"We just cannot...." "You need to be realistic-- can't dictate to other parents....

real world-- can't shelter-- just the way it is...."

[omitted stuff]

My daughter KNOWS she's different. I just make it so that she doesn't spend the bulk of her time having her nose rubbed in it. Her life does that just [i]fine[/i] without any help from me. KWIM?

I don't know if I would have the.... ummm, 'cajones' to send my DD without a treat-- I'd be a little too afraid that she'd be tempted if someone (incorrectly) told her something was 'safe.' But I think it may be all that you [i]can[/i] do at this point, gvmom. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

I also think that the most likely outcome is the one already pointed out in this thread (see? I have been following along, just didn't have anything useful to add.... probably [i]then OR now..[/i].[/b]

Well, this is helpful--sometimes just knowing that others hear the same thing, while distressing, is affirming.

I wonder what it will be like for the folks behind us in seven to ten years. Bucking the system like this now can only mean better things for the kids being born this year with PA, if not for your kids themselves (which, frankly is what you're working for most immediately, I know).

gvmom, with this act you're refusing to allow your kids to move to the back of the bus.

On Aug 14, 2007

Cin--I was going to repond to your question, but then I read Elizabeth's post. So: what Elizabeth said--especially the part about the different psyche in Candada so against our own "out for #1."

I told a friend whose daughter is going to school in Toronto that someday DS may get to go away to camp--but it will probably be in Canada.

I think our American psyche--shall I call it a pathos?--is at the root of some of our issues. There's such a sense of the survival of the fittest here and of "the majority rules." Perhaps as more and more kids get PA our kids will get greater acceptance simply because in this democracy, the majority does rule. And that's why I was thinking in my earlier post just now that the landscape will be so different in 7-10 years--in large part because we're carving it out now but also because (and I didn't make this clear) the population will be differnt.

But our kids need inclusion [i]now[/i] to grow up to be healthy adults.

On Aug 14, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by McCobbre: [b]Cin--I was going to repond to your question, but then I read Elizabeth's post. So: what Elizabeth said--especially the part about the different psyche in Candada so against our own "out for #1."

I told a friend whose daughter is going to school in Toronto that someday DS may get to go away to camp--but it will probably be in Canada.

I think our American psyche--shall I call it a pathos?--is at the root of some of our issues. There's such a sense of the survival of the fittest here and of "the majority rules." Perhaps as more and more kids get PA our kids will get greater acceptance simply because in this democracy, the majority does rule. And that's why I was thinking in my earlier post just now that the landscape will be so different in 7-10 years--in large part because we're carving it out now but also because (and I didn't make this clear) the population will be different.

But our kids need inclusion [i]now[/i] to grow up to be healthy adults. [/b]

On Aug 14, 2007

To me, and it may have been answered already, but this is the first question I *should* have asked - does your child's 504 Plan say that there is to be no food in the classroom? Or, does it say that if there is food it is to be "peanut free"? If it says that it is to be "peanut free", to what extent (i.e., no "may contains", "made ins")?

If I remember correctly, your child entering Grade 3 eats lunch outside on the blacktop (or there was a table set up)? So, lunch and snacks are eaten out of the classroom?

Just throwing this out because again, I don't know if it's helpful or not - but again, why I know that this is do-able. To me, as I said, my son going to school meant that he HAD to be included in each and every school event, even if it was before or after school (the Fun Fair thing in SK). The "before school" thing would have been the two breakfast programs I ran - both in different school board districts in Ontario. I insisted that they also be "peanut free" and that included no "may contains" either. I mean, if I was working the thing (volunteering the thing), my kids were coming in to eat when I was there so it had to be safe for my son. And again, albeit mistakes being made and food having to be removed and taken to the office, it was done.

In looking at successive (?) grades - co-operation certainly of the teacher and principal affected whether or not this was work-able, do-able.

In Grade 2 - when the horror show first began - it was the teacher that undermined everything. She was supposed to be checking and not allowing, at that time "may contains" in the classroom. Three months into the school year, I find out about the "may contains". Then, the job of inspecting was given to an E.A. (which had always been done in the past - JK, SK, Grade One). But, by that time, all he** had broken loose. The principal was SO great - the teacher, well, I still have some very nasty thoughts about her. It was that year that I started to hear really horrible words come out of other parents' mouths. Oh, even at the beginning of the school year when the "peanut free" classroom letter went home. One woman did call the superintendent of the school board to complain about her child's *right* to eat peanut products. She was given "the party line".

Grade Three. That was probably the worst year of my life. The principal (a complete and utter you know what) did not even want my son in his school. I had to fight with him (and call The Ontario Human Rights Commission) to even get my son into school. I'll have to re-check, but I do believe Jess missed at least the first day of school, in a new school, because we had to get it sorted. The principal would not even accept my written school plan; even though it adheres to school board policy throughout Ontario.

Needless to say (or not necessarily), the teacher took the same stance. It was a horrible year. Horrible. But I still kept those gosh darn cupcakes out of the classroom.

By Grade 4 (the current school at which my son will be entering Grade 7), I had a whole new thing to deal with - the lunch room. And then, in our case, the "peanut free" BENCH.

As I posted in this thread, I did go in and check at parties about the food; but to me, what was in the classroom wasn't the *issue* I could focus on that year - the BENCH was. Does that make sense?

Grade 5, I still had the BENCH to deal with (a new and improved one) and I gave my son the responsibility of checking food before he ate it.

If I felt like trailblazing these days, it would be *my* need to see written guidelines for a school calling itself "reduce the risk" when to me, it's not.

McCobbre, certainly, whatever is done now as far as "trailblazing" (if you will) will benefit the children coming after our's. I've seen that happen already when my son had been the only PA child in the school and then other's followed. The parents didn't have to go through what I (and I guess my son) went through.

I remember even when I was on my *missions*, there were members here who had had the work done for them by someone else (which was great) and they NEVER encountered the difficulties I did through the years. I often wished I was them. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 14, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: [b]Every. Day. In. Every. School.

"We can't..." "You can't expect us to....."

"We just cannot...." "You need to be realistic-- can't dictate to other parents....

real world-- can't shelter-- just the way it is...."

[/b]

[i]"you just can't force parents though"[/i]

On Aug 14, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: [b] [i]"you just can't force parents though"[/i][/b]

What it comes down to is that you can't force other people to care about your child as much as you do.

On Aug 14, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by solarflare: [b] What it comes down to is that you can't force other people to care about your child as much as you do.

[/b]

Who ever said it was about forcing [i]other[/i] people to care about [i]my*[/i] child as much as I do?

On Aug 14, 2007

I am under no illusions regarding [i]that[/i]-- and after gvmom's experiences over the past year, I doubt seriously that she is either... Nobody is saying that you can EVER 'mandate' that someone else 'care' about your child more.

I think what she is looking to accomplish is to make it OBVIOUS to EVERYONE just how petty and horrible the behavior is.

Right?

I mean, is it right to be told "Back of the bus" if it is 'probably' okay with you to sit there anyway? If your friend says, "It's okay-- we'll go for a better ride in my car later..."?

All I see gvmom's strategy as doing is offering passive resistance (hey-- [i]any[/i] resistance is an improvement compared to what most of us automatically do) to being designated as 'second class citizens' by virtue of your FA. She's just saying she intends to stop the enabling that provides the social veneer that makes such behavior 'okay' in most people's eyes. Because most of us recognize that no social veneer is [i]ever[/i] truly going to make it 'right' for our kids. My compensatory actions just make [i]other[/i] kids and parents more 'comfortable' with their exclusion of my daughter. It just teaches her that it is okay for other people to be ignorant, thoroughly thoughtless jerks toward her.... and that as long as they do it with a smile, she should wipe away her tears and smile right back, even if she is dying inside.

Not saying I am tough enough to do what gvmom proposes-- but I sure [i]wish[/i] I were. I might not have 'skipped' strings at the teacher's request so that the rest of the class could enjoy their PARTY celebrating their accomplishments. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] I think the thing is that we try so hard to smooth things over in one way or another-- but all that incident did was make my daughter feel dismissed-- unimportant to anyone. And worse? That her feelings on the subject weren't even important [i]to ME.[/i] Bad, bad, bad mommy moment, smoothing that one over.

On Aug 14, 2007

Sorry this is going to be long again. Apparently somebody has appointed themselves as post police and I don

On Aug 14, 2007

[b]I am under no illusions regarding that-- and after gvmom's experiences over the past year, I doubt seriously that she is either... Nobody is saying that you can EVER 'mandate' that someone else 'care' about your child more. I think what she is looking to accomplish is to make it OBVIOUS to EVERYONE just how petty and horrible the behavior is. Right? [/b]

Right. Among other things.

[b]I mean, is it right to be told "Back of the bus" if it is 'probably' okay with you to sit there anyway? If your friend says, "It's okay-- we'll go for a better ride in my car later..."? [/b]

A-HA! Great example.

[b]All I see gvmom's strategy as doing is offering passive resistance (hey-- any resistance is an improvement compared to what most of us automatically do) to being designated as 'second class citizens' by virtue of your FA. She's just saying she intends to stop the enabling that provides the social veneer that makes such behavior 'okay' in most people's eyes. Because most of us recognize that no social veneer is ever truly going to make it 'right' for our kids. My compensatory actions just make other kids and parents more 'comfortable' with their exclusion of my daughter. It just teaches her that it is okay for other people to be ignorant, thoroughly thoughtless jerks toward her.... and that as long as they do it with a smile, she should wipe away her tears and smile right back, even if she is dying inside.[/b]

Yes.

And remember though too, it is passive resistance to something that treats my child, who IS designated with having a disability, as a second class citizen, and who HAS accommodations that are supposed to be enforced

On Aug 14, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: [b]I am under no illusions regarding [i]that[/i]-- and after gvmom's experiences over the past year, I doubt seriously that she is either... Nobody is saying that you can EVER 'mandate' that someone else 'care' about your child more.

I think what she is looking to accomplish is to make it OBVIOUS to EVERYONE just how petty and horrible the behavior is.

Right?

I mean, is it right to be told "Back of the bus" if it is 'probably' okay with you to sit there anyway? If your friend says, "It's okay-- we'll go for a better ride in my car later..."?

All I see gvmom's strategy as doing is offering passive resistance (hey-- [i]any[/i] resistance is an improvement compared to what most of us automatically do) to being designated as 'second class citizens' by virtue of your FA. She's just saying she intends to stop the enabling that provides the social veneer that makes such behavior 'okay' in most people's eyes. Because most of us recognize that no social veneer is [i]ever[/i] truly going to make it 'right' for our kids. My compensatory actions just make [i]other[/i] kids and parents more 'comfortable' with their exclusion of my daughter. It just teaches her that it is okay for other people to be ignorant, thoroughly thoughtless jerks toward her.... and that as long as they do it with a smile, she should wipe away her tears and smile right back, even if she is dying inside.

Not saying I am tough enough to do what gvmom proposes-- but I sure [i]wish[/i] I were. I might not have 'skipped' strings at the teacher's request so that the rest of the class could enjoy their PARTY celebrating their accomplishments. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/mad.gif[/img] I think the thing is that we try so hard to smooth things over in one way or another-- but all that incident did was make my daughter feel dismissed-- unimportant to anyone. And worse? That her feelings on the subject weren't even important [i]to ME.[/i] Bad, bad, bad mommy moment, smoothing that one over.

[/b]

I don't know if this is in response to the "you just can't force parents though" quote I posted, but it had nothing to do with gvmom, but a lot to do with the assumptions I've heard before (and continue to hear) from my counterparts in the educational system. It never has, and never will sit well with me. It's from the thread that is boiling over in Main right now. I swore I wasn't going over there, but I just couldn't let it go in light of *this* discussion. Read it and *then* tell me you don't understand how I feel.

On Aug 14, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: [b] I mean, is it right to be told "Back of the bus" if it is 'probably' okay with you to sit there anyway? If your friend says, "It's okay-- we'll go for a better ride in my car later..."? [/b]

I feel that comparing this to "back of the bus" is like apples to oranges. African Americans were told to go to the back of the bus, based solely on their skin color. My child declines a treat because 'he' knows it will make him sick...I don't see these two things as being equal.

Again, interesting discussion. I can see the thought process behind it...

Kelly

On Aug 14, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b] So, does that mean if the conditions of your children

On Aug 14, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]Will you inform them that your children won

On Aug 14, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by kelly01: [b] I feel that comparing this to "back of the bus" is like apples to oranges. African Americans were told to go to the back of the bus, based solely on their skin color. My child declines a treat because 'he' knows it will make him sick...I don't see these two things as being equal.

Again, interesting discussion. I can see the thought process behind it...

Kelly[/b]

Actually, I think it [i]is[/i] similar. Sure, my child could partake anyway. She knows there would be consequences-- severe ones. She instead is offered something that is [i]separate AND inherently UNEQUAL[/i] to what her peers have.

But when we smile and say, "Oh, that's okay....it didn't really matter...I'll make up for it later..." then we are just allowing it to continue. Tacit approval, even-- you know?

My child is being segregated [i]solely on the basis of her hidden disability.[/i] How is it different?

It is the same, genteel exclusion with a smiley face sticker put on it. I don't see much difference between a 'colored drinking fountain' and a 'snack box.' Those not bearing the brunt of the exclusion (and a few who are, but would like to pretend that it doesn't matter) will shrug and say-- "Yes, but you get to have a drink-- oh, I mean 'treat,' so where's the problem??"

I think it is high time for ME to stop soothing my child with platitudes that she knows are nothing but sugar-coated lies. It [i]isn't[/i] right, and nothing I can say about people's intentions will make it so for her. She [i]knows[/i] that most adults don't care whether she lives or dies. How many other sunny 8 yo kids [i]really KNOW[/i] that about the world they live in? This isn't about shielding her from reality. That [i]is[/i] her reality. I'd just like to prevent her being [i]tortured[/i] by that sort on a regular basis.

On Aug 14, 2007

Mouser, I think on your last two posts you are reading something into my tone. I'm not shaking a finger at you.... I'm inquiring.

I'll have to wade back through..... to find what you said about the circumstances facing you right this moment with respect to the district. That is what is prompting my questions.

I think you are reading a bit too much belligerance into my questions. I'm not trying to be an antagonist.

Of all people I would have figured to really get where I'm coming from it actually would be you... especially because you DID keep your child out of school.

And as for my district? Absolutely. They know.

My older son keeps mentioning that he doesn't want to go back to school.... I keep telling him to be careful what he wishes for. Thinking all the while that he is closer to having a wish come true than he knows.

It is a tough thing to balance. Trying to gear two kids up for school... one who has never been before. Never been away from either DH or I. All the while though, knowing that the big work up will be for naught come the first day.

Today's Tuesday. 8 working days left. I'm not banking on ANYTHING.

[This message has been edited by gvmom (edited August 14, 2007).]

On Aug 14, 2007

[b]I don't know if there is a school nurse hired yet, I don't know if they found an aide, I don't know if there is even *the* classroom I was promised. That was agreed upon in the IEP. What do I know?[/b]

That is what I had in the back of my head.

And I'm questioning not to be a jerk, but those are things that I think should be answered, or known, before we send our kids to school, if we are talking about holding schools to "Standard of Care" ... and their IEP's/504's......

On Aug 14, 2007

[b]Are you saying I should go in, in advance of the beginning of the year, and wag my finger in the face of administration saying: You better not mess with me?[/b]

Oh, I'm sure this'll get the post police on me... can't remember what number I'm up to... but....

Not that you go wag your finger, but that any administration that has entered into an IEP/504 with someone should absolutely be able to tell them if the measures held within the agreement will be ready for implementation on DAY 1.

I know this is pie in the sky, but theoretically speaking, they should be able to tell you, answer questions about, anything you want to throw at them about your child's IEP/504 before school starts -- especially if they expect to have stuff in place and ready for your child when they expect them to show up, so they can collect their check.

Again, this is my new and improved approach. It is communicated more diplomatically by DH. Remember, I'm the one ready to wear activist t-shirts of my own design.

On Aug 14, 2007

Throwing all caution to the wind, and risking being labeled a serial poster, I thought this was well worth a repeat:

[b]Actually, I think it is similar. Sure, my child could partake anyway. She knows there would be consequences-- severe ones. She instead is offered something that is separate AND inherently UNEQUAL to what her peers have.

But when we smile and say, "Oh, that's okay....it didn't really matter...I'll make up for it later..." then we are just allowing it to continue. Tacit approval, even-- you know?

My child is being segregated solely on the basis of her hidden disability. How is it different?

It is the same, genteel exclusion with a smiley face sticker put on it. I don't see much difference between a 'colored drinking fountain' and a 'snack box.' Those not bearing the brunt of the exclusion (and a few who are, but would like to pretend that it doesn't matter) will shrug and say-- "Yes, but you get to have a drink-- oh, I mean 'treat,' so where's the problem??"

I think it is high time for ME to stop soothing my child with platitudes that she knows are nothing but sugar-coated lies. It isn't right, and nothing I can say about people's intentions will make it so for her. She knows that most adults don't care whether she lives or dies. How many other sunny 8 yo kids really KNOW that about the world they live in? This isn't about shielding her from reality. That is her reality. I'd just like to prevent her being tortured by that sort on a regular basis.[/b]

CM.... brilliantly put.

On Aug 14, 2007

I agree with Corvallis Mom. It *is* a back of the bus thing; it is a hidden versus visual physical disability thing. If exclusion happened to a child that had a visible physical disability, all he** would break loose nowadays (as it well should). Our particular school has children with visible physical disabilities bus-ed into it and I have seen remarkable things done to make sure that the children are included (swimming lessons, skating lessons).

There could be the attitude, that oh, well, this child can't walk, he should know that he can't walk, why have him partake in swimming or skating? Um, so he is not excluded from participating in the same thing as his classmates are doing. And I do believe there would be holy he** to pay if he was seated on the sidelines.

So, why should it be any different for our children with a hidden physical disability and one that could KILL them?

gvmom, as far as I can tell (and remembering I know NOTHING about 504 Plans), if it's written in your 504 Plan that there is to be no food in the classroom then there is to be no food in the classroom. If you have gone so far as to have thought about special occasions (as you have) and have stipulated what is allowed, then that is what should be allowed. Nothing else. End of story.

How to enforce it? Easier said than done by the sounds of it. But when push came to shove in Grade 3 with my guy, I did threaten - I will take him out of school if you don't remove that food and I will file a complaint.

Is there a letter going home saying it is a "peanut free" classroom? If there is a letter going home, does it stipulate that if there are going to be birthday party (or other) celebrations, food for that party has to be _________?

Here, when we receive a letter saying that a class is "peanut free", there is a rip-off part at the bottom of the paper where you have to acknowledge that yes, you have read the letter and you have to sign it. Doesn't mean that you are agreeing to do what the letter is asking, but they want you to acknowledge that you at least read the letter and you have to return the signed part to the school.

No, based on the extensive wording of your 504 Plan, I would not be sending in a treat box either.

I wanted to show my son that although he did have a LTFA and perhaps (perhaps) we wouldn't be able to do some stuff in life (not that much actually), as far as when it came to him going to school, he would be INCLUDED. End of story.

That his life was more important to me than another kid's birthday cupcake. And that hopefully (yes, hope), his life was more important to other people than their children's birthday cupcakes that they could very well eat at home.

Life has changed so much since I was a kid. We didn't have this big to-do on our birthdays at school. That's where I'm getting this whole *entitlement* thing I'm pondering in my head (along with other stuff that has been going on). What happened to the days when you simply celebrated by having a birthday party or if you didn't have a birthday party you had a celebratory dinner with your family?

Oh, and to make me mean mom + - I have never sent things in to the school for my kids' birthdays period (even non-food items).

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 14, 2007

I guess I don't really see my sons allergy as a disability. (Again, not arguing with those that do, just don't see it for our family). I just can't equate not being able to eat a cupcake with not being able to walk or see, etc. Yes, it is unfortunate and sometimes unfeeling...but I just don't feel the two things are remotely equal.

I can see the point that would be made by not providing safe treats, I just think that it is the pendulum (sp?) swinging too far to the other side. Maybe it is taking food-which admittedly is around school WAY too much (for the record I am not a cupcake crazy mom myself) and giving it even more power.

(Just my .02, fully realize that others disagree!).

Regards,

Kelly

On Aug 14, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b]I agree with Corvallis Mom. It *is* a back of the bus thing; it is a hidden versus visual physical disability thing.

[/b]

This makes it sound like being black is a physical disability. ????

Honestly I think the comparrison is a real stretch. Compare to a kid in wheelchair is one thing...but to racial discrimination doesn't follow with me. I'll ask Dh what he thinks....he rode on the back of the bus. (he is white but was with his parent's maid on shopping trips to Birmingham, AL - in the late 50's and she was black)

On Aug 14, 2007

Maybe if my child were only PA, or only ingestion-sensitive.... or only sensitive enough to respond to fairly obvious quantities of peanut, I would feel the same way.... that my child's allergy (in her case MFA) didn't rise to the level of 'disability.' I'll never know, I guess. She doesn't have a 'choice' about whether or not to participate.

Not every FA child is entitled to disability protections. There is a reason.

I would also say that it is pretty common of ANY disability for families affected to dislike the "D-word." (I say this w/r to trisomy, mental illness, and diabetes, BTW.) It isn't a definition of who you are.

But the fact is that my child's entire lifestyle is markedly different from her unaffected peers-- outside of school, that is pretty much inevitable (and also [i]okay...[/i]) Heck, it's pretty different from many people who post [i]here[/i] that don't have kids as sensitive.

She doesn't experience life the same way. And much of the time, that's fine. We are all unique.

Settings of her peers where she is set entirely apart from everyone else present by virtue of her allergy are NOT OKAY. We do not 'opt' for those situations IRL.... nor, I suspect, would anyone else here, at least not regularly.

How would any of us feel about an office party we [i]had to attend[/i] in which only foods you could not have were served? What if this 'party' was really just 'eating dangerous food while you sit there'? What if you got to eat your regular lunch while everyone else raved over the special food and asked what you were eating and why you didn't want any of the yummy stuff? What would you do? Bring something so awesome that you didn't care? I'd probably call in sick.

That's the kind of 'smoothing over' that I am beginning to question. It was wrong of me to gracefully acquiesce when I was told that this strings 'party' would really just be about cookies and stuff and could we please just skip class that day? Wrong. It made it easier for the class and the teacher to pretend that it was okay to [i]plan[/i] to exclude my child. They didn't have to see her tears because she wasn't there.

My analogy about the civil rights of African Americans is valid, I think.... if only because a fair number of [i]THEM[/i] also thought that it was just 'asking for trouble' to want true inclusion. It wasn't so bad to use a colored restroom and drinking fountain, really... and heaven knows most Caucasian people had no idea what the problem was. Hey-- I've known people whose lives are relatively unchanged by it all-- because [i]they grew up fortunate enough to 'pass.'[/i] (This was a college friend's mother, BTW... I had no idea my friend was biracial for the first year I knew her.) And after all, they all had access to schools, sports, and even an entire college system of their own. What exactly did they think 'equality' meant?? (Being facetious here-- I understand it perfectly well. But my peers of fifty years ago would NOT have.)

If you don't run into this problem, or have it affect you, then with all due respect, is it possible that your situation is such that you 'can [i]pass?[/i]' (I mean this as a general thought-provoking question, BTW, not directed at anyone in particular.) Or perhaps that your community, (like some in the 60s) is already 'integrated'? Who blazed the cleared trail that you walk?

I can't make my daughter's allergies that unobtrusive in her life and ours. She'd love to be able to eat in a restaurant, or even just not wear a medicalert bracelet and carry around a bag full of thermally-sensitive medications. She'd love to get on an airplane and travel the world. It isn't going to happen for her.

Nobody is saying that our kids (or anyone else) should have a fully 'level' playing field of life. Nobody ever does-- but we are all entitled to human dignity.

Would we tolerate any other officially sanctioned activity that took any involuntary characteristic of just one child in a group and made it the basis of differentiation and isolation? I wouldn't-- it is unecessary and cruel.

She is very good at pretending it doesn't matter. But I have been very surprised at what I have heard her say since I stopped trying to 'shush' her when she complained.

Equal rights are not special rights. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 14, 2007

CM - I totally agree with the "passing" attitude and see that connection...but still find the comparison weak.

And I have no problem with the Disabled label. It is what it is.

This conversation has made think about things in a different way. I'm still not sure it's worth the battle in the scheme of things...but maybe it is.

On Aug 14, 2007

Corvallis Mom, I agree with you again. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Sarahb, please note, there was a ; between the first comment re "back of the bus" (referring to Corvallis Mom's post) and *my* take on visible and hidden physical disabilties.

Do I actually consider my son disabled? C'mon, y'all know me here. You know the ?'s I have asked. Do I see PA stamped on his head. NO. But I do see that Epi-Belt around his waist and try to make darn sure it's on there when he's flying in and out.

Whether I consider my son *disabled* or not I don't think is *my* point. It is that yes, he is. He has a medical condition whereby, albeit hidden, he could DIE if he comes into contact with such and such.

kelly01, I'm really trying to understand your points, but as usual, I suspect, we're at polar opposites on this one and that's okay.

Are you saying that by making a stance against no food that shouldn't be allowed in the classroom in the first place (the food that has not been okayed), we're placing even more importance on the food part of school that I think all of us hate to begin with?

If it's on a legal written document (a 504) that certain food cannot enter a classroom then doesn't that document (or shouldn't that document) supersede what particular members of the community want?

As I posted in another post, we routinely get letters at the start of each school year, that there is a PA child in the classroom and that there are to be no peanut products brought. I think (not speaking on behalf of classes my son has been in), for the most part, people comply. Or is comply a *bad* word?

Jeez, get me going on this and that September Fun Fair at the so-called "reduce the risk" school might be a-changin' this year. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Examples just from the Fun Fair - when you don't work with the school to make it "all inclusive" if you will (which I have not done with this school - and will reiterate - I did do successfully with my son's first school and he could attend the Fun Fair safely):-

* candied apples with peanuts on top * cake sale * baked goods sale * contest where you can win a giant basket of unsafe chocolate * separate vendors set-up in one room selling heaven knows what food wise.

And we attend. And I am ashamed of myself. I tell my guy to get his hot dog or hamburger and that's it. Maybe buy the raffle ticket but probably not because I wouldn't even give unsafe chocolate to someone else.

No, I liked the Fun Fair (and myself) a whole lot better when it included my son's ability to eat safely there.

Ashamed.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 14, 2007

ATM - THANK YOU! I was really befuddled...and didn't think you really could have meant that..but I read it 6 times and was just...well befuddled.

I feel better now. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 14, 2007

Ok....last post of the night...

what of the MFA kid in this conversation? The one who can't have wheat, dairy, soy, egg, peanuts, etc.?

On Aug 14, 2007

An excellent question.

Inclusion means inclusion. That's what I think.

So if that means that I can't pass out latex balloons because of Janey's allergy, and Timmy can't eat wheat cupcakes, well, then, why don't we plan [i]something ELSE entirely??[/i] Oh? Juan is a Jehovah's Witness, you say? Fine. Here is a book for the classroom in my child's name. Can my child bring this and have it read during story time? We'll save 'happy birthday' for tonight at home.

The thing this thread has made me consider is this:

[i]I need to consider carefully why I continue to ENABLE this kind of thing. Is it:

a. Because I'm comfortable with the status quo-- that I truly don't see anything 'wrong' about it?

or

b. Because I don't see what I can do to change it or fear the conflict that I know it will cause to try? [/i]

I am ashamed to admit that it is the latter. I've given up too many times, thinking, "This isn't so bad. At least.....fill in the blank}." I've tried so many times to convince my daughter (and myself) that it was "fine" that events were "almost" accessible for her. Ugh.

Thank you, gvmom, for making my DH and I question our own personal 'comfort zone' that finds activism-based advocacy fairly 'radical' and even 'distasteful.'

I think that I owe my daughter better than to tell her that she should be 'happy enough' with the back of the bus.

On Aug 14, 2007

CM, I can't tell you how much your posts have meant today... and your last... tonight of all nights is just what I needed.

Things maybe be hitting the fan..... in a big way. And in a not good way. I will definitely be tested in my convictions if the end of this day, and the news it brought me, is indication.

[b]Inclusion means inclusion. That's what I think.[/b]

Ditto.

<<>> to all of you tonight.

On Aug 14, 2007

Let me say that I am having to post via phone (I'm traveling) so I will probably have a lot of typos and I can't quote things. Gvmom on p. 3 you made referencee to your your younger son not knowing better (implying than feeling excluded w/o treats) and it would not faze your older son. But isn't the expected outcome of this that they will NOT feel excluded precisely because they will have the same safe store bought labled treats as everyonr else? Pls correct me if I'm wrong.

On Aug 15, 2007

Well, I'm really late to this topic, but will briefly share my thoughts. Don't mean to come across as overly blunt...it's just a function of it being late and I'm short on time.... -------------------------- I personally would not go the passive-aggressive route for the reasons most have mentioned before regarding the impact on your kids (more about that later on). I think your initial thoughts about how people would react is really just wishful thinking. This is the community which allows all the kids to eat on the ground year-end like they are in a 3rd world country, remember????? Everything you've shared in your posts here about your school community (as well as other info) doesn't give me [i]any[/i] sense that any moral outrage would be expressed by school administration or other parents. I think only your kids get hurt.

Here's the paradigm in which we operate when explaining our classroom accommodations to DS with respect to food. Our accommodations are nearly the same - no food in classroom unless peanut and tree nut free. But DS has the option to partake from his "treat box" in order to provide a safe alternative when an acceptable treat is introduced into the classroom and he desires inclusiveness.

It's not about "back of the bus" for us; moral stands don't mean much if it means that DS's psyche is damaged as a result. For us....it's about always making the "safe" food choice when presented with a situation involving food [b]without exception[/b]. [i]This is a crucial lesson involving restraint and choice which he will depend upon to safely guide him through life, regardless of peer pressure, or any other influences.[/i]

A related notion we have discussed, and DS employs, is for him to decide whether he wants anything. There are times when he simply decides that he isn't interested, and he is OK w/that.

I suppose part of it is that we tried hard to instill a good sense of awareness about healthy snacking for DS (and now DD) at a very early age. In K, while other kids started bring all the sugar laden cr*p for snacks, our kids brought fresh apple slices [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] So, as a consequence, he doesn't always feel like he's missing out...he actually thinks (sometimes) that other kids are making bad food choices! So I guess the child's perspective can also weigh into this issue to a large degree...

That's not to say that he doesn't love a good chocolate brownie like the next kid...but he'd prefer to have it at home, with the comfort of knowing that DW made it and it's safe.

I've ranted plenty in the past that food has no place in the classroom, period. But schools are institutions like the QE2, they don't spin on a dime...it takes a long time to steer that ship in a different direction. Frankly, since we are in California (thinking about other recent state legislation passed that is beginning to attack getting junk food out of schools), the quickest path to deal with killing the cupcakes might be via legislation...with increased measures tied to wellness to curtail food consumption during the school day even more...

Getting back to schools and 504's...that's where I really think that pragmatism is what drives our actions in dealing with violations and the like. I'm glad to hear that your "backbone" transplant this past spring was successful [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] It is great that you sound much more willing to engage the school if they don't live up to the 504 accommodations going forward.

However, the realities of 504 enforcement are that you have to use a variety of tools in the arsenal if you want to be successful - Gail's velvet hammer, give 'n' take, good documentation with direct follow-up (not letting them off the hook), and even positive reinforcement when they get something right. While it's nice to have a 504, let's remember that we don't have a Supreme Court ruling like Brown vs. Board of Education or similar watershed case which creates the kind of sea change that we would all surely like to see in the school system. Yes, OCR can be helpful to a point. But, practically speaking, you're not going to file an OCR complaint due to little Johnny not receiving a cupcake as a LRE issue and expect any sort of meaningful action on the part of OCR. You know this...

So, putting all the wishful thinking aside, I think you can shield your kids from the possibility of feeling excluded, and use the accommodation as a teachable moment about the importance of making safe choices [b]every time[/b]. Right now, you assist in that process....someday, they will need to make those choices on their own. In the meantime, you can be loaded for bear...the 1st whiff of a 504 violation is when you start documenting and getting in their face in a very direct and prompt (non passive-agressive) manner. Something tells me they will notice the difference from last year.

Urgh...I'm not at my most coherent...hope this makes sufficient sense.

[This message has been edited by Nutternomore (edited August 15, 2007).]

On Aug 15, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: [b]Inclusion means inclusion. That's what I think.

So if that means that I can't pass out latex balloons because of Janey's allergy, and Timmy can't eat wheat cupcakes, well, then, why don't we plan [i]something ELSE entirely??[/i] Oh? Juan is a Jehovah's Witness, you say? Fine. Here is a book for the classroom in my child's name. Can my child bring this and have it read during story time? We'll save 'happy birthday' for tonight at home.

[/b]

I also think "inclusion means inclusion" all day every day. We don't keep the classroom peanut free/nut free only on the days child "x" is present. Way to breed resentment, right? (and trust me, I've had to deal with that in the past.....teachers start asking if my child *is* going to be present on certain days. They almost had me believing we were imposing by showing up.....)

On Aug 15, 2007

gvmom--I wasn',t being clear last night--probably because it was the first time in two weeks I had seen a real bed or a TV and I was a bit giddy. What I meant to say was he won't know what it's like to feel excluded according to this plan--and this plan [i] might just work.[/i]

I was thinking about this a lot yesterday while driving--so much so that once I found a hotel I came to pa.com just for this thread to see what was going on. The more I thought the the nore I came to the conclusion that we really should expect better of people. I am completely with CM too--we should expect better for our kids. But our expectations of others also need to increase. Why should they step up to the plate otherwise? It is almost as if we are not giving them the full opportunity to be more inclusive, more welcoming because we have not laid it on the line for them.

I don't think I have always expected others to rise above their own misunderstandings and ignorance and willful acts of excludings. But it really time I held them to higher standard. I might be surprised. And your plan might work.

On Aug 15, 2007

I didn't read the entire thread, but it caught my attention. Treats are becoming a point of contention with me and my child at school. There are so many and the sky is the limit for what parents can bring. I recently discussed this with the special services coordinator and asked for the following: Birthday treats be limited to cupcakes with icing. Nothing more. That activities where parents come in and interact with the class be food free. That parents must seek approval from teacher with date for bringing in the treat. teacher communicate with allergic parents so a duplicate can be made.

My son wasn't bothered by the treats in the past b/c I baked the holiday treats. But, there was a weekly activity called star of the week. Parents were supposed to come into class and talk about their family, occupation, child for an hour. Every parent brought food that ranged from ice cream sundaes to cupcakes to other intricate deserts. No one brought in outwardly nutty foods, but it was becoming more difficult for my son when he continued to feel left out. He started telling me that he was tired of explaining his allergy to other moms. It was also very difficult when his good friend's moms would say that they bought BC mix, scrubbed the bowl that it was safe and DS was saying, I'm not allowed to eat it when I'm at school. Everything I eat has to be from my house.

I think that by minimizing the treats and making them specific, it helps allergy moms in being able to more closely duplicate the treat.

Additionally, late in the year, I realized that my son was really bothered by the way the "extra" treats were distributed. There were three other allergy kids. The four treats were given to kids in the class down the attendance list. So each time, four kids were given TWO (my son's and the other three kids.)

This really bothered my son. I think that the teachers really need to step back, consider the feelings and situations of allergy kids and put the kabosh on all this food.

Then, at the end of the school year, moms suddenly started dropping off treats (popsicles, ice cream, donuts) just because. That part really made me angry. It made me even more angry when I'd see one of the moms and they would be so proud of themselves for reading the label.....I appreciated that they thought of my son, but didn't appreciate that they couldn't get the idea through their heads that HE IS NOT ALLOWED TO EAT ANY FOOD NOT FROM HOME!!! So, he sat there in a sweltering hot classroom watching 19 kids eating popsicles! The teachers need to have enough consideration to kindly reject these on a whim treats in consideration of the 4 allergy kids who were left out.

I admire your moxy, gvmom, but I think by not sending in safe snacks, your son will be left out even more. When I approached DSs teacher, she said he has safe treats!! I said yes, but would you rather eat a bag of teddy grahams or a homemade cupcake??? I don't know what the answer is. I just think that food should be out of our classrooms and limited to fresh fruit/vegetables for snacktime and other celebrations should be non food centered!

I like the idea of pre packaged labeled foods being brought in. For me, I would compromise with the treat being specific, again cupcakes with icing period and for birthday celebrations only.

[This message has been edited by saknjmom (edited August 15, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by saknjmom (edited August 15, 2007).]

On Aug 15, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]Mouser, I think on your last two posts you are reading something into my tone. [/b]

I'm not reading anything that isn't already there:

[i]"You turning into a plump cat

On Aug 15, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: [b] Still, I've managed to get'er done without compromising my child's safety or emotional well being.

[/b]

I'm also going to add: and without compromising his education either. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

On Aug 15, 2007

This is such an amazing thread, I just have to say. I have really been changed by what I have read here, honestly.

I was into this thread a day or so before my 504 eval meeting and it prompted me to rework my 504 draft entirely and at the sametime rework my own posistion...my angle on 'why am I doing this, what is it that I want for my child? I asked for inclusion via accomodation at our meeting yesterday, and sat there listening to the distinct favoring of others in the name of what they considered 'fairness'...that my DD is just different and she just cannot always have what others are having and that's her life...so we're just maintaining that here at school way of thinking. Can I blame them...based on my own behavior? I mean I've enabled it.

So I was finally able to recognize it for what it truly was, exclusion. No way around it. No sugar coating it. Just their decision to favor others rights to shove whatever into their mouths, and let my child sit and watch while she eats something different. Ya, that's fair to let a child watch everyone else mentally connecting ever their food. You know they do, they're always shreiking with glee when they get the same goodies in their goody bags at a birthday party. Proclaiming "I got the same pony tail holder...eeeeeeeee!!!"

I tried, but sadly was not able to negotiate food free or even 'safe for all or none for all'. What is absurd to me is just - how - da*n - easy it would be to include my child. Easy. E A S Y. But they wouldn't do it. Absurd.

On Aug 15, 2007

Don't have a lot of time, but wanted to respond to a few thoughts that were brought up:

CM-you are right that you can't compare all allergies. My son is PA only and having other children eat "may contains" in the classroom is not a problem for him. I certainly understand that the perspective from someone whose children's allergies are different would not be the same as mine. I am only speaking from our experience and can appreciate others thoughts on this.

ATM: I think it is fine to have classrooms "no food" if that is what works. We don't feel that way for our family, but again, our experience only.

Lastly, I think I understand where many of the posts are coming from...I just don't share the same perspective. I thought it might be important to post my thoughts because it is a disservice to folks new to this allergy if they think that all allergy families would agree with the peanut allergy=disability idea.

Regards,

Kelly

On Aug 15, 2007

Okay. I think I give up. I think this is an American thing. Just because I have been able to do it and again, without any repercussions on my child's psyche. I'd have to ask him, but he probably thought a lot better of me in the days when I did work closely with the school rather than now when I do that shameful thing and attend the Fun Fair.

I don't know how the OCR compares to the OHRC but I was willing, yes, to file a complaint with them if the school that year did not get those particular foods out of the classroom immediately. Pull my kid out of school and file a complaint. But maybe that complaint would have "washed" more easily because I had already, by then, a list of stuff going on that was reportable to the OHRC. That complaint I never filed and am still kicking myself in the butt for. The one I apologized to my son for not filing.

Even when I arrived "back home" (Toronto) and found Jesse sitting on a BENCH at school - all PA students segregated, I saw red. Even though none of the other PA parents or PA students complained about the BENCH, my son was NOT okay with the BENCH (he did not like being centered out) and I had to deal with that situation.

I remember how happy the principal looked on the first day of school in Grade 5 when she told me that they had a new and improved BENCH and it was in the regular lunchroom. Happy. Well, my guy wasn't. So then came the very tough decision of whether or not I would allow him to sit with his classmates, even if there was the possibility of them eating peanut products. It was so hard for me to do (so much fear involved), but when I saw the situation in which my son was placed daily, based on his allergy, NO!

I'm getting frustrated. Only because I know this can be done. I've done it! My child's psyche did not suffer. It would have suffered more if he had been centered out with a special treat box.

gvmom, very old, but if you can find rilira's (her daughter has outgrown her PA) 504 Plan and see what it says about food (she's also in your State).

No, I've said my piece (peace?) and I think I'll leave it be. I think it's do-able - I don't even equate it with activism per se (and you think we Canadians are such a passive lot [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] ) . I just went with what I went with (and remember, at that time, the first year, no PA.com) and it was done.

It boggles my mind that a community (or small parts thereof, of the school community) could supersede a legal document. But here, in Canada, my written school plan is NOT a legal document. People just chose to do what was asked of them - better then baking all those cupcakes to have them turned away or know that your kid isn't eating them during classroom time - I don't know.

I am truly confused. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] Especially because I did do this what would be considered a long time ago with regard to PA.

I remember the other thing now I discussed here that I was also able to have done - no "may contains" or "made ins" in the classroom (the "peanut free" classroom). I also did that successfully for the first three years my son went to school.

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 15, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: [b] Who ever said it was about forcing [i]other[/i] people to care about [i]my*[/i] child as much as I do?[/b]

You didn't... I didn't. I was commenting on someone else's comment.

------------------ Cheryl, mom to Jason (9 MFA including peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, coconut, sesame, squid) Joey (7 NKA) Allison (4 milk allergic, suspect shellfish, avoiding PN/TN for now) Ryan (1) nka *knock on wood*

On Aug 15, 2007

kelly01, okay, I get what you're saying about peanut allergy = physical disability.

As I posted last night, I don't think my son is disabled. I was thinking about this yesterday because there is a series of commercials running here right now showing people with a lot of visible physical disabilities and what careers they have. There is a point there I wanted to make that probably requires more caffeine or a shower.

No, my son is not disabled. However, if he is covered by anything like the OHRC based on his PA (and now TNA), then yes, I will use that. Does that make sense?

But as far as what I think about my son? No.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 15, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by kelly01: [b] I thought it might be important to post my thoughts because it is a disservice to folks new to this allergy if they think that all allergy families would agree with the peanut allergy=disability idea. [/b]

Interesting...

I think it would be a disservice not to inform new folks that their children's life-threatening food allergies are, in fact, a disability. A disability recognized by federal law. I never would have known that had it not been for the Schools Forum. I appreciate the info I received; the information that was not an opinion, but rather fact.

The fact is that my DD's life-threatening food allergies qualify her to some protective measures by law. She needs them. Kelly, have you ever been called by a class mom asking that you pick your child up from school early so that the other kids can attend a bake sale (during class time)? I have. Have you ever had a teacher tell you the children would be decorating cookies with frosting and that you can decide whether your child can do the project (thus touching the food she is allergic to and a possible reaction), eat the project (thus resulting in an allergic reaction--eye roll by teacher), or just "stand back and watch the other kids"? I have been asked about that specific scenario by a teacher. Has your 5 yr old child ever climbed in your car in tears and told you she ate crackers while everyone else enjoyed cupcakes brought in by the teacher knowing 2 children would not be able to participate? Been there and done that, too. I have many more to share, but I don't want this to get too long.

Fortunately, each of those events was a VIOLATION of her 504 Plan; a plan agreed to by a team, including the teacher who continuously violated it, the principal who did nothing but give advice about preparing my 5 yr old for the "real world", and a guidance counselor who must know from her training the effects of such blatant discrimination, but didn't have the courage to speak up.

The first 2 examples were stopped and DD knew nothing about it--they weren't stopped easily---had to show the school the agreed upon plan and how proceeding with either would be a violation to her 504. Again, this was not a plan I created---the team developed and agreed upon it. The 3rd incident happened without our knowledge (according to the 504 Plan we were to receive at least 3 days notice to any special food coming into the classroom).

I am sure your experience has been quite different than ours. Consider yourself fortunate. I know I was lucky to not have to fight for a 504 Plan and the accomodations were also fairly easy to obtain. Compliance is another issue [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img].

Recognizing a child's life-threatening food allergies as a disability is an added protection. I don't think my daughter is unable to have a full, productive, rewarding life, but her life is substantially different than her non-allergic peers, including her siblings without food allergies. She would not be able to attend school without a peanut-free room; 2 allergists and her pediatrician have stated that...that is quite different than her nondisabled peers.

I encourage every new person checking out the schools forum to read thoroughly on 504, IDEA, and ADA laws. You 'might' not need the protection because you're in a school system where so much is already in place, but you never know. You really don't, unfortunately, because staff change, schools change as your child gets older, etc..

[This message has been edited by PinkPoodle (edited August 15, 2007).]

On Aug 15, 2007

"Section 504 was enacted to "level the playing field" - to eliminate impediments to full participation by persons with disabilities. In legal terms, the statute was intended to prevent intentional or unintentional discrimination against persons with disabilities, persons who are believed to have disabilities, or family members of persons with disabilities."

from: [url="http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/504_IDEA_Rosenfeld.html"]http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/504_IDEA_Rosenfeld.html[/url]

"eliminate impediments to FULL PARTICIPATION"--gvmom-you are right; the snack box, individual cupcake, is not full participation.

On Aug 15, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by PinkPoodle: [b]"Section 504 was enacted to "level the playing field" - to eliminate impediments to full participation by persons with disabilities. In legal terms, the statute was intended to prevent intentional or unintentional discrimination against persons with disabilities, persons who are believed to have disabilities, or family members of persons with disabilities."

from: [url="http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/504_IDEA_Rosenfeld.html"]http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/504_IDEA_Rosenfeld.html[/url]

"eliminate impediments to FULL PARTICIPATION"--gvmom-you are right; the snack box, individual cupcake, is not full participation.[/b]

I don't know. I'd like to believe you are right. So much so, for three years now, my older son's IEP has read, as a [i]goal[/i] of the specific accomodations enumerated, my child would "participate fully" alongside his non-disabled peers. In any instance. Birthday parties, celebrations, rewards, holiday's, whatever. It's in there.

But......how do you explain two entrances into our school building? One handicap accessible, on for the non-disabled. Sure, I can use either, but someone in a wheelchair cannot.

On Aug 15, 2007

Hello... Just checking back in...

By using the wording "disservice" I didn't mean to be argumentative. I think it is great that this thread is out there and that people are getting what they need out of it. It is a really interesting perspective and I have learned from it, just don't agree with it for us. I only wanted to let folks know that not everyone shares the same perspective/experience.

I am happy with how we chose to handle it for my son (agreeing that his situation may not apply to everyone), and I feel that the way it was handled had a positive impact on how he views his allergy and its effect on his life. Just wanted to share.

I will drop out of this thread for now, as I sense that just bringing up another perspective is angering people...definately not my intention.

Regards,

Kelly

On Aug 15, 2007

Kelly-you were definitely not angering me. I hope my tone didn't seem like I was angry at you. I had the same belief as you ("my daughter is not disabled") until I repeatedly saw her not being able to participate like her peers.

I think it helps to see all points of view. It doesn't mean we must all agree. What works for me might not work for anyone else.

#1 Mouser-I think the theory of full participation is accurate...not sure about the reality. That reality is not present in my DD's experiences. If I chose not to send her a safe treat, she wouldn't have one, the staff wouldn't be remorseful (it already happened), and she would not voice her discontent in school. The reason she will not speak up, "I don't want to bring up my allergies. I don't want my friends to feel bad". She wants to fit in, not make waves (I'm not sure she is truly my child [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]--other than she looks just like me). This year hasn't started yet, for us, and I'll see how it goes. I don't mind sending her egg-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free cupcakes to school for planned events. I do mind her being left out while everyone else gets a treat.

On Aug 15, 2007

Wow, Pink Poodle, you said things SO well. Where we, as PA parents, *may* not see our children as disabled, in America (and probably Canada), there is Federal Law that says that they are. That's what I was talking about. I don't see my son as disabled, but when I have to use the resources available to me, because he has a hidden physical disability, then yes, I use them.

kelly01, I don't think you're being argumentative at all or that you're even saying anything different than the rest of us. If that makes sense. You're saying that you don't view your PA child as having a disability. I'm saying I don't either unless I have to. Does that make sense?

Also, in remembering from quite a long time ago, I do think you approach things differently with your child's school, etc. than some of us do, but the thing is, you still have a point-of-view that is important to be heard.

It is often a *different* point-of-view that leads us to re-consider a particular position we have taken along this journey - maybe something as simple as not letting women's magazines' recipes "get" to you OR most certainly, in my case, Lam and other members telling me that because of the commotion in Grade 2 with my son - to take that "may contain" clause out of his written school plan. I didn't do it straight away. In fact, I didn't do it until Grade 4.

No, I don't see your posts as being argumentative at all - you are stating what you do with your child and you have certainly posted somewhere on this board how you deal with your child's school and yes, there are members that can benefit from that.

Even if you look at my post about our current school's Fun Fair - some people here would be saying right now that NO those things are not going to happen if my PA child is attending OR most likely (and sadly), we're not attending because those things are happening.

There are so many approaches, and as you've seen even from my last post, I'm not quite "getting it" because I think it's quite do-able what gvmom is asking and I even think getting people to *comply* (I hate that word almost as much as I hate how our PA children are *accommodated*), is do-able.

Oh, I do so want to go and have a filthy cigarette before I watch Without a Trace.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 15, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b]Wow, Pink Poodle, you said things SO well. Where we, as PA parents, *may* not see our children as disabled, in America (and probably Canada), there is Federal Law that says that they are. That's what I was talking about. I don't see my son as disabled, but when I have to use the resources available to me, because he has a hidden physical disability, then yes, I use them.

kelly01, I don't think you're being argumentative at all or that you're even saying anything different than the rest of us. If that makes sense. You're saying that you don't view your PA child as having a disability. I'm saying I don't either unless I have to. Does that make sense?

[/b]

it does to me, but could you elaborate further, so people not confuse it with "Playing the Disability Card".

I look at it as when people demonstrate a lack of all sensibility in relation to a true need (ie: What's wrong with a food free classroom, anyway?), then yes, I tighten the screws on the rack. I may not get a food free classroom, but the end result will be just as efficient. A lot more annoying, but just as efficient. The choice is theirs.

On Aug 15, 2007

How does inclusion relate to Chanda's thread "Brainstorming MFA Table?" does inclusion include the cafeteria?

gvcmom....hope you are ok!

On Aug 15, 2007

It has been very interesting to read everyone's thoughts on this. Ben is going into second grade and is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, egg, dairy, tomato, strawberry, peas, all legumes with the exception of soy. I have always been grateful that he is able to attend school at all and I do see him as being disabled. It is hard for me to even imagine how I would feel if his only allergy was to peanuts.

My perspective has always been that he will likely have to eat differently then others for his entire life. So for him to eat a home made safe cookie and sorbet while his friends eat cupcakes and ice cream is part of his education process. Is is hard for him, absolutely. He really wants not to be allergic to pizza in particular. But this is reality and part of my responsibility is to make he able to cope with his reality.

Ann

On Aug 15, 2007

Ann,

I think the idea may be this...why aren't the schools [i]trying[/i] to include our FA children. When doing so isn't all that hard? What's the impediment other than 'it's the way its always been done?'.

Their lives are all about coping and being different. Can't we make the educational process an inclusive one, rather than just another [i]excluding[/i] part of their life?

Just a thought... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 15, 2007

Ask yourself, if the school offered you a food free classroom, non-food celebrations, or only pre packaged individually labeled items that were only passed out if they were safe for all... or what have you, would you take it? Or would you say, no that is not necessary...my child needs to be able to cope with his reality (just using Ann's words here, but really many my own, in fact would fit--not tying to start anything Ann, honestly [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]).

Would you say 'Heck ya, lets go food free!!' ? Why? So your child could be involved completely and safely, right?

Would [i]anyone[/i] say no to such a proposal? Anyone? And why? To teach your child to cope?

thinking out loud here...

On Aug 15, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by lilpig99: [b] I think the idea may be this...why aren't the schools [i]trying[/i] to include our FA children. When doing so isn't all that hard? What's the impediment other than 'it's the way its always been done?'.

Their lives are all about coping and being different. Can't we make the educational process an inclusive one, rather than just another [i]excluding[/i] part of their life? [/b]

Just answering outloud. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

. . . Drum roll, please:

[b]Top Suggested Reasons Why FULL INCLUSIVITY is Not Done:[/b]

1. Because what's "fair" for most is good enough.

2. Because our staff is already overwhelmed and cannot be bothered to manage this.

3. (Private School) Because another classmate's parents contribute big $$$ to this school and that child WILL have his "special day" the way HE (his parents) want it to be.

4. Because YOU cannot tell US what to do.

5. Because it's [i] just not done that way [/i] in our community.

6. Our community has a heritage based in this particular crop food. You cannot take away our childrens' heritage. (No lie.)

7. Little Johnny (another FA child they know) doesn't seem to think he needs this. Why are you so special??

8. You never asked for this before! Why do you need it now??

9. We're not going to do this unless somebody [i] makes [/i] us.

10. Because ______________________________ __________________________________________ _________________________________________ . (Fill in blank with your own school's lame, worthless excuse for an excuse.)

- - - -

DO feel free to add your own to this list.

I feel better getting that out of my system.

Not trying to make light of this subject nor derail the topic. Already knowing the excuses we may hear allows us to be prepared with reasonable, unemotional, direct responses, like

[i] [b] IT'S MY CHILD'S RIGHT. [/b] [/i]

------------------ ~Eli[b]Z[/b]abeth, Mother to 2: DD age 5, NKA, treated as though PA/TNA DS age 8, PA, possible TNA, Latex, legumes? (PA diagnosed & ana reaction 1999) Member here since 2000

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 15, 2007).]

On Aug 15, 2007

10. Because in the very long history of schooling in this country, the "tidal wave" of food allergic kids in the school system, combined with increased knowledge/awareness of families and the public at large re: food allergies is a very recent phenomenon. ------------------------------------------- If you look at the history of the schools forum in PA.com, for example, there was early trailblazing work around 504's in the 2001-2002 timeframe. When I came here in 2002, there was just enough critical mass of information, combined with research being done at the time and media articles, that I had enough to put together a compelling case to fight for a 504 in 2003. Now, we've advanced to the point there is a pretty good amount of information here and other places to help guide folks for the 504 process.

But, you'll note that over the last 4-5 years, and right up to the present day, we still see many posts that reference that a school has [b]never[/b] done a 504 for food allergies before, or that they have been done poorly, etc. So on the grand timeline, this is a sufficiently new enough issue that the school mindset just isn't always there yet, much as we wish it would be.

Think about the implementation of mainstreaming physically/mentally disabled children into classrooms. It took decades after laws were passed for schools to really get on the ball and better integrate this into their thinking. Not saying it will take decades for the subject of food allergies, but it's important to examine this subject against the broader backdrop.

On Aug 15, 2007

[b]gvcmom....hope you are ok! [/b]

Just checking in. Answer is, not really. Can't elaborate. I really, really, really wish I could.

Suffice it to say, there are times in your life when what you say you believe in, truly, is put to the test. And for me, I'm gathering my money together to put it where my mouth is.

I know I have emails to answer and Q's here that have been posed to me, but I hope you'll understand if I don't get to them.

*raising arm* *letting out primitive roar*

I think I need to go make a placard.........

On Aug 15, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Sarahb: [b]How does inclusion relate to Chanda's thread "Brainstorming MFA Table?" does inclusion include the cafeteria?

[/b]

I guess this is where the "homebound" discussion fits in. That or we need to rethink handicap entrances.

I guess if we can make the cafeteria safe for aerosol sensitive individuals, then we *should* be able to make all parking spots handicap accessible (including proximity) and not have to mark them as such. I just don't see being able to monitor the private lunches for 1100 students in my son's cafeteria to the point of making it safe for aerosol *or* contact sensitive individuals without a little cooperation from the food allergic family and individual. There is *going* to have to be compromise on both sides. No way around it. Unless you line them up prison style and shovel food onto their plates. And even then parents of food allergic children will want to bring *unsanctioned* food from home in. It's evident many people in the food allergic community don't trust each other to make safe food choices.

On Aug 15, 2007

We have been absolutely blessed with our school in that the principal said to me "we don't know what it is going to take to keep Ben safe, you tell us what you need and we will do it" Then his teacher called me before the school year started and before meeting me to tell me she took the list of things he was allergic to, went to the grocery store and checked everything she bought against the list just so she could try to grasp how complicated it is. She put them in seperate sections of her cart and when she was done and the tiny section of safe foods was so small she told me it moved her to tears. She was angelic and moved from first grade last year to second grade this year and Ben will have her again!

There is no peanut products allowed in the classroom at all with no exceptions. We provided a selection of snacks that are for any child at any time for any reason. We have families for whom English is not their first language and have sent in nut foods because they did not understand, that snack is replaced with a safe one and a note sent home. If a child forgot their snack or didn't like what was sent or any other reason they could pick a safe alternative.

For times when a snack was sent in that Ben could not have we kept Philly Swirls and fruit snacks on hand. A treat that was not the same does not seem to me to be wrong because he is not quite the same. Maybe it helps that in his class is a lovely girl with Downs who needs some adaptive technology, a family who spend part of the school year visiting family in India, a child who is Jehovah's Witness and does not participate in all activities, and on and on. Diversity in many ways, Ben's differences are just part of who he is.

I go to every party, every field trip, and am welcome at any time. I do not go in and hover, I just go and help in any way I can be useful.

Many times during the year Ben can have what the other kids have, other times he can not. Would I like for him to be able to feel free to eat anything and not feel different. I would like for him not to be different, I would like to not have this threat in our lives. That is not the hand we were dealt. What I think is in his best interest for his life skills is to be able to accept as fact his limitations and learn that while it is not just like everyone else it is managable.

At a birthday day party at Chuck E Cheese he was given a piece of cake by one of the helpers. I was so proud when my 6 year old handed it back and matter of factly said "I am not going to eat this, I have no idea what is in there" and then turned to his safe rice crispie treat and ate it while laughing with his friends. This is the best I can hope for, life skills.

Ben is allergic to 25 different foods and at age 7 has not outgrown a single allergen.

Ann

On Aug 15, 2007

hi gvmom, will you email me? it's in my profile! thanks

On Aug 15, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]Answer is, not really. Can't elaborate. I really, really, really wish I could. [/b]

Hoping things turn around . . . keep us posted when you can. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

~Elizabeth

On Aug 15, 2007

Sending you lots of support gvmom. I so wish I could do something to help you. Just know how we are all behind you.

many many hugs...keep your chin up.

On Aug 16, 2007

It is late, I am fried, but I

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b] And, btw, just a point of clarification, are you really inferring that my motivation has nothing to do with ensuring my children are safe, first and foremost? That their physical and mental health aren

On Aug 16, 2007

I think, for me it is just that school, children's activities and their lives just need to be less centered on food. A 10 minute moving up ceremony for cub scouts involved one den mom bringing custom decorated cupcakes for her den. Star of the Week in 3rd grade was supposed to be about a parent taking time out of their day to interact with the kids. It ended up being an event of who can bring the tastiest treat. IMHO a birthday celebration at school should consist of singing happy birthday and maybe a visit from the principal. Birthday parties with food can be enjoyed at home. If we just try to redirect people to the mindset that not every event in life requires food for it to be enjoyable. That would eliminate a lot of food from our classrooms. By tying a wellness policy to the planned snack time, it would also eliminate nearly all high risk allergens from classrooms. We wouldn't need safe treats, people wouldn't be left out.

On Aug 16, 2007

I agree, as I posted earlier in the thread, I believe the Wellness Policy in each district should be enforced by the administration. My 12 yo DS is starting middle school this year. I received paperwork home from the transition class he attended and the following are listed as lunch options:

Regular lunch menu the "grill" salad bar or ala cart (french fries, donuts, nochos, soda, candy bars, etc.)

Why is all this food necessary to begin with at school..for profit?

My PA son is still at the elementary level so I have a few years before we need to deal with the middle school, but I just don't understand how a school (5-8th grade)that has a wellness policy in place can serve these items on a daily basis to our already over-weight children. It HAS to be about profit.

If the school would just follow the wellness policy, none of us would have to worry about the cupcake queens. This should be much easier than it ends up being.

I know that I am going to start with the administration, then the school board to have the policy already in place followed.

gvmom...sorry things are so difficult for you right now. I hope you find a solution that will work for your family. Take care!

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]When I typed that, it came from a sincere sense of caring and wasn't intended as a judgement, but only as a "just in case".[/b]

I just wanted to be clear. I remember you and I, in a past life, discussing the in

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

[b]Honestly, if I had my druthers, if it was all about me, I

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]In light of the previous statement, you can't possibly feel that way, and I wonder, if in your opinion, you feel the same about any parent who *would* send a treat box in.[/b]

I can absolutely feel that way. I hope, sincerely, that anyone who reads my statements doesn't think that I believe their choice to do other than what I am choosing means that I believe the motivation in their hearts doesn't come from and earnest place, a genuine desire to do what's best, for their children.

Challenging a long-held position doesn't mean I question a parents steadfastness to their child.

I can absolutely challenge the idea of a treat box. I have sent one in for 3 years. Whether I send one in or not doesn't make null and void that which compels me to do right by my child. But what compels me to do right by my child can absolutely null and void certain practices which I think might be doing him a disservice.

[b]All the same, I applaud your um....moxy, but still offer the caveat, and offer it in good faith. I know all too easy how tempting some things are.[/b]

There are many temptations in life. Certain of those I haven't indulged in so far, and will continue not to. That is the beauty of self-restraint.

[b]No challenge, just wondering, is the entire premise of your current mindset what is "right" legally?[/b]

What is posted here gets added bonuses of philosophical waxing peppered in. Emotions also are allowed their voice. My current mindset in this thread is to explore a multitude of facets with respect to what I've put out there. With a stress on legality.

In real life, if we are talking about dealing with the school, whole different enchilada. I mean, heck, I wouldn't even use "enchilada" with them unless it is in the context of the USDA Dietary Accommodations.

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]I can absolutely feel that way. [/b]

It's impossible for me to believe considering the aspersions you placed around how I witheld my children's attendance. I am, afterall, probably the only poster in this thread who fits the description of purposely withholding their childrens' attendance. First of all, I've never flipped any of them the bird. Double, or otherwise. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

As a matter of fact, I just had a heart to heart over the phone with the director of special educations services.

I was praying she hadn't quit.

I shared some very personal and detailed and in some cases, probably unnecessary, details of my life, current or otherwise. I'm glad she took the time to listen. She never acts rushed. She's one of the first people, other than my husband, I told I was pregnant. If there is anything I'm thankful for, it's my ability to wear my heart on my sleeve, even though some might call it a curse.

Again, I'm rooting for you, take it at face value. If I didn't care, I wouldn't add the caveat.

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by lilpig99: They speak of discrimination occurring only when a substitution is not offered. The whole school is not required to be offered the same lunch. This might viewed as being legally acceptable for the classroom as well.

--------------------

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: You know though, this could be an interesting legal point. I'm going to have to go back through the booklet that goes with the USDA form for meal accommodations to review the language.

Point is, if the school spends enough time to find a safe substitution at other times, why not just dispense the safe substitution for all?

----------------

Quote:

Originally posted by PinkPoodle: This is an interesting avenue because in the lunch example (USDA) the SCHOOL is required to provide the substitution. They couldn't possibly provide a substitution cupcake for MFA children without it being certified as: MFA-free. Have they ever seen the price of cupcakes from Divvies ? We (PARENTS) are the ones providing the substitutions---and yes, I know we are not talking about LUNCH, but if the SCHOOL is sanctioning this activity of cupcakes galore during class hours (not us parents---I would definitely prefer a non-food celebration room & my guess is most of us here prefer that), then the SCHOOL should be obligated to provide the alternative.

-------------

I think this is amazing. Thank you.

Our Food Service offers cupcakes for sale (per dozen?) to parents who wish to purchase them for classroom birthday (or other) celebrations. The Food Service (Chartwell's) advertises this service to parents as convenient and "nut free". It never occurred to me that these cupcakes could have been used as a substitute treat that the SCHOOL provided my child.

I think the concept of the SCHOOL (not the parent of the FA child) providing the alternative safe substitute treat is viable. At least it would be in my situation where the food serivce can provide the school with a safe and comparable substitute.

Brilliant.

On Aug 16, 2007

Gail, thank you for pulling those 3 posts like that and how you put it. How you managed to wade through it all amazes me... but I wanted to thank you for that.

Having a tidy "connect the dots" is just what I needed to help my brain right now with that USDA idea.

[b]It's impossible for me to believe considering the aspersions you placed around how I witheld my children's attendance. [/b]

Well, then, that is an issue for you to decide if it is worth working on. I didn't cast aspersions, I questioned you. I can't make you believe.

[b]I am, afterall, probably the only poster in this thread who fits the description of purposely withholding their childrens' attendance.[/b]

Which is precisely why I did question you... challenge even. If you and I are both acknowledging that we come closest to fitting the description, why can't I question what you are doing? I'm trying to figure things out for a whole bunch of muck on my end. If you felt I was putting the screws to you with respect to your earnestness towards your motivation, I already apologized. But, really, some things I ask, and I ask it directly... maybe you don't like the tone... but it is what it is....and it could be there's a reason for the wording. Possibly immediacey? Maybe not wanting to get bogged down in certain things. I know we are treading carefully here for a multitude of reasons, but can't I just ask something with a "let's cut the cr** tone?" (yeah, I used 2 asterisks. Sorry to anyone who it offends. "Poo" just doesn't work)

[b]I was praying she hadn't quit.[/b]

Be thankful for that. Her not quitting. That's as close to an elaboration as you are getting.

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] I think the concept of the SCHOOL (not the parent of the FA child) providing the alternative safe substitute treat is viable. At least it would be in my situation where the food serivce can provide the school with a safe and comparable substitute. [/b]

Just thinking outloud -- I could see the school (district) claiming this to be cost prohibitive and, finding its back against the wall, having to reconsider allowing any food treats AT ALL into the classroom.

~Eliz

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]Just thinking outloud -- I could see the school (district) claiming this to be cost prohibitive and, finding its back against the wall, having to reconsider allowing any food treats AT ALL into the classroom.

~Eliz[/b]

Just musing out loud. Not at all my official stance. I think it would be enjoyable to watch a district accept the idea that they did have to provide a safe alternative (which I agree with).... embrace it since it promotes their willy nilly attitudes that kids should have a right to a birthday treat, and that food is something they can't set limits on Then, as they get swamped with requests from cupcake queens and must-have-trays-of-food party moms, they realize the folly of their move..... prompting them to be the kill-joys for once, feeling the wrath of all of those who feel entitled to their junkfood, causing them to spend their days regretting ever letting cupcake queens rule the school in the first place.... thus deciding to ally with the Food Allergic community. Food in the classromms banned forever!!!! *the crowd cheers* And children with FA's living happily ever after, and those other kids managed to survive into adulthood without a cupcake in school.

The End.

On Aug 16, 2007

May I write the theme music to this feature presentation? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

~Elizabeth

On Aug 16, 2007

Absolutely. How about some background dancers too.... with some "jazz" hands maybe?

On Aug 16, 2007

this is gettin' good

On Aug 16, 2007

you can use the glittering reflection from my '504 for private school tiara' as a stage light. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by lilpig99: [b]you can use the glittering reflection from my '504 for private school tiara' as a stage light. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img][/b]

No, no, NO, honey.

Lilpig -- You're going to sit there in your regal glory in some big, overstuffed chair (ala Alistair Cooke) and introduce this special Hallmark Feature. Complete with dazzling headpiece. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

~Eliz

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]Absolutely. How about some background dancers too.... with some "jazz" hands maybe?[/b]

YES!

We'll call them the

[i] Cupcake Heads [/i].

~Eliz

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by ajas_folks: [b] No, no, NO, honey.

Lilpig -- You're going to sit there in your regal glory in some big, overstuffed chair (ala Alistair Cooke) and introduce this special Hallmark Feature. Complete with dazzling headpiece. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

~Eliz[/b]

Oh I am ROTFLMAO!

On Aug 16, 2007

[url="http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr34/fanrr34-7/fanrr34-7.pdf"]http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr34/fanrr34-7/fanrr34-7.pdf[/url]

[i]Competitive Foods: Soft Drinks vs. MilkFood Assistance Research Brief Biing-Hwan Lin, [email]blin@ers.usda.gov[/email], (202) 694-5458 Katherine Ralston, [email]kralston@ers.usda.gov[/email], (202) 694-5463[/i]

Here are some selected tidbits:

[i]A USDA Report to Congress found that

On Aug 16, 2007

But nonetheless, classroom parties are school events. Children with FAs require safe food to access and participate in such school functions. Why is it the responsibility of the *parent* to provide a safe substitution so that their child will not be excluded? Do schools exclude children with other disabilites unless the parent provides a substitute 'something' that allows their child to participate? KWIM?

On Aug 16, 2007

LILPIG! FAB!!! Printing now... gonna go read as I think up titles to our production.

"The Rise and Fall of the Cupcake Queens"

"Civilization and Its Food Allergic Malcontents"

"For Whom the USDA Tolls...."

"Gone with the Cupcake"

"If There Be Cupcakes..."

"Forever Food Free"

...just off the top of my head... with help from my bookshelves.....and I'm so punchy, I think I could add a ton more. I really am a barrel of laughs......

On Aug 16, 2007

Again, musings. Wouldn't it be worth changing our language to start referring to birthday foods and party foods, PTA junk too, as "Competitive Foods"? And I don't mean just here. Get people used to hearing it. Using it.

The key sentence for me in that document is,"School food authorities and State agencies may impose additional restrictions on competitive foods in schools."

Help me with the theorem.... okay.....

If we as parents start using "Competitive Foods" to describe the food that needs restrictions.... which invariably gets rebutted with a "we can't restrict a parent's right to .... (I'd insert 'be an idiot' if I could, but....), couldn't we introduce the USDA's definition? They provide the label. They provide the definition. They provide the allowance for additional restrictions.

Viable rebuttal to not placing limitations? Might be, it seems to me.

More documents to read though.... but that is just what came to mind right now.

On Aug 16, 2007

Gail -- first I want to apologize for taking this off track with a bit of levity. I just sensed that gvmom was hanging on to the end of the rope by just one paw (picturing the poster from the 70's with the cute kitty hanging on to knot at end of rope).

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]But nonetheless, classroom parties are school events. Children with FAs require safe food to access and participate in such school functions. Why is it the responsibility of the *parent* to provide a safe substitution so that their child will not be excluded? [/b]

IMPHO, it has become the parent's "responsiblity" because we took that onto ourselves, voluntarily. Because many schools have been allowed an easy way out of their "inclusiveness predicament" by the parents who have been [i] accomodating the school [/i] by providing the safe treats.

Want to insert here, that I bear that responsibility myself and am NOT FAULTING any of us who have done this & may still do this as a means of keeping child totally safe. It's just that we've let the schools off the HOOK!

Quote:

[b] Do schools exclude children with other disabilites unless the parent provides a substitute 'something' that allows their child to participate? KWIM?[/b]

I daresay not nearly as often or [i] blatantly [/i]. Because, afterall, we are "just" talking about a "food allergy" -- a condition NOT taken seriously or even understood by most non-FA folks.

Just a little story to share: The other day, in a very quiet, nice conversation I was having with another classroom mom -- I used the example of having a "class celebration" for my son's class where they go ice skating -- a VERY special event for these southerners, in the kids' minds anyway -- and asked the mother I was speaking with how little "Mary Beth" might feel if the only way she was accomodated as far as being "INcluded" was to sit next to the rink and count the other kids' laps. "Mary Beth" is currently wheel chair bound. (She may be back on both feet in months to come.) This mother I was talking to (not "Mary Beth's mother, but another classroom mom) looked at me with this WOW look, teared up, and thanked me. Profusely.

~Elizabeth

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 16, 2007).]

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]Again, musings. Wouldn't it be worth changing our language to start referring to birthday foods and party foods, PTA junk too, as "Competitive Foods"? And I don't mean just here. Get people used to hearing it. Using it.

The key sentence for me in that document is,"School food authorities and State agencies may impose additional restrictions on competitive foods in schools."

Help me with the theorem.... okay.....

If we as parents start using "Competitive Foods" to describe the food that needs restrictions.... which invariably gets rebutted with a "we can't restrict a parent's right to .... (I'd insert 'be an idiot' if I could, but....), couldn't we introduce the USDA's definition? They provide the label. They provide the definition. They provide the allowance for additional restrictions.

Viable rebuttal to not placing limitations? Might be, it seems to me.

More documents to read though.... but that is just what came to mind right now.[/b]

YES YES YES!!

~Eliz

On Aug 16, 2007

Was that cat white or orange? I think I had that poster. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

On Aug 16, 2007

I LOVE...LOVE...LOVE...the term "competitive foods". I will have to add that one to my "terms to use during schools meetings" file.

I can imagine..."I'm sorry I just don't see how Sally's mom sees it necessary to bring a 'competitive food' for the birthday party. I wonder how the USDA would view all these cupcakes at school on such a regular basis."

Thankfully last year my ds's teacher was wonderful and thought birthdays, in general, were over done and she followed the wellness policy. Remains to be seen what the teacher this year will do.

[This message has been edited by notnutty (edited August 16, 2007).]

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]I can imagine..."I'm sorry I just don't see how Sally's mom sees it necessary to bring a 'competitive food' for the birthday party. I wonder how the USDA would view all these cupcakes at school on such a regular basis."[/b]

YES! And I might add something like, "The USDA allows the school and the state the latitude to place restrictions on competitive foods...."

And you know, all of this discussion, in conjunction with the other thread about LTFA's affecting learning, should really have all of our wheels turning when we think about the idea of "Standard of Care". What that means to us as a community and for us as parents. I think it requires a big shift in thinking about what is promoted out there.... I wish I could put my finger on something that is nagging me at the back of my mind right now with this.

I need coffee....... I guess the kids won't bring that to me either.........

edited to fix my grammar -- whew-wee -- things are going down hill with my sentence structure this afternoon!

[This message has been edited by gvmom (edited August 16, 2007).]

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]LILPIG! FAB!!! Printing now... gonna go read as I think up titles to our production.

"The Rise and Fall of the Cupcake Queens"

"Civilization and Its Food Allergic Malcontents"

"For Whom the USDA Tolls...."

"Gone with the Cupcake"

"If There Be Cupcakes..."

"Forever Food Free"

...just off the top of my head... with help from my bookshelves.....and I'm so punchy, I think I could add a ton more. I really am a barrel of laughs......[/b]

"The Cupcakes of Wrath"?

Amy

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]IMPHO, it has become the parent's "responsiblity" because we took that onto ourselves, voluntarily.[/b]

Yep, Elizabeth, you are very much correct, we have allowed it, and many of us will continue to follow this path in the interest of keeping our children alive at school. Certainly, we'll do it until we don't [i]have[/i] to any longer....when the law is on our side there will be no mistake about it. We can be the impetus, I believe.

Your story gave me goosebumps Eliz. How smart of you, and deeply thoughtful.

[b]"School food authorities and State agencies may impose additional restrictions on competitive foods in schools."[/b]

Is the USDA up to task here?? My goodness, I would love to pose this to the regional director for Civil rights (USDA FNS). I have wanted to update her on my case, since her responses to me were very key to our situation. She and I attended the same college---nearly different eras, but...we've got repoire (sp?) dare I say. I would love to ask the most perfectly formed question of her...something for her to chew on , something to CC up the chain of command so to speak. It would have to be worded in such a way as to completely connect the dots, draw the reasonable and obvious conclusions. Something including my new mantra 'competitive foods'. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

I have been all over that USDA site for the past 8 months or so. The article I posted was honest to goodness the very first one I saw for the parameters I searched for. Give me a little more time and I bet I can bring you more.

Gotta bathe the kiddos. You guys are great. See you later...

[This message has been edited by lilpig99 (edited August 16, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by lilpig99 (edited August 16, 2007).]

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]

"The Rise and Fall of the Cupcake Queens"

"Civilization and Its Food Allergic Malcontents"

"For Whom the USDA Tolls...."

"Gone with the Cupcake"

"If There Be Cupcakes..."

"Forever Food Free" [/b]

AND

Quote:

Originally posted by Going Nuts: [b] "The Cupcakes of Wrath"?

Amy [/b]

I SOOOO needed that laugh. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

~Eliz

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]"The Hand That Frosts the Cupcake"[/b]

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]Your story gave me goosebumps Eliz. How smart of you, and deeply thoughtful.[/b]

Hey! She just copied my soccer party analogy!

...and I even had a person I really knew in high school worked into my analogy too!...

*sniff* *sniff*

You guys always leave me out when it comes to those goosebump things!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Oh, read too with silly whining tone....and maybe add a stomping foot)

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by ajas_folks: [b]Just a little story to share: The other day, in a very quiet, nice conversation I was having with another classroom mom -- I used the example of having a "class celebration" for my son's class where they go ice skating -- a VERY special event for these southerners, in the kids' minds anyway -- and asked the mother I was speaking with how little "Mary Beth" might feel if the only way she was accomodated as far as being "INcluded" was to sit next to the rink and count the other kids' laps. "Mary Beth" is currently wheel chair bound. (She may be back on both feet in months to come.) This mother I was talking to (not "Mary Beth's mother, but another classroom mom) looked at me with this WOW look, teared up, and thanked me. Profusely.[/b]

Quote:

Originally posted by lilpig99: [b] Your story gave me goosebumps Eliz. How smart of you, and deeply thoughtful. [/b]

I don't know how it came to me as an example, right then, right there. But it was borne out of this thread.

Because this thread has made me DEEPLY question how I have handled our son's FA with regard to the schools.

This is my new [i] softer side [/i] -- ((eye rolling here is acceptable [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] )) -- me trying to get my point across using velvet hammer rather than sledge hammer. Trying to appeal to the concept of INclusiveness for all.

Quote:

[b] You guys are great. [/b]

You included.

~Elizabeth

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: [b][b]"The Hand That Frosts the Cupcake"[/b][/b]

Pink-polka-dotted can full of Tab Energy now up my nose and onto desk, narrowly missing keyboard.

THAT was funny.

~Eliz

On Aug 16, 2007

[quote] Originally posted by ajas_folks: [b]IMPHO, it has become the parent's "responsiblity" because we took that onto ourselves, voluntarily. Because many schools have been allowed an easy way out of their "inclusiveness predicament" by the parents who have been accomodating the school by providing the safe treats.

Want to insert here, that I bear that responsibility myself and am NOT FAULTING any of us who have done this & may still do this as a means of keeping child totally safe. It's just that we've let the schools off the HOOK![/b]

Yes, I done/allowed this too. . . I tried very hard to provide DD with a look-alike treat to lessen the pain of being excluded. So she could look like her peers. Even had an 'advance notice' written into her IHP so that I had enough time to run out a get the 'look alike'.

But that all changed [i]when Mariah received the 504 designation. [/i]Now, anything served in the classroom must be safe for her to consume or it cannot be served.

Elizabeth, no need to apologize. I was in a rush tonight as I was headed out the door. I enjoyed the levity too. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by ajas_folks: [b] Pink-polka-dotted can full of Tab Energy now up my nose and onto desk, narrowly missing keyboard.

THAT was funny.

[/b]

[b]"Children of the Cupcakes"[/b]

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b][b]Your story gave me goosebumps Eliz. How smart of you, and deeply thoughtful.[/b]

Hey! She just copied my soccer party analogy!

...and I even had a person I really knew in high school worked into my analogy too!...

*sniff* *sniff*

You guys always leave me out when it comes to those goosebump things!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Oh, read too with silly whining tone....and maybe add a stomping foot)

[/b]

I'm so sorry gvmom [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img]. You *are* smart and thoughtful as well...sorrrrrrryyyyyyyy!!!!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]"Rosemary's Cupcake"[/b]

On Aug 16, 2007

[b] All Quiet on the Cupcake Front

The 504 and the Fury

East of Eating [/b]

On Aug 16, 2007

[url="http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr34/fanrr34-11/fanrr34-11.pdf"]http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr34/fanrr34-11/fanrr34-11.pdf[/url]

[i]Childhood Obesity and the Role of USDA Food Assistance Research BriefIssue:

The rapid increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children is one of the most serious public health concerns in the United States today. Overweight children tend to become overweight adults and overweight adults are at increased risk for a number of ailments including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, stroke, and some types of cancer. [b]In addition to increased health risks, overweight children may suffer from ostracism and diminished self-esteem.[/b] Although most of USDA

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]Baker Rudolph and the The Year with out a Cupcake.[/b]

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]I'm so sorry gvmom . You *are* smart and thoughtful as well...sorrrrrrryyyyyyyy!!!!![/b]

....well...*shoving sand around with my shoe* ..... okay then.... I guess I'll still play with you guys....

"A Passage to Cupcakes"

"The Invisible Shrinking Cupcake"

"A Canticle for Cupcake"

... will have to think of more during swimming lessons.....

[b]Now, anything served in the classroom must be safe for her to consume or it cannot be served.[/b]

I agree with this naturally. It is the "cannot be served" that always ends up being a problem.

I almost feel like that knight from Monty Python when working on that part -- you know the one I'm talking about no legs, no arms, bleeding.... still fighting.....

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]Hellraiser[/b] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

good grief i can't bracket my way out of a paper bag today

[This message has been edited by lilpig99 (edited August 16, 2007).]

On Aug 16, 2007

[b] Curious George and the 504 Violation [/b]

On Aug 16, 2007

[b] Madeline[i]s[/i] [/b]

Oh forgive me.

[b] Make Way for Dumplings[/b]

On Aug 16, 2007

[b] Oh say, Can you say COM-PE-TI-TIVE? [/b] (by Dr. Seuss)

[b] Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, School Birthday Celebration [/b]

[b] Bridge to Tapioca [/b]

[b] The Lion, The Witch, and the Waldorf [/b]

[b] ____________ (your name) the Pest [/b]

On Aug 16, 2007

[i]State Competitive Foods Policies Updated by USDA September 2002 [url="http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/CompetitiveFoods/state_policies_2002.htm"]http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/CompetitiveFoods/state_policies_2002.htm[/i][/url]

It appears the law may actually consider competitive foods as ones [i]sold[/i], despite what the the first article I linked to stated...I wonder which it is, a food that is *offered* or a food that is *sold*? :

[i]Federal Regulations Definitions:

Competitive Foods: Means any foods sold in competition with the Program to children in food service areas during the lunch periods.[/i]

[This message has been edited by lilpig99 (edited August 16, 2007).]

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]"The Velveteen Cake"[/b]

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]"Of Mousse and Meringue"[/b]

On Aug 16, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]

I almost feel like that knight from Monty Python when working on that part -- you know the one I'm talking about no legs, no arms, bleeding.... still fighting.....

[/b]

do your children still need a few "back to school" t-shirts?

[url="http://www.cafepress.com/buy/Holy+Hand+Grenade/-/pv_design_prod/p_1146239.41269213/pNo_41269213/id_10208848/?click=true&CMP=KNC-F-ALL"]http://www.cafepress.com/buy/Holy+Hand+G...e&CMP=KNC-F-ALL[/url]

On Aug 16, 2007

[img]http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h257/dwenzler/monty_python_2__limbless_black_knig.jpg[/img]

"Don't be silly, it's just a flesh wound"

On Aug 16, 2007

What are ya gonna do.. BLEED on me???

On Aug 16, 2007

I love that scene. He's so persistant! Hilarious.

On Aug 16, 2007

[b]"A Clockwork Danish"[/b]

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

I sure know that all those treats give [i]me[/i] the impulse to listen to a little of the old Ludwig von myself. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Do you think that we could interest either Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp in our production? They both have [i]just[/i] the sinister aspect that I think is called for in my vision for the Clockwork Danish, which opens with a scene quite similar to the Nut Room in Dahl's chocolate factory... with the cupcake-weilding 'queen' ending up down the chute, followed by the oh-so-concerned teacher. Heheheh. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] [i]"No wait stop don't."[/i] (All with Wilder's bored monotone.)

I have another vision in which a giant cupcake is released from the bomb bay's double doors with Jack Nicholson screaming madly and popping out of the top wearing pasties as it drops into the landscape below.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Just can't rework the title....

[i]"Stealing our Precious...... cupcakes!"[/i]

[b]The Neverending Party[/b]

BIG hugs}} gvmom-- my thoughts are with you and your family.

On Aug 16, 2007

gvmom, I just re-raised a couple of my old threads. They might actually be of interest to you when things settle down a bit.

Also, if you do a "search" just entitled First Day of School - there are quite a few threads dealing with "exclusion".

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

I felt sad reading those two threads for a few reasons. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 16, 2007

*smacking forehead*

Two words:

TIM BURTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks CM for the thoughts & hugs. (And for the image of Gene Wilder... yes that monotone.... perfect....of couse, Johnny Depp also has it down to perfection --- such decisions!)

And ATM, thank you for raising those threads. I've gotten to be quite the insomniac, so I know I will get to them. I probably have an idea why they'd make you sad too. <<<>>>

On Aug 17, 2007

This is what bothers me. It is okay to serve our children competitive foods if there is a profit attached to it. I [b]knew[/b] that it had to be about profit. Here is a quote from an article from an USDA document.

"Competitive foods are those food items that are sold in competition with the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs to children in food service areas during meal periods. These food items do not include foods of minimal nutritional value, which are excluded from sale in the food service area during meal times. They do, however,include food items offered for sale in the serving line, a la carte, vending machines, or other areas in the cafeteria. Such items may include snack products, candy, dessert items, ice cream products, and beverages. [b]The sale of competitive foods may be allowed only if all income from the sale of such foods accrues to the benefit of the nonprofit school food service or the school or student organizations approved by the school.[/b]"

This particular document does not say anything about food brought from home, but it does specify foods *sold*.

I know this is a little off-topic, but it just makes me crazy knowing that it is okay to stuff our children with foods with high fat content as long as it is for profit. What other motivation would there be?

I am not sure how this will ultimately relate to food allergies, or even if it ever will, but I just think that if the food allergy community can focus on *wellness* a secondary benefit would be to get some of the allergens out of the school to begin with. Less food equals less food to worry about.

[This message has been edited by notnutty (edited August 17, 2007).]

On Aug 17, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by notnutty: [b]This is what bothers me. It is okay to serve our children competitive foods if there is a profit attached to it. I [b]knew[/b] that it had to be about profit. Here is a quote from an article from an USDA document.

"Competitive foods are those food items that are sold in competition with the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs to children in food service areas during meal periods. These food items do not include foods of minimal nutritional value, which are excluded from sale in the food service area during meal times. They do, however,include food items offered for sale in the serving line, a la carte, vending machines, or other areas in the cafeteria. Such items may include snack products, candy, dessert items, ice cream products, and beverages. [b]The sale of competitive foods may be allowed only if all income from the sale of such foods accrues to the benefit of the nonprofit school food service or the school or student organizations approved by the school.[/b]"

This particular document does not say anything about food brought from home, but it does specify foods *sold*.

I know this is a little off-topic, but it just makes me crazy knowing that it is okay to stuff our children with foods with high fat content as long as it is for profit. What other motivation would there be?

[/b]

well it doesn't come as a shock to me, since there just may be a lot of people getting 504's (translate: no federal dollars) and requiring accommodations when they could be getting an IEP and bringing the bucks in. It's got to be made up somewhere....the school nurse and one to one aides, for instance, don't pay for themselves.

On Aug 17, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: [b] well it doesn't come as a shock to me, since there just may be a lot of people getting 504's (translate: no federal dollars) and requiring accommodations when they could be getting an IEP and bringing the bucks in. It's got to be made up somewhere....the school nurse and one to one aides, for instance, don't pay for themselves.

[/b]

Yes, people are not getting IEPs [b]because [/b] the administration will not qualify them for IEP. I have been trying. If only the administration was knowledgeable enough to realize that federal dollars are available to help with accommodations. I know my son does not have a 1:1 aid or an RN in the school at all times. I find it hard to believe that the profit from the sale of competitive foods is going to help children with disabilities...at least in our school. It would be interesting to find out exactly where these dollars are spent.

If the administration would only do as much homework on food allergies and IEPs as they do on circumventing the USDA standards and the local wellness policies...maybe we all would not be in these situations.

It seems to be all about priorities. FA children get the short end of the stick (in my mind).

[This message has been edited by notnutty (edited August 17, 2007).]

On Aug 17, 2007

Touche.

This is why it eludes me why an OHI designation is so much more difficult to obtain for extremely severe/sensitive FA.

Many school districts (and even parents) see the need to provide those children with such [i]services[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] but why do that under the aegis of 504 and not IDEA???

I mean, if the [i]need[/i] is there, and the accommodations needed come with [i]associated costs[/i] for implemenation..... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] What am I missing?

So in our case, OHI really isn't needed-- because the only modifications necessary are cost-free to the school. Yes, they provide un-used materials. Which the vendor already [i]has warehoused.[/i] Most kids get a mix-- from what I've seen, about 20% previously used materials, on average....They just make sure that those never get into our box.

But in a B+M school, a 1:1 aide isn't that out of line with what might be considered an 'appropriate accommodation.'

So here's my question, Mouser-- is my child appropriately designated as 504-eligible in the ONE instance, but OHI in the other? That confuses me, since the child is, in fact, no different. Just the environment is. Or is she more properly considered OHI in [i]both[/i]-- even though in the one environment, she doesn't need any 'associated services' at all?

Is it clear what I am asking here?

(Recognizing that this is off on a bit of a tangent relative to the cupcake queens being lashed by oompa-loompas weilding giant, though entirely fat-free, licorice ropes in my Burton-esque shared fantasy.)

On Aug 17, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by notnutty: Yes, people are not getting IEPs [b]because [/b] the administration will not qualify them for IEP.

not entirely true. My superintendent [i]offerred it to us[/i]. edit to add, I shouldn't say "offerred", since that year, we were in an "out of district" placement. (to get a full time school nurse, next year, they got in step with LRE). He just strongly suggested I might be able to get it, even though we weren't going to be in *his* district. LOLOL. Howz that for leverage? One district held accountable to the other for the care of their charge, and the top dog strongly suggesting it might be a possibility. Probably didn't hurt that my district had to pay $$ to the other district for my son, and the fed dollars probably went in place of many of those.

It was a very complicated dance...

Quote:

[b] I have been trying. [/b]

I know that. I wasn't wagging my finger at you. There are plenty of people who describe their children's LTFA in terms that scream "special needs/special education" but shrink at the idea of actually owning the label. Ironic thing is, in my possibly flawed opinion, I think that's exactly what a 504 is. Special Education.

Quote:

[b]If only the administration was knowledgeable enough to realize that federal dollars are available to help with accommodations. I know my son does not have a 1:1 aid or an RN in the school at all times. I find it hard to believe that the profit from the sale of competitive foods is going to help children with disabilities...at least in our school. It would be interesting to find out exactly where these dollars are spent.[/b]

I've used this example before, but even if my child was the only child who [i]required[/i] a full time school nurse, they'd have to provide it, by the way his IEP is worded. But he surely isn't the only child benefitting from her presence. I believe the [b]entire student body[/i] does, special needs or not. I don't care how the funds are allocated. Keeping that in mind, can you imagine how much easier her salary would be to pay if every child who qualified for OHI and the services of a full time school nurse was documented as such? I also truly believe a full time school nurse, each day, all day, every day, in the building is a necessity for ALL children. "Special Needs" or not. Unfortunately this is not the condition in many, many, schools. [i]There, that's *my* public service for today.[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by The #l Mouser! (edited August 17, 2007).]

On Aug 17, 2007

[b]My superintendent offerred it to us.[/b]

Is that based solely on your child(s) FA's?

On Aug 17, 2007

I think my DD qualifies for an IEP based on her life-threatening food allergies and asthma. She will have a 1:1 aide this year during lunch and recess. Her classroom environment needs to be altered (peanut-free) in order for her to attend school (per her doctors). The school offered us the 504 before she even started there. Now a year plus later I'm wondering if we sought the wrong designation. I can only think the reason they do not want her to have an IEP (& funds associated) is because it also requires them to do so much more in terms of compliance, meetings, etc..

DD missed about 10 days (going from memory) last year due to her asthma. If this happens again this year, we'll have to read up and pursue the IEP. The educational advocate I spoke with multiple times also suggested that we look into IEP. She was under the impression it offers more protection to the student and said if my DD doesn't qualify for an IEP for OHI, she doesn't know who would.

I don't have a good answer for why we are not pursuing it right now---I guess I feel like we're on such a rocky boat that one more rock and we'll fall off [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

CorvallisMom-I think the important thing to remember is that your DD is at home rather than the B&M school due to her disability---that is a significant alteration to her learning environment. She absolutely would be qualified under IDEA law. I'm not sure you 'need' that vs. 504 right now, but I think your DD qualifies (not that I hold much weight in the educational systems [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ). While you might only need the accomodation of new supplies/books right now...add that to the need for her to be educated in your egg-free, peanut-free, etc.. home.

#1 Mouser can add her thoughts as she is much better educated about IEP vs. 504 than I am.

Alternative to Mainstream-I read your resurfaced posts about what you had to do for your son. It made me sick reading about the treatment he (and you) experienced. You should be really proud of how far you came!

On Aug 17, 2007

Mouser...you are fortunate...most schools do not [b]offer[/b] anything. I have had to fight for every accommodation (for LDs not PA) my son has. Fight, fight, fight for [b]everything[/b].

I don't want to turn this into an IEP v. 504 thread...that is not how it started (sorry gvmom for the sideline). There are many threads regarding the details of 504 v. IEP. However, I just wanted to clarify that most of us have to fight for IEPs and the administartion does not offer much (unless it is for profit as in the unhealthy lunches and snacks that are served on a daily basis.)

Sorry for the ramble...too many ideas in my head at one time....whew.

ETA: One more thing. I too believe that a 504 is special education. It does not bother me in the least. He is designated special education (IEP for speech) regardless of his PA.

[This message has been edited by notnutty (edited August 17, 2007).]

On Aug 17, 2007

[b](sorry gvmom for the sideline). [/b]

That's okay. I just think as I read all of this, as we in our own community debate IDEA/IEP vs 504, and fight with schools over designations & accommodations, we still have to do something in the meantime.

While DH and I fight with the school, make complaints, write letters, etc., we still have to do something... right now.... with our boys.

Sure, it involves at the moment not sending them to school possibly.

But even if the school agrees, and what if out of nowhere they offered an IEP, what would we do on any single given day when that is violated?

Do you still send in a safe snack box with and IEP? Should you send in a safe snack box with an IEP? Does it undermine the IEP if you give them an "out"? Does it undermine your position that is one mandating an IEP if you do send in a treat box.... recognizing that there is an out if they violate it? "Well, it turned out okay anyway.... your son was safe.... he had one of those treats you sent in."

Do you still hold yourself to the same Standard of Care that you hold the school to if you have an IEP?

We can list reasons up one side and down why FA's should be IEP or not, or if they should be 504 or not.

When it comes down to it, what are YOU going to do for the day to day management of occurences when a parent or teacher either knowingly, or by mistake, does something that doesn't go according to your plan?

I mean, really? My son is designated. He has accommodations. Unless I stood at the door of the classroom all day long, everyday, food got in. It was dispensed. In conflict with the rules for food in the classroom. In violation of his 504.

No treat box was opened or given to my son when that happened.

I wasn't notified in advance.... even two minutes before.... of most of the food that violated his 504. And the notifications that we got was by happenstance. By accident really. Nothing directly from the teacher.

The teacher flat out said to DH and I that she would have no problem turning away food. But she didn't.

I spent lots of last year writing letters of understanding. Lots of phone calls. Discussions & meetings with the principal went on.

In the moment though, what will your stance be?

Bear with me for a minute and imagine if you will:

Big gooey cupcakes are getting into your child's classroom today. The parent doesn't even think about the ingredients. Drops them off at lunchtime on the teachers desk so the kids can have them during the last period of the day. The teacher thinks they are so great. It'll be great too, she can give the cupcakes during the last 20 minutes of class and not have to deal with teaching. She'll get a break.... doesn't think that day about your kids FA's. The principal is at a conference. And all your district contacts aren't in the building, they are in their offices, scattered around the city, looking at emails and wondering how to deal with your last complaint.

What then?

How much pause will that teacher have if she goes to pass out the cupcakes and has that "stop in your tracks" moment, realizing that your child can't have the stuff.

If you send in a safe treat box... as part of an IEP or 504..... is that teacher more likely to think, "Darn... he has allergies... I can't pass these out... oh, wait... I can just give him one of those treats from that box in the cupboard."

Wouldn't you rather they think, and probably likely, "Darn.... he has allergies. I can't pass these out. Now what? *looking at your kid* Maybe I can just pass them out as the kids leave the class for the day." .... and even better still.... "Darn, I can't pass these out because of that kid's FA's. Guess I'll have to just leave them and give them back to that parent." ... ideally.... "Darn. I wish these parents would stop sending in junk food. Why can't they send in something that has nothing to do with food. Then it would keep these FA kids safe, help prevent obesity, and just be healthier overall. I'm so sick of these Cupcake Queens. That woman will just have to take these da&^ cupcakes back home with her when she comes to pick up her kid.... who really doesn't need a cupcake anyway. Spoiled brat."

On Aug 17, 2007

I just re-read that last part and realized I forgot the last point of my fantasy.... it was really good wasn't it? You know, the last option?

Anyway, point is..... do you want them to stop... give pause... and not have an option that lets them off the hook?

Is there anything in these people, and, *rolling my eyes*, they are human.... that would recognize at least the simplest of math:

1(the kid has FA's and can't eat a cupcake) + 1 (if I pass these out, he can't have one and will be the only one without one) = 2 (maybe I shouldn't pass them out)

I do realize this does require math competence, but, I'm assuming as part of standardized requirements for a teaching license, most teachers have to at least know how to do single digit math. No fractions, multiplication, or division in that equation either.

On Aug 17, 2007

No, *some* of these teachers have advanced math and critical thinking skills:

[b] 1 [/b] Mommy-Queen has brought in [b] 20 [/b] cupcakes,

+ [b] 1 [/b] FA child cannot eat this, so he must DO WITHOUT, for safety's sake, SO

= [b] 2 [/b] cupcakes for teacher (me, ME, ME!!) to eat while all the kids pig out & I shall be so busy stuffing my face that I cannot possibly even see the FA kid.

So who cares. The End.

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 17, 2007).]

On Aug 17, 2007

Okay. I actually laughed at the same time that I knew that is true too.

But... do they take you more seriously when you stand there mad at them when your kid ended up eating something safe you sent, or do they take you more seriously if you stand there mad at them with FA's and complete exclusion?

We've debated "separate but equal" right? To me it is illegal. But that is what snack boxes do.

But, isn't plain out "separate" wrong?

Isn't blatant exclusion even easier for people to understand?

Aside from my previous points, I think having a snack box confuses people. They just see that you sent in a safe food for them to give your kid when something they can't have comes in. Registering the point is too much brain work for them.

I think even the dimmest of bulbs could get -- when a parent is telling them of course -- that a child can't be excluded.

Plus, wouldn't you have a complaint for the OCR just based on exclusion based on disability, in addition to the many ways it would violate a 504?

On Aug 17, 2007

I guess my worry is that a teacher who is already violating the provisions of a 504 in that manner may actually be so thoughtless as to think, "Oh.... what nice cupcakes! How awesome of that mom to think of us. I'll pass them out during that last class period."

With [b] NO thought for the food allergy. NONE.[/b]

With some kids, this might have a happy ending, but I honestly wonder how many K-2 kids (even the most responsible among them) would really [i]always[/i] say "No." All it would take is [i]once.[/i]

Oh, sure, I'd sue the pants off the teacher, the parent (assuming notice had been given to the other parents in the class at some point) and the district too.... SURE it would be negligence. SURE it would be a 504 violation. No question how it would turn out, either.

But it wouldn't bring my kid back.

And anything [i]less[/i] than that type of scenario is probably going to get shrugged off with some explanation of how it is "okay" because "child} knows s/he can't have that and reminded me," or even "{child} knew just what to do during an allergic reaction." [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]

What will the teacher do if she's passed out HALF of the cupcakes before she remembers that "Doh! The allergy kid. RIGHT." She'll say "OOOOOPSIE.... I'll, umm, get you a sticker. Or something. Later." And then she'll keep passing them out. Little choice at that point, KWIM?

Maybe it's just me. There [i]is[/i] after all, another scenario. [i]"Ohhhh.... [b]CR@P.[/b] Another set of flippin cupcakes. GREAT. Like I have the freakin time for THIS today...I'm supposed to be doing test prep this afternoon.... Well, they'll be back from music in ten minutes, or I could do it after lunch. Oh, no-- then the special ed kids go to the resource room for language arts until test prep at 1:30. Might as well pass them out sooner rather than later since they're already amped up anyway after music. Maybe they'll settle down later on if I just get it over with so that they aren't sitting here. GOOD GRIEF I wish parents would quit doing this."[/i]

(As the daughter of one of this variety. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )

Perspective-- that's all. That classroom teacher we are relying on to do this is ALSO thinking about a lot of other things. A LOT. Like it or not, 'inclusion' of our kids (or anyone else's) isn't always going to be at the top of that list.

What gvmom is saying, though, I get. And agree with, at least in theory. When the teacher gets to my child's theoretical desk and starts to put a cupcake on a paper towel in front of her.... THEN that teacher will think about exclusion. BUT-- two things are wrong with that. 1. Obviously, what if-- at that moment-- the person handing out those cupcakes simply doesn't recognize that my child [i]must NOT[/i] have one? And what if my child decides-- in that moment-- that NOTHING is worse than not licking the frosting off of that cupcake right along with her classmates?

2. Even if the teacher remembers, the rest of the class' cupcakes are out already, right? The exclusion is a reality at that point. A done deal. She will sit there with [i]nothing.[/i] (Or the promised "uhh, sticker.")

Just thinking out here... free association, if you will.

On Aug 17, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: With some kids, this might have a happy ending, but I honestly wonder how many K-2 kids (even the most responsible among them) would really [i]always[/i] say "No." All it would take is [i]once.[/i]

This happened with my DD last year. Her kindergarten teacher gave each student a candy cane and told them not to eat them until they got home. According to DD, the teacher read the label and said there were no nuts in them (she's also egg allergic, though). Thankfully, DD did not eat it but I had to be the bad guy and take it away when she got home. When I emailed the teacher about it, she said she didn't want DD to be left out. We'd noted on DD's allergy plan that she's not to be fed anything not provided by us.

Cupcakes arriving at school unannounced are pretty common. That's why I leave a box of safe snacks at school (mini Oreos, etc.) for DD so that she can at least have some treat. I guess I don't look at this as an inclusion issue with her. I mean she already has different treats when she goes to parties, so this is just part of her life.

Is it fair? Of course not. But it's hardly fair that she has these allergies to begin with but it's not something she can change.

As for feeling excluded because she's different from her peers, there are so many means that kids can find to exclude other children: you don't wear the right clothes, you're fat, you wear glasses, etc. Exclusion is a lesson she'll learn anyway even though she's sunny, sweet, and young. For me, it's more productive to teach her how to handle that gracefully and that it's is not reflective of her value as a person. Also, I should model the behavior of grace for her if I expect her to learn it and that entails being gracious about these issues in the classroom. I'm not saying be a doormat but you don't need to go to the mattresses to make a point and thereby exclude and single-out your child even more.

Our school has nut-free classrooms for those students with allergies. Some items that are may contains did make their way into the classroom during the holiday parties (strangely despite the class mom having kids with severe food allergies) but those posed less of a risk to DD. Birthday cupcakes were handed out during snack, which was held in the cafeteria.

We also have a very simple rule for DD (who is 6): You don't eat anything not provided or checked by mommy/daddy. So forcing parents to bring in a celebratory snack free of all her allergens that she wouldn't be allowed to eat anyway wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be fair to the other 24 kids in her class who do not have allergies. My daughter is one person and the world does not revolve around her even despite her allergies. Certainly, safeguards should be in place and if those are violated, I'll deal with them but asking for protections that would serve no purpose would only serve to make other families resent us.

[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 17, 2007).]

On Aug 17, 2007

That's okay. I guess part of it all is that I have the advantage, if you will, of having gone through those scenarios.

Having a safe snack box -- which never got used. Not because I said,"Don't use it"... but because the teacher and my son didn't think of it at the time it was necessary.

Having the kid that did eat something he knew he wasn't supposed to.

Having the kid that ate something he knew he wasn't supposed to, but remembered to ask if it had nuts.

Having a teacher that believed it was okay for my son to opt out of a math lesson so he wouldn't be using the candy that wasn't supposed to be used AT ALL.

Having a parent think it was okay to feed my son something she made from home, which apparently the teacher had told her to call me about, which she never did, and the teacher never told me about until I was standing in the classroom with food all around, as I asked her what my son ate, to which her answer was "I don't know".

Having a teacher who paid no attention to what foods my son ate in her own classroom, foods which shouldn't have been there in the first place according to his 504, foods she knew were going to be there long before they were, foods she could have said no to, foods that not a single person let us in on that I could smell as I walked in the door of the school (and when I walked in that door, smelled the waft of it... my stomach sank... and I had a whole hall to walk down, to make a left, to walk down to the end of the hall, getting to that classroom door to realize I wasn't wrong about my sinking feeling).

I could really go on, and on, and on....

My point is, I know it will happen once. I don't want it to be so... but reality is, that it will. And I am really not the luckiest of women by most standards, but I know, all joking aside, that I am. Why you ask? Because, my son actually is alive at the end of the year that we had. But, what things make it less likely to happen again... if at all?

I guess I am just thinking that exclusion isn't something that most people don't get.

If you are standing talking to people and try and discuss the subtleties of it all you lose them. Relateable. Easy.

Exclude = Wrong to most people. Exclude = Illegal to many people. It is simple. It is easy. It is easier to say "If you exclude my child you will be in trouble" -- and easier for them to get. "If you end up giving my son a treat from his treat box that I'm giving to you, you are still going to be in trouble for violating his 504" is harder to say, makes no sense to them because for them it is too subtle and is likely to result in repeating.

And if you just sanction food for them in the classroom, in a way that lets them associate food=okay --- without a really big catch word --- besides "death" -- then I think their minds get fuzzy and the idea is lost.

It could just be me, but it is okay. I will try it. I am tired of trying with a safe snack box. IT DOESN'T WORK EITHER AND COMPROMISES THE ENTIRE PRINCIPLE.

In ATM's words, "It is do-able" -- and if it isn't, if everything completely fails, including all the other stuff we are going through right now, well, then we'll deal with it. And maybe I'll get my opportunity to flip them all off as I walk out those dam* doors with my boys.

But I have to look at myself in the mirror. I have to know that I didn't let "separate but equal" be okay for my sons.

In their school, they are entitled to a safe school. They are entitled to have an accessible education. Edited to add -- And really, I'm feeling frustrated right now, for a multitude of reasons... not just here, but on my side of the computer.... but.... really..... if we don't hold a PUBLIC institution, funded with PUBLIC TAX DOLLARS to the standards that are contained in LAWS because that is just life out in the real world, then we do an enormous disservice to everyone.

Out in the Real World my 5 year old would have a 1:1 ratio. And the adult supervising him would be DH or I.... a trained individual, that follows the accommodations in the 504 plan (out in the REAL WORLD), and wouldn't expect him, 5 year old -- or 7 year old (my other son)for that matter, to take responsibility for his own allergy on a level that would be akin to a child in middle school or high school.

The reality is that you are not dealing with a real life scenario in schools.

Would you ever, in real life, leave your child with someone who was shown how to use the epi-pen once, was told basic symptoms, repeatedly gave your child food they shouldn't eat -- that could kill them, allowed other people to give your child food that could kill them and pay them for doing so?

Honestly, yes, I am testy, but no offense to the poster above, this whole notion that anything applicable in the real world is the way you approach schools is just ludicrous. It has nothing to do with the idea that the world revolves around a single child.

[This message has been edited by gvmom (edited August 17, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by gvmom (edited August 17, 2007).]

On Aug 17, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [B].

Out in the Real World my 5 year old would have a 1:1 ratio. And the adult supervising him would be DH or I.... a trained individual, that follows the accommodations in the 504 plan (out in the REAL WORLD), and wouldn't expect him, 5 year old -- or 7 year old (my other son)for that matter, to take responsibility for his own allergy on a level that would be akin to a child in middle school or high school.

The reality is that you are not dealing with a real life scenario in schools.

Would you ever, in real life, leave your child with someone who was shown how to use the epi-pen once, was told basic symptoms, repeatedly gave your child food they shouldn't eat -- that could kill them, allowed other people to give your child food that could kill them and pay them for doing so?

Honestly, yes, I am testy, but no offense to the poster above, this whole notion that anything applicable in the real world is the way you approach schools is just ludicrous. It has nothing to do with the idea that the world revolves around a single child.

B]

Very well said. My DS is 5, and I feel the exact same way. I am still in the *process* of teaching him how to deal with the real world. At 5 he is not ready to be alone in real world situations.

This is a very interesting topic. I have learned so much, and plan to incorporate lots of what I've taken away from it in my 504. Still fine tuning it - but I am close. The cupcake debacle is causing me to loose sleep. I will, however, begin the year with a safe snack box. I think with MFAs there is no other choice. Not saying I disagree with the points raised here, I am just still trying to wrap my mind around beginning Kindergarten, and the thought of sending him in with nothing is not an option for us.

I have really enjoyed reading all of the perspectives on this subject [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 17, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by ceross: [b] Certainly, safeguards should be in place and if those are violated, I'll deal with them but asking for protections that would serve no purpose would only serve to make other families resent us. [/b]

Insisting on a a basic, inclusive, and CONSISTENT policy of [i] food if it's only completely safe for everyone [/i] is HARDLY asking for a protection that "serves no purpose"! We are talking about "special" celebrations and food in the classroom, NOT required meals and required daily nutrition. And if the BASIC purpose is to keep my son fundamentally ALIVE, then does that not serve a bonafide purpose??

I guess what I really want to know at this point is, when are WE as a food allergy community going to be willing to QUIT APOLOGIZING to EVERYBODY ELSE for INCONVENIENCING THEM with our OUR MEDICAL NEEDS?? W.H.E.N.???

I will take the resentment of 10,000,000 other families if it means my son comes home to me at the end of the school day ALIVE.

~Elizabeth

On Aug 17, 2007

I haven't read this whole thread but a lot of it. Govmom, I'm very sorry you have had such bad experiences with your child's school! That's really shocking to me.

We are just having our son start K this year and I think our plan is good. The school is really loved by the FA families that went before us and so far our experience is very, very positive. The principal decided to make DS's class totally food-free. Bday treats will happen during snack if they are brought and snack will be in the cafeteria. DS will get a separate treat and he says he is OK with this. He is used to having something different than other people have and I want him used to it. I don't believe others would know how to bring food free of all my son's MFAs including one that doesn't have to be labeled for according to the new USA labeling law and to which he has had serious reactions to X-contam in products that had nothing to indicate they contained this allergen or X-contam of it.

To me this feels the most safe method. I would not want him to sit there eating nothing while others ate. I would love for the to do away with food for birthdays altogher and know others who are working to this goal in the schools in our town. I don't feel I want to take that on yet as we are just new but I'm thankful to those working for it.

I can see why you feel the way you do. I"m sorry what *should* have worked didn't for your child. That is really outrageous stuff you listed! You sound like you are really trying your very best to protect your child.

I hope this school year goes very well for us all.

On Aug 17, 2007

Here's an example of just how the thought process of our teacher was last year, see if you notice the lack of inclusion here:

Poof...too much identifying information...self destructed in a day...sorry all. You got the picture though..

I think we *do* perpetuate this sort of exclusion with safe snacks in the name of safety. We can't argue with the safety results we achieve with this MO. But one cannot always measure psychological well being by the number of allergic reactions in school.

[This message has been edited by lilpig99 (edited August 18, 2007).]

On Aug 17, 2007

[b]Out in the Real World my 5 year old would have a 1:1 ratio. And the adult supervising him would be DH or I.... a trained individual, that follows the accommodations in the 504 plan (out in the REAL WORLD), and wouldn't expect him, 5 year old -- or 7 year old (my other son)for that matter, to take responsibility for his own allergy on a level that would be akin to a child in middle school or high school.

The reality is that you are not dealing with a real life scenario in schools. [/b]

This is nicely stated gvmom.

On Aug 17, 2007

[url="http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/menu/Presentations/SchoolMealPerformance.ppt"]http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/menu/Presentations/SchoolMealPerformance.ppt[/url]

Again, in this power point demonstration, they do mention classroom parties and snacks as competitive foods, sold or offered.

I do get the feeling that the USDA has difficulty controlling the nutrient value of these items, and therefore restricts the sale of the at lunchtime, in order to push kids to choose meals with nutrition standards. They encourage schools to make wellness policies to do what they cannot. At least not yet.

On Aug 17, 2007

gvmom,

I appreciate your moral stand at an intellectual level. I think that at the middle school level or above, I'd be inclined to side with you, and at that point, I would no longer feel that I'm using my child as the pointy end of the spear. Of course, at that point, I am sincerely hopeful that most of the food issues in the classroom have disappeared (at least B'day party cupcakes!)

However, as some other posters have mentioned, teachers will make mistakes in this imperfect world of elementary school. So for us, [b]snack box = safety net[/b]. DS finds it comforting to have a safety net so he can consume food with confidence when a food situation presents itself. Certainly he has preferred it to the alternative of exclusion, which I still contend, would happen more often than not, realistically.

We have had some parents that cared enough to approach us in advance to try to work out something which would be inclusive for DS. But those situations are few and far between. In addition, we have been unsuccessful in getting the school to adopt no food in the classroom, or only pre-packaged food. So our comfort zone is such that we almost never trust homebaked goods which conform to the 504 accommodation of "no peanuts or tree nuts being present in the classroom" due to cross-contamination risks, as our comfort zone is still pretty tight.

BTW - I hope that you have engaged an expert resource to assist you in your latest struggles...could make a world of difference...hang in there!

[This message has been edited by Nutternomore (edited August 18, 2007).]

On Aug 17, 2007

GVMOM-We may be on separate coasts, but the description of your son's experiences with his teacher are too similar to my daughter's. I am trying to remember if a treat was ever used from my DD's treat box and I don't think 1 ever was. I also supplied the teacher with a big box of different snacks so she could swap out the unsafe group snack with a safe one (I sent in Pirates Booty, Rold Gold Pretzels, etc.). My DD's class was a group snack and was supposed to be off the safe snack list but she always brought her own.

I saw the teacher hand out Snyders pretzels twice (once on a field trip and once the 2nd to last day of school). She said she read the label. I guess her reading abilities stink because clear as day it states a peanut warning. I read labels several times a day yet she had to argue with me even after I pointed it out.

I'm fortunate that my DD has passed on the teacher's offers of food (the pretzels in my presence--WTH?!!!) and a candy another time.

I'm not sending a safe treat box into school this year for my DD (it was returned full to me at the end of the year anyway). Treats per our 504 Plan are supposed to only come on planned days and I will send her in with own cupcake on those days. Anything unplanned that is handed out will put all sorts of things immediately in motion from our end. That is not a threat; just a plan that we have worked out after extensive conversations with OCR. We gave too many chances last year.

EDIT for Lilpig [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

"I guess what I really want to know at this point is, when are WE as a food allergy community going to be willing to QUIT APOLOGIZING to EVERYBODY ELSE for INCONVENIENCING THEM with our OUR MEDICAL NEEDS?? W.H.E.N.???"

Elizabeth you make an excellent point. I still feel like I am inconveniencing people and that is why we opt out of so many things.

[This message has been edited by PinkPoodle (edited August 18, 2007).]

On Aug 18, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b][b]My superintendent offerred it to us.[/b]

Is that based solely on your child(s) FA's?

[/b]

I edited that "offerred" (sp?--too tired to check) and added an explanation before you posted. He [i]suggested[/i] it while knowing my child was getting an out of district placement, out of his district. The whole process is outlined in the IEP vs. 504 thread. It took some thinking. Some strategy, but once I wrapped my mind (and my claws [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]) around it, I insisted it stop squirming and let me swallow. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

[i]I wasn't letting go[/i].

And according to my Director of sped services and Director of the co-op, it's not attached to any other labels. I've tried to explain many times before, "OHI" is listed as a category that qualifies. [b]Period[/b]. I've asked, at IEP meetings, if my child's educational label was dropped, would his protection under OHI still continue. Certainly, I was told, and who knows, maybe they are wrong.

And I asked since my other child's qualifying label for protection under IDEA was [i]dropped[/i] at one point. I had just cause to be concerned.

But seeing I don't question his LTFA and Asthma affect his ability to learn by impacting his ability to be in the school environment period (or subsequently if prohibited, must need accomodations to learn in an alternate fabricated environment) [i]I don't see it as a stretch the way some others might[/i]. If you don't have a key to car "A", your ability to drive car "A" is greatly affected.

One thing I found out was that withdrawing my child on paper didn't cause quite the concern [i]witholding[/i] his attendance, while leaving him enrolled did. :evil grin:

When I took my child home to homeschool him for two years, the school district never looked back. Never called, never followed up. (That's not saying they shouldn't have, either.)

It was a different story when I left him enrolled. (two different children, same pronoun.)

Anywhooo. Like Nutternomore, I've posted it all before in a thread, and it's out there.

It wasn't like I walked into the neighboring school district and said: "Oh, the super of MY school district suggested we cover my child's health issues under OHI. Do it." First of all, [i]they brought their lawyer.[/i] I brought myself. And my um....muscle. A darn tootin handsome 230 lb hunk of it.

I won't over look the fact they had [i]accountability[/i] to my school district in how they responded to meeting my child's needs. I also remember at times, certain people at the table saying: "We provide (this), and no, your district will have to provide (that). Boiling down to $$$. My district always sent a representative to each meeting held with the other district, supposedly to assure equitable and proper handling of my child's needs. Either way, the designation followed us back to our own district, when lo and behold, the district coincidentally managed to meet conditions I had casually mentioned would better fullfil LRE. [i]As a matter of fact, when I was told my child would be returning to his home district the next year, they made it a point to tell me the full time nurse position wasn't filled after all these years, specifically for my child.[/i]

[b]U-huh.[/b] But like I said, it's a lot easier when people are persuaded by logic than by dragging them to the destination.

Actually, I'm past, way past, believing the only *type* of concern my child's LTFA and Asthma is, is a [i]health concern[/i]. It's much more global than that. I think it's just as much an "educational label" as my child's other label. Make sense? (but I could be wrong, and maybe it's only my perspective. It's not advice.

[url="http://www.newhorizons.org/spneeds/inclusion/law/hayes3.htm"]http://www.newhorizons.org/spneeds/inclusion/law/hayes3.htm[/url]

[i]"In 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was passed, replacing PL 94-142, or the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA). It was here that federal funding was connected to handicapped learners in the public schools.

IDEA became the funding statute that quickly overshadowed any potential use of Section 504, a civil rights statute, for children in schools. Children who were identified and qualified for one of IDEA's 13 defined categories would bring extra federal dollars to a district. If a child were going to be seen as "handicapped" and could be qualified for "special education," even under the complex federal procedural guidelines, it made more sense for schools to use the IDEA label, not "504," which was unfunded. There was literally no incentive to use Section 504 to accommodate students' needs.

While IDEA clearly spells out with rigid guidelines the Individual Education Plan for a special education student, the 504 referral committee simply must have at least two individuals who know the student and his or her work. [b]The committee is not required to have parent consent to put a child under a 504 plan [/b](but best practice is to obtain such consent). Good planning and accurate documentation are needed in both situations, however. Litigation is proving those to be important issues today.[/i]"

Note bold. [i]That would bug me.[/i]

No advice, and guarantees about the accuracy or content of the link.

On Aug 18, 2007

From reading the responses here I am beginning to realize how lucky we have been. During the open house for parents Ben's teacher said "There will be no nuts brought into this classroom. This is not open for debate and will be enforced. If you forget and send in something with nuts it will be sent to the office for you to pick up." And that was that.

Ben's other allergens are not contact sensitive and he can sit next to a person eating something with egg in it for example. I do not have a problem with that at all. At least half the time last year the other parents would call me to ask what they could send in for treats that would be safe for Ben to have too. Other times the kids all wanted what Ben had instead of the treat they were offered.

Last year the teacher made a point of giving out treat bags that were identical and completely Ben safe and dealing with all of his allergens that is not simple!

I have seen other staff members make a point of making eye contact with him and saying "Hi Ben" when he passes in the hall, everyone knows him and is watching out for him. One day I forgot to send him a spoon and the lunch staff made a point of getting him a disposable one from the new box in the kitchen instead of one of the ones that the kids had been taking. I believe this attitude starts with the principal and filters down to include everyone.

My heart aches for those of you who send your kids into what sounds like a hostile environment daily. I feel like I send my child into a safety net. Not as perfect as the fortress that is home but very very good.

Ann

On Aug 18, 2007

Our district did not see any financial motivation for putting Mariah's LTFAs under IDEA. The then assist super. described it as "minimal". I'm not saying that's [i]accurate[/i] and it may be completely false. But I believe it is what my [i]SD believes[/i], FWIW.

They seemed more motivated by 'efficiency' and 'ease of administration' of the paperwork. Because Mariah had already qualified for IDEA with a learning disability, I think they were more motivated to include her LTFA as OHI since that system of paperwork was already in place.

The most convincing conversations I've had with my SD as to why LTFAs would qualify under IDEA OHI was when I compared LTFAs to some of the other 12 conditions that automatically qualified. For example, "orthopedic impairment" (not sure if that's the exact term used, forgive me if it isn't) is a qualifying condition. When I would ask, "How does 'orthopedic impairment' eafect a child's ability to learn?" it was pretty clear that "orthopedic impairment" isn't a learning disability per se, but rather a health condition that required accommodations to access the learning environment. Same with "blindness"~ it is the accommodations required that would effect that student's learning or not learning. So how is that any different than a food allergy that also requires accommodations to the school environment so that they may learn? The analogy is pretty straight forward.

While a light bulb or two seemed to turn on, the catch for them seemed to be the funding structure. . . that the accommodations required for LTFAs were not provided by 'special education'. (i.e. A fulltime school RN is not a "service" provided by "Special Education".) And that school nurses would not ever be funded via special ed.

But I think a 1:1 aide could be a different story t hough. For those of you who have a 1:1 aide, you'd have a strong argument for IDEA-OHI designation. You might want to find out how that aide is funded. If it is through special ed, then it would appear that they've already qualified your child under IDEA. If the aide is not funded though special ed, you could ask your school if it made sense for them to utilize the resources/aides via special ed instead of their own budget.

MB, I'm curious: Since 504 plans make accommodations to access the learning environment, do you think [i]all [/i] students/conditions that 'only' qualify under 504 should qualify under IDEA?

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 18, 2007).]

On Aug 18, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]While a light bulb or two seemed to turn on, the catch for them seemed to be the funding structure. . . that the accommodations required for LTFAs were not provided by 'special education'. (i.e. A fulltime school RN is not a "service" provided by "Special Education".) And that school nurses would not ever be funded via special ed.

[/b]

That's an interesting mindset since my child endured an [i]out of district placement[/i] as designated in an IEP in order to obtain the [i]required[/i] services of a full time school nurse.

edit to add:

this is dated "2001" Might have changed, but I doubt it.

[url="http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/newsdig/nd16txt.htm"]http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/newsdig/nd16txt.htm[/url]

[b]"School Health Services School health services under the IDEA '97 final regulations means "services provided by a qualified school nurse or other qualified person" [Section 300.24(b)(12)]. These services may be necessary because some children and youth with disabilities would otherwise be unable to attend a day of school without supportive health care. School health services may include interpretation, interventions, administration of health procedures, the use of an assistive health device to compensate for the reduction or loss of a body function (Rapport, 1996), and case management.

Typically, school health services are provided by a qualified school nurse or other qualified trained person who is supervised by a qualified nurse. In some instances, if a school nurse is not employed by a school district, health services may be provided and/or coordinated by a public health nurse, a pediatric home care nurse, or a hospital- or community-based pediatric nurse practitioner or specialist. States and local school districts often have guidelines that address school health services. State agency guidelines that address school health services for special health care needs may address staffing requirements, infection control, medication administration, nursing procedures, classroom modifications, transportation, and policies (Porter, Haynie, Bierle, Caldwell, & Palfrey, 1997).

Possible school health services include:

special feedings;

clean intermittent catheterization;

suctioning;

the management of a tracheostomy;

administering and/or dispensing medications;

planning for the safety of a student in school;

ensuring that care is given while at school and at school functions to prevent injury (e.g., changing a student's position frequently to prevent pressure sores);

chronic disease management; and

conducting and/or promoting education and skills training for all (including the student) who serve as caregivers in the school setting. "[/b]

GD: I am not offering advice, I do not guarantee the accuracy, currentness, content or applicability of the link in this post. IMMV. But why don't you think a school nurse can be a "related service" again?

[This message has been edited by The #l Mouser! (edited August 18, 2007).]

On Aug 18, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: [b]But why don't [i]you [/i]think a school nurse can be a "related service" again?[/b]

I didn't state in my post that a school nurse was or wasn't a "related service". Frankly, I don't know if the position (school nurse) qualifies as a "related serice" or not. <> I think that in our previous discussions on this topic, I've stated that I thought that YES, a school nurse "should" qualify as a "related service". I mean, it makes sense [i]to me[/i].

What I was trying to communicate in my post is that the position of School Nurse is not funded by "special education" in our school district.

I was also trying to convery, that while it is reasonable to assume that my (or any) district would be financially motivated to either define the school nurse as a "related service" or to pursue removing school nurses' salaries from their budgets and seek their funding via "special education", my school district has not been financially motivated as such.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 18, 2007).]

On Aug 18, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]MB, I'm curious: Since 504 plans make accommodations to access the learning environment, do you think [i]all [/i] students/conditions that 'only' qualify under 504 should qualify under IDEA?[/b]

On Aug 18, 2007

Have to answer one ? you posed gvmom, without reading what transpired after you asked the ? (as far as discussion thereof).

IMPHO and experience, you are treated more seriously if the teacher actually has to say to offending parent - NO, you are not allowed to bring that in our peanut free classroom then you are if you send in a safe treat box. I mean honestly, sending in a safe treat box gives "them" (administration, teacher, school community, even classmates), an automatic "out".

Does that make sense?

It's okay, Jesse's not getting a cupcake because his parents have sent in a safe treat box and he'll be getting something wonderful (reading from what is included in some special treat boxes by parents here) or what I probably would have provided had I ever done so - a box of Smarties. So no, Jesse's okay. He's not doing without. He has something. I can gobble my cupcake now. I can hand out the cupcakes now because I know that Jesse will get something else. I can keep baking cupcakes and bringing them into the classroom (although it says no food or peanut free food or whatever requirements) because I know the PA kid has a special treat box.

Sorry, you give each and every one of them an out!

I don't know how to make this any clearer.

The children may feel a bit badly for the PA child (I found fellow classmates in early grades to be my son's strongest advocates - even if that meant making enemies with other kids in the class or even their own parents - yes!).

But no, to me, it's an easy out for ALL of them except um, your child.

Sadness about old threads I re-raised, gvmom, a lot of which would be personal, but what struck me the most was the PASSION I had with regard to sorting this stuff out. And being capable of having other people call or e-mail me and help them out (as I was helped by others).

However, I do think that that passion (which I do not think can be replaced), in my son's earliest school years, has made some stuff easier for my guy. He knows what's *right* and *wrong* as far as exclusion and will speak up about it (even that BENCH).

I do have to ponder him entering Grade 7 and a different lunch room this year.

Again, my apologies. I read that one comment/? and that's how I feel.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 18, 2007

ATM, <<>> to you. You couldn't have said it any better had I been able to find the words myself. My comment on your post is "DITTO".

I was up until 5 this morning, most of that time I was working on 504 stuff, IHP for my other son, Food Allergy Fact sheets for both my boys...... and I just finished talking with DH about what we needed to be ready for school.

On our to do list:

Medical kit bags Epibelt Benedryl Epipens Wipes to supply for class Wipes to put in lunch bags, backpacks, etc. New photos to attach to Emergency Action Plans Copies of Allergy info for classes etc., etc. etc........

I told DH that I wished our list was just about new shoes and shirts. If we forgot to get enough pairs of socks or didn't get an extra shirt our kids couldn't end up dead on their first day..... if they go.

How many other parents out there get to have that be their "Back to School" ritual? How many others even have to talk about the ins and outs of whether it will even be possible for their child to attend the first day to begin with?

I'm tired. Lots to do.

But....... again:

[b]It's okay, Jesse's not getting a cupcake because his parents have sent in a safe treat box and he'll be getting something wonderful (reading from what is included in some special treat boxes by parents here) or what I probably would have provided had I ever done so - a box of Smarties. So no, Jesse's okay. He's not doing without. He has something. I can gobble my cupcake now. I can hand out the cupcakes now because I know that Jesse will get something else. I can keep baking cupcakes and bringing them into the classroom (although it says no food or peanut free food or whatever requirements) because I know the PA kid has a special treat box.

Sorry, you give each and every one of them an out!

[i]I don't know how to make this any clearer.[/i][/b]

Yes. Ditto.

And:

[b]Sadness about old threads I re-raised, gvmom, a lot of which would be personal, but what struck me the most was the PASSION I had with regard to sorting this stuff out. And being capable of having other people call or e-mail me and help them out (as I was helped by others).

However, I do think that that passion (which I do not think can be replaced), in my son's earliest school years, has made some stuff easier for my guy. He knows what's *right* and *wrong* as far as exclusion and will speak up about it (even that BENCH).[/b]

Another, yes. My personal sadness with this journey I know isn't near the same as what yours is... given all that you've had to go through and continue to personally... but I worry about the passion. I have it... and then I don't. It is a wax and wane. I think if I had more support in life it might make things go on a more even keel. It is just not to be though. My resignation to that reality is what deflates me many times. Showing my children what is right and wrong, taking a stand, living according to the principles you espouse.... those are things that re-energize me.

Self preservation will help motivate them through their lives, but I'd like to think that they'd end up with a passion for it, finding their inner advocate. I think that can end up being a much more positive force in a persons life.

But what do I know?

On Aug 18, 2007

Is Claremont close to you, gvmom?

[url="http://www.claremont-courier.com/pages/Topstory081807.2.html"]http://www.claremont-courier.com/pages/Topstory081807.2.html[/url]

On Aug 18, 2007

Even if it isn't... there are public cybercharters operating in your area, I'm pretty sure. Feel free to e-mail me if you are interested.

([i]IF[/i] ... and I do hope it doesn't come to that for you.... [i]IF[/i] safety simply cannot be had in a B+M setting at any cost. Hey-- sometimes it happens, and it just doesn't matter how many things you do right, you can't make all the school's 'wrongs' go away. Look at what happened to b+bmom last year.)

I've wondered if I don't have bipolar problems sometimes.... Jeez- sometimes I just want to curl up on my sofa with a cup of coffee and stare out the window I feel so tired of dealing with it all.... and other times I'm spitting fire, making my sandwich boards up in my mind, writing letters to elected officials, fighting for inclusion at all kinds of public places, and planning to picket the governor's office personally for as long as it takes... LOL! I guess what I'm saying is that fighting 'the man' takes it out of you in ways that you don't always anticipate or see coming.

I was sadly considering my own pathetic 'back to school' ritual the other day, as well... (while on hold with someone) and thinking fondly of truly homeschooling again. Kind of. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

hugs}} gvmom.

On Aug 18, 2007

Gail, Claremont isn't near me, but a neighboring district did decide to no longer dispense peanut butter. Can't really think of all the details right now, but it was along the lines of the Saluda thing.... right.... schools shouldn't be giving out the PB because it shouldn't be giving out a substance that could kill it's students..... or something like that.

And you know, CM, I did look into cyber schools after reading one of your threads I think it was. Anyway, the one that I thought sounded like a winner didn't serve my area. *WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA*

Thanks for the hugs too. I need them today. We decided to try PB on our younger guy, so that if he really was allergic the first reaction wouldn't be at school. (RAST & skin tests have been negative)

Anyway, we are all set up outside. Dogs on leashes, older DS (PA/TNA) nervousing at a safe distance away. We start with a bit on his skin first. Get through that. I'm wiping off his arm -- and I have to say, for those that say they are careful who don't live with PA, or even do but allow PB & such, forget about it. I could have been proceeding with such caution an outsider would have thought I was dealing with a caustic material. I wiped his arm not thinking I even touched any of the small smear with my finger, only the kleenex, but when I opened the wipe to wipe the area, lo and behold some PB came off of my index finger onto the wipe! Had I not touched that wipe directly after doing what I had done, I never would have thought I got PB on my finger, let alone enough to leave the visible mark on the wipe. Pretty wild.

So, what's the point? I move to step 2. Give a miniscule amount for ingestion. No sooner had we given him that then our older son happened to be near a plant and gets stung by a bee for the first time!!!! He's freaking a bit... but the rest of us are all immersed in the PB process! UGH! (BTW, it is ironic that his younger brother also got stung for the first time earlier this week. I guess we are working our way through the allergen list this week. Even more ironic if it lets us know some key info for being at school only for them not to be able to go! HA HA HA HA *laughing hysterically* *losing my mind*)

So, all in all, today went okay with the PB test. We will give him another bit tomorrow to see. I was concerned about some small little spot of excema on his cheek, which I thought changed color a bit. DH didn't think it did. For me it could have been one of those things like what happens if you look at your eyebrows too long in the mirror. Instead of looking nicely shaped, they start to look like caterpillars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I can sense that I'm rambling on now. I'm sure anyone reading is getting the gist... of something... and if you figure out what it is, let me know.

I think I might go look into that staring out the window with a cup of coffee thing.............

On Aug 18, 2007

My August is a tense month. I am getting ready for this problem too. My child goes to a Waldorf school and birthdays are more of a celebration than you know. It is totally sweet. The children each are asked to bring in a flower for the birthday child or a gift from nature. (a good non - food idea). They also all color a page for a birthday book for the child. The child wears a silk cape and lights a candle and their birth story from age 0 to five is read to the class. The parents are there and they then serve that dreaded b-day treat. I let my kid eat it this year and we did okay but I am aghast at how risky it was when I think of all the people who did not call me and the misunderstandings there were about the allergy.

I can just about forget insisting on ingredient labels. EVERYTH- ING is homemade, organic. They'd run in horror from processed foods from the store.

So, I was wondering if they could change the treat to cupcakes made and decorated in class. That way the ingredients would be controlled. Just a thought. Parents could bring fruit and cheese? Could the birthday cake be a class project? Not every class has an oven but ... its a thought. I hope my teacher does not take the suggestion the wrong way.

I can forget non food treats -- stickers and tatoos are banned. I don't think every parent is up to knitting and carving for twenty kids.

But maybe some of you who would like non-food treats could suggest the nature gift. In the winter they'd get evergreens and dried flowers, sticks with pretty stones glued on and the occasional rose from the florist -- it did make a stunning gift.

Well, I geuss I'd opt for a treat box. I did not this past year because I cannot stand for my child to be excluded. However, he still heard a ton about his allergy, was teased some, and is preoccupied with it. Even if he can have the cupcake --- the darned thing is still always there. Still -- what child wants to be left out.

People cannot let go of the cupcake because face it - we all relive our own childhoods through our children -- and arent they supposed to get cupcakes in school on their birthdays, darn it?

On Aug 18, 2007

[b]However, as some other posters have mentioned, teachers will make mistakes in this imperfect world of elementary school. So for us, snack box = safety net. DS finds it comforting to have a safety net so he can consume food with confidence when a food situation presents itself. Certainly he has preferred it to the alternative of exclusion, which I still contend, would happen more often than not, realistically.[/b]

Our situation is living proof of teachers making very serious label reading mistakes, and myself being at the right place at the right time to catch it. So I completely understand that the snack box serves as a great safety net. But one can still go in and read every label....a you get inclusion, plus safety, because you know perfectly well your chances of missing an allergen on a label is next to zero. YWIM? Of course there would have to be alot of supporting accomodations involved...if the food is not safe for all (as deemed by the parent) then it doesn't get served.

Just a thought...

On Aug 18, 2007

Quote:

...I think I might go look into that staring out the window with a cup of coffee thing.............

Well, confidentially, we now have an aquarium. Staring at the Neon Tetras strikes other people as a whole lot less 'weird' and nobody thinks I need medicating for my depression now. LOL! (I'm not depressed... I'm angst-ridden, cynical, and bitter. Big difference.)

gvmom-- you might put some feelers out about an out-of-district placement at CenCA or CapoCA. Find out if the reasoning behind the geographical restrictions is CA [i]or local schools that don't want to lose student funding when kids leave their B+M schools.[/i] I strongly suspect it is the latter... which means they might, ummmmm, I dunno-- [i]make an exception for YOU.[/i] C.A. knows how school and LTFA works now and has a Hx of doing 504 plans. (We've taught them as we've gone.) Wouldn't hurt to call the 800 number and find out the scoop, anyway.

Or maybe your state legislator..... heheheh. To 'inquire' about these geographical restrictions that really don't make any sense whatsoever.... since you have the internet where you are-- IMAGINE! And it seems like [i]such[/i] a good option.

Sounds like you've had quite the week-- LOL about the 'surgical' approach to the quick and dirty pn challenge on your younger DC, though. Naturally, that's when older DC would get stung. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] How could it have been any other way?? (You can just add another bark of ironic laughter there, too.)

I know it's August, but somehow I always feel a lot better when I watch the ever-Quixotic Chevy Chase in [i]Christmas Vacation.[/i] Now [i]there's[/i] cinematic potential for an FA story if ever there were one. Be a pretty black comedy, though... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] "Ho-ley-Sh**-where's-the-Tylenol!!" A sentiment we can all embrace.

On Aug 18, 2007

gvmom, I'm glad you understood what I said. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

I know that even if Jesse would not speak up on his behalf in earlier grades, other children (non-PA) would. They'd say to the teacher - hey, this food isn't okay for the "peanut free" classroom or so and so has something they should have in the classroom. Remembering, at that time, when Jess was first in school and up until this school, they ate snack and lunch in the classroom.

Of course, not that you necessarily say it this way, but some perception I'm feeling that if we are *vocal* advocates in some way we must be witchy people (replace w with b), it's not like when I went into the Grade 3 classroom to check the food, I told the teacher to "get the f/n unsafe food out of the f/n classroom". It doesn't come out that way - it doesn't come out coarse - it comes out firm. Could you please remove the offending food or this is going to happen.......

Again, I have to re-iterate that I firmly believe my *passion* with Jesse in JK, SK, Grades 1, 2 and even that horrible 3 (and me apologizing to him for what I *should* have done with the OHRC and didn't on his behalf) is what made my guy tell me about the peanut free BENCH at school and that he was not comfie with it and could I work with the principal about it.

I truly believe that if I had not shown any *advocacy* (and is that really the correct word?) when he was younger, he would have thought that it was *okay* for him to be at the BENCH, not only excluded from his classmates entirely (in a totally different room with Grade 7 and 8 kids) but at a BENCH with PA children only - all at different grade levels. It was NOT okay. Yet, in a school that had dealt with PA children before, not one PA child or PA parent had complained to the office about the BENCH. It was like, what?

Does that mean I have some bold little bugger of a kid on my hand who speaks up about his allergy and his rights? No! He's still my guy, KWIM? But I think he does know that if something is not sitting well with him, with regard to his allergy, at school (or elsewhere really), he knows that he can talk to me about it and I will try my best to either do what I have to do or tell him what he has to do.

I truly believe people have to get the point. The rules. What is written down. What is law for that classroom. How many times does it take to turn away the Cupcake Queens before they "get it"? I imagine quite a few, but still.

And I do find with those *type* of people (and remember, I'm not jealous, because I did post about how I would take in made from scratch, yes ma'am, carrot muffins when Jess was in JK and SK and recognized that *my* behaviour was not okay); they tend not to confront you because well, you're not one of them to begin with. They may mumble and grumble amongst themselves, but what does that matter.

Then, when they do decide that they're oh so furious that this is happening and dear little Johnny didn't get a cupcake at school on his birthday and all his classmates did not get to recognize his birthday and oh my soul, that's going to ruin his life, because well, he's so special, he's entitled, and a simple (or not simple even) birthday party with friends and/or family isn't just good enough anymore these days; they go to administration and administration (or teacher) once they really realize the ramifications of violating a 504 Plan they will actually stand by you and say that I'm sorry, but it is not okay for a child to DIE under my watch simply because your child had a birthday.

It HAS been done. It is do-able.

Principals in most of Jesse's schools when he was young (and the superintendent in the one school board district) had two great one-liners that they gave to parents who called to complain. I forget them because it's late and I'm tired.

What are you telling your child when you are saying that what they eat is more important than another child's life?

There was another one. I'll try to remember.

Yes, that back-to-school list - very different than non-PA childrens' family's, eh?

Since Jesse is at the same school again, I actually whittle away at that stuff, if that makes sense.

But no, I'm glad you understood what I meant.

Now, I am off to Google the movie Fur - a fictional account of the life of photographer Diane Arbus. I just watched it and I'm trying to figure some stuff out.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 18, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]

What I was trying to communicate in my post is that the position of School Nurse is not funded by "special education" in our school district.

[/b]

Wonder if an additional nurse, above and beyond the positions already filled (you have 2?) would be. You know, to match the patie....population acuity. Sorry, slipping off into professional speak...last I recall, there *are* recommendations and staffing ratios related to school nurses.

On Aug 18, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]

MB, I'm curious: Since 504 plans make accommodations to access the learning environment, do you think [i]all [/i] students/conditions that 'only' qualify under 504 should qualify under IDEA?

[/b]

If they also fall under one of the 13 qualifying categories I don't feel 504 should be an option [b]period[/b].

That if they are addressed (and you know how I feel about the obligation to address certain "known" issues---pretty dissapointed by a blip in a recent threads), and at that point, the IEP Process *IS* what is appropriate.

Whether people are intimidated by certain domains in a "full case study" or not. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

And as I understand it, and I could be wrong, maybe every child doesn't get a "full case study". Even tho I've always walked in to our IAP meetings counting on getting one. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

I feel this way, whether a school district likes to say they have so many (or little) "special education" needs children or not. Do you think there is a tendency for schools, or at least some school districts, to desire to under-represent those numbers?

What are your thoughts?

On Aug 19, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: If they also fall under one of the 13 qualifying categories I don't feel 504 should be an option [b]period[/b].[/B]

What would be some examples of conditions that would qualify under 504 and not under IDEA-OHI?

On Aug 19, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The # I Mouser!: My superintendent offerred it to us.

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: Is that based solely on your child(s) FA's?

On Aug 19, 2007

I really feel to have the same question reposted again and again, with no acknowledgement offered to the previous replies, after it's been answered ad nauseum, devalues the previous replies. So, if my honest answer is going to be flat out rejected, then I might as well go back to "Off Topic".

But hey, here's my chance to add:

Gail, the idea of each disability being "individual" to the person it affects is stressed under IDEA. Off the cuff, and a bit tongue in cheek, I also tend to believ that "individuality" might include the individual [i]moxy[/i] of each parent? [i]Your mother better love ya.[/i]

When I took my children home, (separate occassions) I was ready to suffer the consequences of keeping them safe. Of prioritizing "health and safety". Those consequences included the responsibility of educating them myself. Lucky for me it worked out, huh?

But I tend to be an optimist. I think the revision of the OHI definition for IDEA 2004 widens the net for many individuals who might otherwise not qualify. And might even possibly [i]limit[/i] whose eligible for protection under 504 if a school district is so inclined to enforce the idea that if an individual qualifies for both, they can require that if coverage is provided, it be delivered under IDEA, not 504. Make sense?

It's my understanding a major factor into revising the definition of OHI for 2004 IDEA involved including "ADHD". I also don't think, for example, a simple "Asthma" diagnoses automatically qualifies. But I think, it is prudent, if not obligatory, that when those conditions are [i]red flagged[/i], made known, potential consequences of their existence be ruled out.

No advice, but is that more what you are looking for?

On Aug 19, 2007

[b]I really feel to have the same question reposted again and again, with no acknowledgement offered to the previous replies, after it's been answered ad nauseum, devalues the previous replies. So, if my honest answer is going to be flat out rejected, then I might as well go back to "Off Topic".[/b]

Here's the point. And really, I don't want this to always end up into a spiraling downward argument about IDEA/IEP and 504. Of course, that always seems to be what happens.

But, the reason why you keep being asked if the offer was based solely on your childs FA's is because you never answer a direct yes or no. There always appears to be a big dance around. YES or NO?

And it is that simple. If why your children were offered the IDEA/IEP designation was based solely on their FA's, then you should be able to say it. Citing policy, etc., doesn't answer the question, posed TO YOU .... it isn't about hearing qualifying statements, analogies, legal connecting of the dots..... it is about a single word answer. Easy. Clean. Neat. Surgical.

I personally think, and I could be wrong, that you can't say that because there are always other mitigating circumstances that get your foot in the door aren't there? Given all of your interactions with your circumstances, you can't really be sure.

My children do not have anything else that qualifies them in a way that the people I would be dealing with, and probably the people most would be dealing with, that would be viewed as legitimate reasons for any designation of any sort (like asthma, autism, LD's, etc.) I understand why IDEA/IEP could qualify it NOW.... but when I started this process, and up until recently, it seemed far fetched to me even. And I am by far not as versed, or even remotely close, as you guys here. Think about who many of us are having to connect the dots for when dealing with getting a 504 in place. AND THAT HAS LANGUAGE FOR US EVEN.

We go round and round and round again here. WE ALL DON'T EVEN AGREE.

Getting our district to believe, or even concede due to just a legality not because they truly endorse the legitimacy, could be described as being akin to getting an atheist to believe in God. It isn't going to happen. The most you might get is to turn them into an agnostic...... barring a miracle other than seeing Jesus in a potato chip.

If you have to connect too many dots, jump through too many hoops, it becomes too much of a stretch, NO MATTER HOW RIGHT YOU ARE... and you will end up with nothing. Which at its heart is good for the moral stand, but a 504 will cover my children, has language for LTFA's and is closer to something a donkey will recognize than IDEA/IEP.

Bottom line is, I believe the 504 is applicable to my children. In some senses, depending on how things go, I even believe an IDEA/IEP would be applicable to my other son too. BUT THAT IS BECAUSE I LIVE WITH IT ALL DAY LONG EVERY DAY. I would never be able to get the subtlety across to anyone who also doesn't live that way -- and I'm talking about severe chronic excema. No child will be learning anything if they are itching, bloody and gooped up...... and if certain things aren't done, or are allowed to be done, in school, then that is the way my younger guy will spend his days.

BUT.... all that being said.......

I think that always having this discussion, this same fight, without a single person who said that they approached the school, asked for a IDEA/IEP designation solely for their child with FA's and got it, or was offered it, will always give rise to the question about the possibility because the remoteness of qualification is even in the back of many people's minds even with 504's, which have even clearer language.

Plus, we ask, and want to know from a person who has gotten IDEA/IEP for LTFA's based solely on FA's because we want to be able to ask the next obvious question: HOW DID YOU DO IT?

Mitigating circumstances cloud the data and make the end resulting data come into question.

Now, I have a question, I can't say why I'm asking it, but........ what is the biggest list of people you've cc'd with communication during your 504 process, the highest ranking official cc'd in your process, and Gail, if you are reading along and around, can you email me?

On Aug 19, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]I really feel to have the same question reposted again and again, with no acknowledgement offered to the previous replies, after it's been answered ad nauseum, devalues the previous replies. So, if my honest answer is going to be flat out rejected, then I might as well go back to "Off Topic".[/b]

Here's the point. And really, I don't want this to always end up into a spiraling downward argument about IDEA/IEP and 504. Of course, that always seems to be what happens.

But, the reason why you keep being asked if the offer was based solely on your childs FA's is because you never answer a direct yes or no. There always appears to be a big dance around. YES or NO?

there is a much more polite way to "re-ask". It starts with acknowledging the person has already, or possiby multiple times, attempted an answer.

Quote:

[b]And it is that simple. If why your children were offered the IDEA/IEP designation was based solely on their FA's, then you should be able to say it. Citing policy, etc., doesn't answer the question, posed TO YOU .... it isn't about hearing qualifying statements, analogies, legal connecting of the dots..... it is about a single word answer. Easy. Clean. Neat. Surgical.

I personally think, and I could be wrong, that you can't say that because there are always other mitigating circumstances that get your foot in the door aren't there? Given all of your interactions with your circumstances, you can't really be sure.[/b]

and I feel I've went out of my way to explain that. How do I know what my super was thinking (and I also explained it really wasn't an "offer", but merely a [i]suggestion[/i]. I've explained there was a lot of muck going on, possibly some intradistrict retalliation or forwarning....what do I know? I've also explained many times, that I've asked my contacts in the district if my OHI would "stand alone" (as I suspect it would) if they were to drop his other labels. There has been a resounding "yes". I've even asked in email. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img] Yes, you are right, it's no simple "yes" or "no" answer, and apparently *you* understand that. Thank you for reassuring me you understand. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to apologize for not having a yes or no answer, I've never sold it as a yes or no, I think people just were hoping it was. Maybe ticked *at me* that it wasn't.

Quote:

[b]My children do not have anything else that qualifies them in a way that the people I would be dealing with, and probably the people most would be dealing with, that would be viewed as legitimate reasons for any designation of any sort (like asthma, autism, LD's, etc.) I understand why IDEA/IEP could qualify it NOW.... but when I started this process, and up until recently, it seemed far fetched to me even. And I am by far not as versed, or even remotely close, as you guys here. Think about who many of us are having to connect the dots for when dealing with getting a 504 in place. AND THAT HAS LANGUAGE FOR US EVEN.[/b]

have you taken a look at the last few links I've posted? If you ever want to talk over the phone, email me. That's an honest, almost desperate offer to be of some value here. I risk sounding ridiculous to offer at this point, but I don't care.

Quote:

[b]

Getting our district to believe, or even concede due to just a legality not because they truly endorse the legitimacy, could be described as being akin to getting an atheist to believe in God. It isn't going to happen. The most you might get is to turn them into an agnostic...... barring a miracle other than seeing Jesus in a potato chip.[/b]

again, let me know if you ever want a phone conversation.

Quote:

[b]If you have to connect too many dots, jump through too many hoops, it becomes too much of a stretch, NO MATTER HOW RIGHT YOU ARE... and you will end up with nothing. [/b]

then I'm living proof of miracles.

Quote:

[b]Which at its heart is good for the moral stand, but a 504 will cover my children, has language for LTFA's and is closer to something a donkey will recognize than IDEA/IEP. [/b]

I've always felt my school took the IEP process more seriously, (and demonstrated so) but I could be wrong. And since we've often considered moving to a bigger more affordable home, I like that it is transferable...

Quote:

[b]Plus, we ask, and want to know from a person who has gotten IDEA/IEP for LTFA's based solely on FA's because we want to be able to ask the next obvious question: HOW DID YOU DO IT?[/b]

phone call...? (stop making that face)

Quote:

[b]Mitigating circumstances cloud the data and make the end resulting data come into question.[/b]

aren't there ALWAYS mitigating circumstances?

Quote:

[b]Now, I have a question, I can't say why I'm asking it, but........ what is the biggest list of people you've cc'd with communication during your 504 process, the highest ranking official cc'd in your process, and Gail, if you are reading along and around, can you email me?

[/b]

As dense as I am, I get the increasing suspicion I'm more of an annoyance than having contributed anything real here. A simple "yes or no" should confirm...

On Aug 19, 2007

[b]there is a much more polite way to "re-ask". It starts with acknowledging the person has already, or possiby multiple times, attempted an answer.[/b]

At a certain point though, standing on ceremony amongst all of us seems ridiculous. And, if the attempt to answer, given the question, can

On Aug 19, 2007

I agree, gvmom....I'd go so far as to say

[i]Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.[/i]

So I think that my two terms are "stupidity and.... of people." well, the second one is S.....NESS. I suppose selfishness works there, too. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] (For anyone who hasn't been to the Longshoreman's School of Ettiquette (TM) like me.)

On Aug 19, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by ajas_folks: [b] Insisting on a a basic, inclusive, and CONSISTENT policy of [i] food if it's only completely safe for everyone [/i] is HARDLY asking for a protection that "serves no purpose"! We are talking about "special" celebrations and food in the classroom, NOT required meals and required daily nutrition. And if the BASIC purpose is to keep my son fundamentally ALIVE, then does that not serve a bonafide purpose??

I guess what I really want to know at this point is, when are WE as a food allergy community going to be willing to QUIT APOLOGIZING to EVERYBODY ELSE for INCONVENIENCING THEM with our OUR MEDICAL NEEDS?? W.H.E.N.???

I will take the resentment of 10,000,000 other families if it means my son comes home to me at the end of the school day ALIVE.

~Elizabeth

[/b]

Please go back and reread my post. You have quoted me out of context. I said that in our situation asking the entire class to bring in safe treats would be moot because we would [b]never[\b] allow DD to eat them. That's our rule for her at her current age and I don't foresee that changing for a number of years. My only request is that the treat not include nuts, but if it includes eggs that's not a big deal because she's not going to eat it.

Please don't quote me out of context to make some point that had nothing to do with what I posted. Of course, we all have the same goal and that's to keep our children safe. I don't disagree with that. I'm also not going to say that you can't take your approach but I do think it might make accommodating children with MFAs less palatable to the parents of non-allergic children and could possibly exclude your child further (every child in his/her class is going to know that they can't have treats that other classes have because of your child).

I am fortunate to be in a school system, that while not perfect, does a lot of good things as standard practice. There are no peanut-free tables so there's no exclusion there: Children with allergies are seated with their class at one end of the table buffered from the kids who bring lunch by kids who get hot lunch (which has no peanut products). No nut products are served in the cafeteria. For birthday celebrations, parents can order Scribblers popsicles instead of bringing in cupcakes, but this is optional. Cupcakes (at least for kindergartners) were doled out at snack, which was served in the cafeteria. Signs are prominently displayed on each classroom with a peanut-allergic child to indicate that no nuts are allowed in the class. DD's teacher contacted me ahead of time about a lesson involving food (the were learning about the senses and sour, sweet, etc.) to let me know what they were using and I sent in safe items for DD. Also, DD's teacher last year allowed her to have her Epi in her backpack (in addition to the one in the office) so that one would be closer to the class and so that DD would have it for the bus to day care; this was allowed despite the fact that legally DD cannot carry it because her allergist has not signed off on her to self-administer. When we did have an issue both the teacher and principal were very responsive.

There were still hiccups (the candy cane) and instances of not always being informed about b-day celebrations beforehand (but that was often because parents just showed up with cupcakes without informing the teacher beforehand). However, the school year went well and I expect next year to be good as well. As I said, we're lucky. To me it's about balance. I'm more likely to drive hard on an issue like the teacher giving DD a candy cane than about birthday celebrations.

[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 19, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 19, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 19, 2007).]

On Aug 19, 2007

gvmom, no quotes, no nothing. If you think the district in an out of district placement handed us an IEP, think again.

Putting my child back in school, getting that designation, nearly tore the life out of me. It was around the same time my younger son's label was dropped and that whole train chugged to a stop.

And yes, in first grade, we began with requesting accommodation under [b]Section 504[/b]. Several months into it and many meetings where the district lawyer was present (who had a reputation of "handling" parents such as my husband and myself) -- we pulled our child (considering the principal had told us: You should homeschool your child.)

And no, we didn't have a lawyer, I couldn't find one who didn't laugh the idea of a 504 for a food allergy out of their office). That's not saying it's laughable, just saying how it was received. Not sure I would have been able to afford one either. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] But necessity is the mother of invention, right?

Near the end of the first half of the year, I pulled my son, having not obtained a suitable 504 (or IEP), and soon afterwards the district lawyer threatened us in writing, 3 pages long, with State mediated action, and a full case study [i]not limited in scope[/i] if we ever dared enroll our child in district-wide programming again. Not sure what "district-wide" means. (I withdrew him that time instead of merely witholding his attendance.)

But to translate her words, insisting on the IEP process beginning in a hostile environment----don't think she was as interested in my child's well being as harrassing us----in the midst of the derailed 504 and an IEP that never got off the ground. I've been to both parties, at th same time, the IEP back in first grade happening after, but during the 504, and with the same child, so you can't say we entered into the IEP process [i]untainted[/i]. Fresh. Clean. We were tarnished. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

And I will say, when we arrived [i]two years later[/i] for the IEP meeting, the reception had a far more distinct air of professionalism than did that of the 504. Actually, the initial meeting involved the team deciding which would better address the health impairment, 504 or IEP. I'm trying to remember if it took more than one meeting to get past that point. I'm pretty sure it took several. Some not quite "official". A mistake I'll never make again. All I know is there was a question of whether overtime would be paid to those in attendance at the "official" meetings, and we always started early morning...

I'm not promoting anything. I'm just telling you where I've been. Trust me, I have the scars to prove it.

So, 504, can I post excerps from letters addressed to me, from lawyers? They are my posession, am I legally allowed to do that?

On Aug 19, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: [b] If you think the district in an out of district placement handed us an IEP, think again.

[/b]

adding: We had to digest and navigate three squirming systems at once. [b]Our[/b] district. The [b]"out of district placement"[/b] district. AND the [b]Joint Co-operative.[/b] All trying to dodge: "Why has this child ,who was identified as needing a case study [i]TWO YEARS AGO[/i], been out of school??? And everyone on the defensive. And a lawyer for *them* on the opposing side. Talk about mixing strategy and anticipating conflicts of interest. We had *three* conference tables connected. I'm so glad that's behind me.....

Did I mention that my younger son's educational needs were paralleling his older brother the whole time, (same home district and Co-op), and we had to split our efforts between them? The final outcome of my older son's plan held a double jeopardy for my family.

So, if you think I'm fervent about this, you're right. Can't help being elated whenever I get to add to these discussions. Call it promoting, I call it [i]celebrating[/i]. I feel like Abraham when he saw the ram.

On Aug 19, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b] Fool me once, shame on you, food me twice, shame on me. I

On Aug 20, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: If they also fall under one of the 13 qualifying categories I don't feel 504 should be an option period.

That if they are addressed (and you know how I feel about the obligation to address certain "known" issues---[b]pretty dissapointed by a blip in a recent threads[/b]), and at that point, the IEP Process *IS* what is appropriate. [/B]

What 'blip'? a blip *I* made?

On Aug 20, 2007

Okay. I think I know. . . You believe I made a reference to your cub's "known" "issues".

FYI, my 16 yo nephew (who happens to live in your state) has " 'known' issues" including ADHD and orthopedic impairment. For which he has an IEP. No slyness on my part, ever so or otherwise. I wasn't referring to you or yours. I was referring to me and mine. No need to be "disappointed". Again. <>

On Aug 20, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]Okay. I think I know. . . You believe I made a reference to your cub's "known" "issues".

FYI, my 16 yo nephew (who happens to live in your state) has " 'known' issues" including ADHD and orthopedic impairment. For which he has an IEP. No slyness on my part, ever so or otherwise. I wasn't referring to you or yours. I was referring to me and mine. No need to be "disappointed". Again. <>[/b]

I did previously mention how I feel about reposting questions, but the blip I referenced isn't about [i]you[/i]. It's not about anyone, but rather circumstances and how much work there is to be done. Gvmom has indicated in so many words to me, it would be more helpful if certain discussions were abated. Let's not invent one that doesn't exist. The blip isn't about you.

On Aug 20, 2007

Oh, this is my first time back in this thread after days away, and I have nothing to add. But let me thank everyone for the book titles on page six. So glad I didn't have any tea in my hand (or throat) at that point.

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

On Aug 20, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: . . . but the blip I referenced isn't about [i]you[/i].

Thank you for clarifying.

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: I think the concept of the SCHOOL (not the parent of the FA child) providing the alternative safe substitute treat is viable.

and later:

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: Why is it the responsibility of the *parent* to provide a safe substitution so that their child will not be excluded? Do schools exclude children with other disabilites unless the parent provides a substitute 'something' that allows their child to participate?

Well, after reviewing my FAAN newsletter this morning, it seems to me that FAAN believes it is the responsibility of the *parent* of the child with LTFAs. On page 3, there is a blue highlighted "Safe Food Tips" box that states,

[i] [b]Safe food Tips[/b][/i] [i]Here are are some tips to help ensure that safe foods are brought to class:

*Send in safe treats for the entire class.

*Volunteer to organize the party.

*Suggest that parents contribute to a "party fund," and you volunteer to be the designated shopper.

*Suggest that all treats brought to school be packaged foods with ingredient labels.[/i]

Does that bother anyone else? While all those are certainly possible "tips", I *wish* FAAN would present the counter-balance to their "tips" by stating (remember, this is only a wish list) such ideas as:

*Secure that only *safe* treats will be allowed to be distributed in your child's classroom via a 504 plan or IEP.

*Show them FAAN's position statment supporting food-free classroom celebrations.

* Show them the link on FAAN's webite of school's that have successfully banned certain allergens from the classroom.

*Show them FAAN's model school board policy requiring all treats brought to school must be packaged foods with ingredient labels.

I mean, wouldn't it feel great to read that?

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 20, 2007).]

On Aug 20, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] Thank you for clarifying.

[/b]

I bumped a thread for you in Main before you posted. It's nice to have your feelings acknowledged (whether they are justified or not) and cleared up, isn't it? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 20, 2007

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 20, 2007

gvmom, you have given me alot to think about with this thread. What you say makes sense. I only hope it works for you. I feel horrible that your school is doing this to your family.

On Aug 20, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] Well, after reviewing my FAAN newsletter this morning, it seems to me that FAAN believes it is the responsibility of the *parent* of the child with LTFAs. On page 3, there is a blue highlighted "Safe Food Tips" box that states,

[i] [b]Safe food Tips[/b][/i] [i]Here are are some tips to help ensure that safe foods are brought to class:

*Send in safe treats for the entire class.

*Volunteer to organize the party.

*Suggest that parents contribute to a "party fund," and you volunteer to be the designated shopper.

*Suggest that all treats brought to school be packaged foods with ingredient labels.[/i]

Does that bother anyone else? While all those are certainly possible "tips", I *wish* FAAN would present the counter-balance to their "tips" by stating (remember, this is only a wish list) such ideas as:

*Secure that only *safe* treats will be allowed to be distributed in your child's classroom via a 504 plan or IEP.

*Show them FAAN's position statment supporting food-free classroom celebrations.

* Show them the link on FAAN's webite of school's that have successfully banned certain allergens from the classroom.

*Show them FAAN's model school board policy requiring all treats brought to school must be packaged foods with ingredient labels.

I mean, wouldn't it feel great to read that?

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 20, 2007).][/b]

It sure would, Gail. However, I drove by the airport this morning, and I didn't see any pigs on the runway, so I'm not holding my breath...LOL!

On Aug 21, 2007

[b]It sure would, Gail. However, I drove by the airport this morning, and I didn't see any pigs on the runway, so I'm not holding my breath...LOL![/b]

But if you lived on an island, where all pigs had wings, it is more possible that some pigs would need to be shown how to use their wings? Told that flying was possible? That maybe they needed to be led by example? I would guess there would be plenty of pockets of these pigs that wouldn't figure out what their wings were for if the land they were living on was flat, with readily available food, and all their other resources were handed to them. Without truffles around, I'm not sure about if pigs have an innate characteristic that promotes curiosity.

Anyway, pigs who lived up with hills, had to forage for food, had more challenges happen in their life, are more apt to discover their wings, even if accidentally. But the use would be discovered, flourish, and become part of their skill set.

The question is, is it incumbant on the pigs in the hills, who go out for a swoop around the island, to land and meet those flatland pigs? Do the flying pigs have a responsibility to let the flatland pigs in on the info about their wings? Surely, eventually flatland pigs might one day stumble upon the notion they could fly if they ever looked up. But keeping it's head buried in the mud below itself is much more to their liking..... looking up is hardly worthwhile. A flying pig sharing information is a quicker way for them to learn.

And it is true, that even when shown, a flatland pig might still prefer it's mud, not want to fly, and be content where it is. But, plenty of other pigs .... even if it were just one at a time.... would get a taste of flying.... and even begin to enjoy it, seeing that it isn't as hard as it looks, can show them new things, meet new pigs from other parts of the island, and give them a whole new perspective on a lot of things..... including the pigs that want to keep their noses in the ground.

Point?

Why aren't we telling FAAN to put different guidelines? Suggesting? Urging? Questioning why they don't?

If we want a counter balance, why do we sit back and silently complain about it to eachother?

Honestly, many things that we complain about don't come from our apathy here on the boards. But, out in the real world, we do apologize for, don't want to inconvenience, don't want to stick out, don't want to be labeled "the .itch"....etc.

We are the peacemakers right? It is up to us to smooth everything out. To keep the well oiled machine running.

And I would ask WHY?

This thread has deteriorated into yet another IDEA/IEP vs 504 thread. I'm am tired debating that right now. It isn't about the merits of the point of that. Anymore comments I make about it, won't help. I just don't have the energy for it. It isn't that I don't see it. But right now, it isn't happening.

All I really wanted to do was explore some things. The ideas that I'm talking about, sure it would be great in conjunction with things like IDEA/IEP/504 --- but the principle can stand alone. Even for those people who disagree with the formalization of their child's disability.

Why don't we as a FA community expect more?

Why don't we, just plainly, as a parent, expect more?

Why don't we expect more, voice it, and not accept less than, when it comes to the lives of our children, with the same fervor that other parents glom together and get angry if their kid can't eat a cupcake?

Why do we take it in silence --- we are talking about the lives of our children?

We want others to think that our kids are more important than a cookie..... but do we do things that undermine that?

There are pigs that fly..... they just have to be shown that they have wings, and shown how to use them.

Just watch "Kids in the Hall"..............

On Aug 21, 2007

LOL!!!

And I though they were [i]MONKEY WINGS.[/i]

[b][i]"Jonathon Livingston...... Piglet???[/i][/b]

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll try a barrel-roll on my way to fold that load of laundry. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 21, 2007

gvmom, very well said. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

I understand the thread derailing, but I think, if I'm not mistaken, you wanted some help in whether or not your stance on not sending in the safe treat box was something that was do-able or not do-able (my language is limited these days, sorry [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] ).

So, if it is a Canadian *thing* and before I had, in my Province, Sabrina's Law, and we don't have 504 Plans here in Canada - we have, in Ontario, written school board plans re anaphylaxis.

At the time that I gave a written school plan to the school for my son, I was one of very few people in this Province who had done so (it was written by another member of PA.com - PeanutTrace/morgansmom).

You know, I would even have to re-read that school plan (haven't even looked at it for this year [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] ) to see if I even made a point about the food in the classrooms.

My written school plan, as reviewed by my lawyer, is not a legally binding document. It is to be used as a set of guidelines by the school.

The thing that pi$$es me off (pardon me) is that I HAVE seen what you are suggesting done. Not in one school - in a few.

What is it with the Canadian thing? Are the people that we want to deal with (The Cupcake Queens) more complacent here in Canada? Do Canadians not shout about their *rights* as much and so when presented with the idea of excluding a PA child, some people will actually "get it" and "get it" quickly?

Personally, I'm quite mystified by this whole discussion, but again, only because my stance is (was) the same as your's and it was done. I honestly cannot believe that it's simply a matter of us being in different countries, but again, if that is truly the case, then I'd have to say my experiences mean nothing when it comes to helping YOU get what you require for your children in school.

Yet, to contradict that (but perhaps not), when originally writing up a school plan for my son, I was looking at American 504 Plans to see what they had in them (I liked rilira's at that time). Americans have REPEATEDLY been able to help me deal with situations at the school and yet I feel helpless with this situation because I'm what? Canadian?

I do not get it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]

After people have checked Kids in the Hall for a flying pigs video (but then again, you referenced Canadians [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] ), check out [url="http://www.cbc.com"]www.cbc.ca[/url] and watch a clip from Corner Gas.

Edited to change CBC website to the correct one [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] (some Canadian I am) and also when I checked, I couldn't find Corner Gas running, so I would suggest a good dose of Rick Mercer. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

[This message has been edited by Alternative to Mainstream (edited August 21, 2007).]

On Aug 21, 2007

[b]I understand the thread derailing, but I think, if I'm not mistaken, you wanted some help in whether or not your stance on not sending in the safe treat box was something that was do-able or not do-able (my language is limited these days, sorry ).[/b]

Partly. But also in a larger legal issue. I'll try to give an example.

Let's say your child wears a green shirt to school. He comes home at the end of the day, and tells you that he couldn't participate in a class activity because he was wearing green. HUH? Well, all the other kids were wearing orange. I can't participate if I wear green.... can't you send me in wearing an orange shirt... or one like theirs?

Would you go to the teacher and ask them what was up or would you go get an orange shirt?

If the teacher said that your son wearing a green shirt means that either he gets separated out or nobody gets to do the activity because to do it you have to wear orange.... what would you do? Would you say too bad.... my son gets to wear whatever shirt he wants? And, btw, you know how many near riots have occurred because a school wants to implement a dress code ..... god forbid Suzie not have the right to express herself through her thigh high mini skirt.........

I guess my thinking is that there is a bigger premise that is applicable to what we as a FA community are faced with. Just the plain merits of excluding a child. Is it legal? If it isn't, why do we tolerate it, with or without specific IEP/504?

We've talked about Rosa Parks here. How about the after affects? Did she get back on the bus and go to the back again? She fought for a principle, did anyone tell her to go back and sit down after it all, and what did she do? Did she feel satisfied to have made her point but then not sit in the front because the driver told her things hadn't settled down enough and it would just make things easier if she went to the back?

Some people here have fought horrific battles with their schools.... gone through a lot to get what they have. What is it worth if you do the same things that a parent without one does?

You fight for the right to life for your child.... the accommodations that are necessary for them to attend school.... go to the mat for principle and law contained in IDEA/504..... but then still send in something that lets them out of their contract.

It doesn't make sense to me anymore as a parent of FA children, as a parent in general believing in the rights of children as a whole, and as a tax paying citizen who is tired of my tax dollars being used to pay the salaries of those that would exclude, isolate and discrimminate in the name of pandering to social groups rather than what is legal in this country.

If it is okay for a school to treat your child differently based on their FA's in an exclusionary sense, and you sanction it and promote it with things like snack boxes, what is next?

On Aug 21, 2007

gvmom: Very well said. Certainly something for all of us to think about.

On Aug 21, 2007

We're perpetuators, of good (safety for our kids) and evil (exclusion of our kids). It's a very difficult situation we're in, isn't it?

On Aug 21, 2007

Sorry, this may be a bit of a non sequitor. The Washington Post had an article on school snacks today. Kudos to the article for mentioning food allergies. There is also a great sidebar about local (DC Metro) school snack policies.

[url="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/20/AR2007082001342.html?hpid=smartliving"]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...pid=smartliving[/url]

On Aug 21, 2007

gvmom, sorry, I should have worded it do-able or not do-able legally.

As far as I know, it is legally do-able.

Could I stand alone with a complaint of repeated food transgressions and go to the OHRC? I'm not clear. The one year I did have a case to go before OHRC, it was a series of things, starting from my son missing the first day of school that occurred.

But repeated exclusion on the basis of cupcakes?

I have to say that when I phoned Anaphylaxis Canada regarding my son's BENCH situation at current school, they actually thought it was okay - if that was all the school could do with their resources (I had been given the line limited resources by the school) then it was okay. We had to deal with what we had to deal with and would I rather have the BENCH or nothing in place to keep my son safe kinda thing (I have to find that particular thread). That was Anaphylaxis Canada speaking and yet, I am fairly clear that I approached the OHRC as well.

Excluding 7 or 8 children to sit at a BENCH every day because they had PA? I don't think so. Not in *my* world. Not in the *real* world.

So, my answer to you again, since I do know that it is do-able, and understand that a 504 Plan is a legally binding document THEN cupcakes would not legally be allowed into your child's classroom.

Exclusion - my answer to that would be more in the BENCH situation where my national advocate kinda told me to grin and bear it but I am fairly sure OHRC said otherwise.

He**, OHRC said otherwise when they wouldn't let me kid into school that year.

So yes, how it is presented to them - who is on the other end of the phone/e-mail/whatever, but NO - NO EXCLUSION.

I am unclear right now, but as far as I can tell, although I don't think any of us have been daring enough to try (not from what I've read in this thread anyway) and even file a human rights' complaint because of exclusion based on a food allergy.

I don't mind being corrected on that one at all and would love to read examples, actually.

But, I do know that each time I have called OHRC, I have been told that what was happening to my son at school was not okay and the basis for a complaint - so my assumption therefore that it was not legal.

I think I remain dazed and confused however. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 21, 2007

I haven't sent in a safe treat box since Jason was in the second grade (that was the only year I did)... because the teachers always put the kibosh on birthday cupcakes/cookies/candy, and I've always been involved with the class party treats at some level.

I don't think that it's unreasonable to expect the teachers to make a reasonable attempt to include students with food allergies.

------------------ Cheryl, mom to Jason (9 MFA including peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, coconut, sesame, squid) Joey (7 NKA) Allison (4 milk allergic, suspect shellfish, avoiding PN/TN for now) Ryan (1) nka *knock on wood*

On Aug 21, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b][b]

You fight for the right to life for your child.... the accommodations that are necessary for them to attend school.... go to the mat for principle and law contained in IDEA/504..... but then still send in something that lets them out of their contract.

If it is okay for a school to treat your child differently based on their FA's in an exclusionary sense, and you sanction it and promote it with things like snack boxes, what is next?[/b]

Gvmom-I guess it depends what your 'contract' says about food in the classroom. Our 504 Plan says (we agreed to this for safety reasons) that DD's PARENTS will provide her snacks. It says DD will only eat food provided by home. I don't know about the legality of it (did the school put in writing a planned discrimination...?), but I do know this, the clarity of that accommodation did protect her life. It is clear to her and although the teacher attempted to violate it, DD knew not to accept the food. Her 504 Plan was changed this year (initiated by us) to have any classroom projects/use of food during a party safe for all or not have it all. I'm not talking about cupcakes; I'm talking about activities with food (decorating cookies as a classroom project, making gingerbread houses, "bobbing" for doughnuts, etc.).

I'd love to see birthday cupcakes banned from school (just a hunch that the kids who are bringing in cupcakes are also celebrating with cake at home--it is overkill). Our district has recently moved to "guidelines" (aka snail's pace--too shocking to say mandates) that will make the cupcakes in the classroom decreased. It still is not ideal, but better. AND..it will only be as good as the teacher's ability to enforce it and send food away.

I already stated that my reason for not sending in a 'safe treat box' is because it sat for the year without any use. I will send DD with her own treats once a month when they do their monthly birthday celebration. This is how her life is--she is allergic to egg, peanuts, and tree nuts. She has never been to a party where the cake was 'safe' for her. She did go to a MFA child's party and it would have been safe, but she wouldn't eat it. I don't feel comfortable with her eating cake (if she outgrows egg) that other moms might feel OK giving to their peanut allergic children (for example we were at a birthday party and the cake came from a bakery that has customers who request a "peanut-free" cake sign a waiver saying there is always a risk of cross-contamination....). I would rather see my DD eating her own cupcake courtesy of our kitchen (or Divvies if I decide to buy some).

I am very interested to hear what the OCR's position on this is. It is my understanding that our children are not entitled to an 'equal'/'idenitical' experience--the school can provided an alternative experience. I do think it would be great if the school all of a sudden had to do mass orders from Divvies to keep up with the cupcake celebrations rather than me slaving away baking [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 21, 2007

[b]I am unclear right now, but as far as I can tell, although I don't think any of us have been daring enough to try (not from what I've read in this thread anyway) and even file a human rights' complaint because of exclusion based on a food allergy.[/b]

Yes! Thank you. *smacking own forehead*

Human Rights. The basic rights of the individual.

Where is the "moral outrage" based on exclusion -- period?

Where is the "moral outrage" based on a blatant disregard for the illegality of exclusion?

Would you sit back and watch another child at school be excluded for another reason?

Would you not say something?

Would you not do something?

Maybe that is it. Maybe those of us who send in safe snacks, even with a legally binding agreement, are the ones that would not say something --- even if we see a wrong, feel it is wrong, have that urge to step in but don't for whatever reason ---

If the teacher of your own child scheduled an activity which a child in a wheelchair couldn't participate in, would you say something? Would you say something and still let your child participate if the wheelchair bound child couldn't?

.... it is a lot about human rights.... basic..... inherent......legal......

For me a lot right now is about the person that I am. The person that I aspire to be. And above all, the safety of my children and my hope for the people they are to become. There are things that I will feel I will have failed them in if I don't hold true..... and don't raise them to believe in. To fight for. To believe and know are right.

....now apparently I need to go work on my crooked tail which should be curly.... get a washcloth to wipe off some of this mud on my nose.... and practice my take-off and landings.... still a bit bumpy.....

On Aug 21, 2007

[b]Gvmom-I guess it depends what your 'contract' says about food in the classroom.[/b]

No products with Peanuts/Treenuts. No may contains, made in facility, etc.

Pre-packaged, individually wrapped, with ingredient list & allergen warning.

That is just to get into the classroom.

For DS to eat it, add that either DH or I (or both) have exclusively given our permission for it after having been able to see it & examine it.

No food for class projects (at all).

That is the current 504.

Not enforced last year until after March, and then not consistently and only because we accidentally caught things that we would never have found out about save for dumb luck.

On Aug 21, 2007

govmom,

I guess I don't see things the way you do. My son's real life is eating foods different from others. (shurg) I think *that* is far more upsetting that being left out of some *particular* snack and having to have a different snack. My son will participate in parties by eating safe foods that *I* provide. He is right now fine with this.

I would *love* to get rid of bday treats in school and would feel this way even if DS didn't have FAs. I think they have no place in the classroom. As a teacher I find it to be a waste of learning time. I would work towards eliminated food-based bday celebrations in school. I wouldn't keep my son from having a safe treat when others *are* going to be having them. Others *are* going to be having them, like it or not at DS's school. Outside of school we go to events and DS eats his own food.

I don't trust others to determine if a food is safe. I don't expect others to know this. It requires calling companies. He eats our food and that's what is safe.

I don't think having DS eat an alternate treat = he is being excluded. I think him not having any treat would = that, though if others are having something.

*I* care that he eats different food from others at parties. So far he *doesnt'*. That surprised me but I'm relieved and glad he feels that way. My brother who always loved lobster recently became allergic. He also was having very bad reactions (not IgE but bad reactions) to dairy and stopped his other favorite food which is ice cream. I asked him if he felt sad about this and he said, "why should I feel sad about not getting sick?" This is how DS feels about it, too. Safe food keeps him safe and he likes that. Also, our stuff is usually better than what others have anyway. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

I respect your opinion but i dont' share your outrage or emotion on this. My top goal is DS's safety. 2nd is his mental and emotional health. All are important.

I am, as I said earlier, very sorry you have had such a hard time with your school. They really should be following the plan they created with you and it stinks they haven't. It is criminal, really, if they don't, IMO.

I wish you all the best.

On Aug 21, 2007

Hi,

I have "heard" that on Back to school night this week they,(school) will announce a school wide policy of "food free" celebrations....

One can only hope, I heard some of the teachers last year got fed up will all the competing "cupcakes", some classes had treats 2-3 times a week....Plus I think it is becoming the norm in S. Cal, (law?) My dd will start in 2008 but my non-allergic son is in 4th grade and has a PA boy in his class, I cant wait till thursday night to see how this is handled....and one whole year to implement before my little one sets her little foot in the Kinder-door...

We shall see, I am hopeful but after reading all of these posts I don't know why...

Good Luck L.

On Aug 21, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] *Show them FAAN's model school board policy requiring all treats brought to school must be packaged foods with ingredient labels.

[/b]

Are you saying that this model school board policy already exists (re: packaged food recommendation)?

If so can you point me in the direction of where to find this?

Thank you!

On Aug 21, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] (remember, this is only a wish list) [/b]

Nope. I only wish.

But wouldn't that be awesome to have to show your school?

On Aug 21, 2007

Had to go and rest for awhile and think.

The "all inclusive" Fun Fair at my son's first school. Would the WHOLE school community have had to "bend over backwards" if there was not some legal basis for them to do so and the principal recognized that?

It's not like she was an easy woman to get along with. It's not like she did it out of the goodness of her heart.

But I told her, very clearly, that my expectation of my son's school experience was that he would/should be included in ANY and ALL school events, including those before and after school.

Thus, the Fun Fair.

Thus, the two breakfast programs in other schools.

If it's a human rights' thing (again, my English [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img] ), then is it not a legal thing as well?

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 21, 2007

[b]If it's a human rights' thing (again, my English ), then is it not a legal thing as well?[/b]

Worth repeating. Again.

Also worth mentioning. In addition to that nice day when I showed up and the teacher had no idea what my son had eaten of all the food that was completely not allowed by his 504........ a safe goodie for my son.

See, nice woman that she was, who didn't call me when the teacher asked, not that that should have been the way it worked... anyway, nice woman *dripping with sarcasm*, brought my son, and the other child who was allergic to chocolate, a little plastic toy. Know why? Cause she was passing out, as an added little bonus gift, bags of chocolate coins with a "contains nuts" warning.

All of the kids had them, in fact my eyes probably got the size of saucers when I walked in the door as one little girl dropped the entire contents of her little bag on the floor in front of me.

Point is. The woman who has come before me at this school, whose son is PA, has also done a safe treat box. Provides a safe snack list. Volunteers and makes and bakes until her eyeballs budge. Forget about the fact that nobody knew what epinephrine was before we got there, she really accommodated everyone. And her stance has really screwed us. BIG TIME.

Aren't you going to give us a safe snack box like "X"?

Well "X" had a safe snack box and it worked fine. He got that while "whatever" was passed out.

"X" wrote up this safe snack list.... that isn't okay to give to your son? "X" ate it last year and was okay.

And again, I could go on... having heard it for 3 years now... and had to fight it....

It is true many of you are having a great time with your school. You have great teachers.... great principals.... a snack box just lets them be safe... have something while the other kids do.

But, if you allow for a safe exception, sometimes people will bring that along with the not so safe alternative for the other kids. "Huh? It's okay... see.... I brought them a toy while the other kids eat something that could kill your child. What's the problem? I thought of them -- it is safe. Isn't that good enough?"

If you allow for safe exceptions, create lists, let them out of what is their duty, legally, ethically and morally, you are setting precedent that can end up screwing the next person.... and even yourself if you end up with a not-so-great teacher next year..... or your principal retires.... or district personnel changes.......

On Aug 21, 2007

I'm not sure how having a safe treat box will have a neg impact on anyone else. Our son's class is going to be free of all his allergens. All eating will be in the cafeteria. People will be free to send in whatever they like for snack and lunch. Bday snacks are supposed to be free of DS's allergens but he is only going to eat food from home because i'm not going to turn over responsibility to check snacks to anyone else. I don't see this as a problem for anyone following me. I think I paved the way and that people before me paved it, too. Plus I got super lucky having a great school.

I think it is a shame your plan wasn't followed.

On Aug 21, 2007

Oh, Mother X, there's one at my son's school. Her son was okay with the BENCH. Her son was okay with whatever happened. The one thing this Mother X did was train the staff on the Epi-Pen.

I do provide a Safe Snack and Lunch List to make things easier for non-PA parents.

However, as I re-read in one of my old threads the other night, I remember when my daughter brought home the Safe Snack and Lunch List another PA parent had given the school (the school I had problems with immensely) and what I saw on that list made my head explode (perhaps my brain has not recovered [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] ).

Now, as I have told you in this thread, I am ASHAMED of myself and ASHAMED of what my son might be thinking of me for not doing the *right* thing - not making that Fun Fair "safe" at his school; especially when I had done it before. Because he is older, what am I expecting? That he'll be okay going to the Fun Fair and not eating certain things? You know what? I'm not thinking anymore. I am truly a wimp.

Because I KNOW it CAN be done! It HAS been done.

So, for me, this thread has taken a more personal tone - what the heck happened to me and what I believe in and what I believe in for my son? Well, I know what happened, but that doesn't need repeating here.

What's even more a kick in the a$$ about it is that I won't be moving again until he finishes this particular school, so it would have been SO easy to start right from the beginning and if I had, we would be attending a "safe" Fun Fair this Fall.

I've tried the thing where you join Parent Council (or whatever it's called) and that didn't work for me, personally, but I know that it did help some other parents here.

I guess that's why I feel so much need to post to you, gvmom, because I sense that you may have that passion; in fact, I know you've got it. I so much want to see you use it. I know it's use-able. I know it's all do-able. It's something that makes you proud and I believe makes your children proud of you (like that thing that happened with my daughter a month ago, now removed from the board, but how I just grabbed my keys and ran and she was like wow, aren't you scared Mommy?).

Even should things happen in life where that passion withers and dies and you end up like me (which isn't as bad as some on here would like to believe [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] ), at least you know that you did do it once.

Also, I believe, and please correct me, but if you're able to do this this year, with the 504 (legal), that should last your children 'til middle school?

Not saying that you don't have to stay on top of things. Not that things will be consistent through the years or that the Cupcake Queens will die, but.....

I have so much hope for you because I know what that passion feels like and I think you would get it done a lot more eloquently than I would have even.

Run with it gvmom. You've got it sorted in your head (your position) and hopefully it gets sorted in the 504's.

My ? would have to be - but perhaps it's rude - why aren't people so passionate about this? At any time in their children's schooling? I mean, I know why I'm not now, but why not ever? Is it about what battles to choose, etc.? Why? An entirely separate ? that I may raise.

gvmom - go with your passion. It will empower you and your children (even if it sometimes feels like it's going to kill you). Go with what you know to be *right* and what, in fact, is *legally* correct.

(one day, since sometimes in this thread I feel like it's only you and I on the same page, maybe we'll get together and burn our bras together or something terribly rad like that [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] )

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 21, 2007

In the Mystic Valley case, the parents sought a peanut and tree nut free classroom. Also, the allergic child was separated from his peers within his own class (set to happen to my own child, read all about it in another thread).

Just imagine inserting 'Food free classroom' instead of merely 'peanut/free classroom'...think you could argue for one, based on the hearing officers statements within this case?:

[url="http://www.allergysupport.org/rhondadocs/bsea.pdf"]http://www.allergysupport.org/rhondadocs/bsea.pdf[/url]

[i]The position expressed by Mystic Valley's administrators is legally flawed in many respects. First in reaching their determination as to whether the accomodation requested by Parents is or is not reasonable, they weigh the inconvenience of a total ban on other students.....The impact of a modification on the rights of other students is in regard to [b]education[/b] and how the modification would effect their education. Nothing under the facts of the case at bar shows that the educational program of other students would be affected by banning peanut/treenut products from the classroom. ...

Mystic Valley's arguement in favor of protecting the rights of students to bring peanut butter snacks and lunches into the classroom over providing a safe environment for this seven year old Student, is mistaken. It considers the inconvenience to individual parents/students over the needs of the handicapped individual[/i]

There is alot more good stuff in that ruling as you know....just wanted to share.

On Aug 22, 2007

I've been reading along, and seriously thinking about food free celebrations and where I stand.

Birthday celebrations without food is definitely doable. My ds' preschool did it for 2 years. There are public schools in my town that do it (just not the ones we're districted for [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] and my request to change schools within town was denied).

I agree gvmom, that if you strip this argument down to the essentials: if your 504 states that classroom has to be free of certain allergens, and then treats are allowed in the classroom that contain these items, then sending in a safe treat box is in effect giving them permission to violate your 504.

I also agree that it's very difficult to not send in a safe treat box, knowing that will probably mean your child will be left eating nothing while the others all chow down on something that looks delicious [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] And what kind of message does that send to your child if his teacher and classmates are still willing to indulge in these treats while he eats nothing? The safe treat at least, I think, provides some cushion or softness to the exclusion.

While the safe treat box in effect sounds like it goes against your 504, the lack of it could make an isolating situation for your child that much worse. There is no easy answer.

From some of your posts in this thread, it sounds like you have a plan to address this situation if they do eat the treats in class. I'm not sure you want to elaborate on that plan...so I'm not asking you to. But I think it's important that you have one, and you've played out the various scenarios in your head. If they do x, then you do y.

And I admire your commitment to see this through gvmom and I thank you for raising this topic as it has been swirling in my head for quite some time.

Currently, we don't have a 504, and I'm not saying that's a good thing. at. all.

Looking at this from another MFA perspective if you'll indulge me....since kids are in school all day, of course they need to eat. [b]LUNCH[/b] and [b]SNACKS[/b]. And when they're eating lunch and snacks, presumably, they're not ALL eating the same thing. My ds' classroom is designated peanut free, and all indications are that that will be honored, based on past history with same teacher.

They do [b]NOT NEED[/b] to eat cupcakes or other delectable treats every time they turn around. They may want to when those treats come in the door, but they don't need to, and there's a big difference. And, when X number of kids are all eating the same yummy, most likely messy thing that my ds is allergic to (anything with milk, eggs, or nuts), his physical safety becomes more jeopardized, as well as his emotional well being.

ETA: I'm wondering though if anyone who is has PA only would be bothered by a no food birthday celebration if a nut free celebration were guaranteed. I will start a new thread and ask that question so as not to derail this one.

If these treats were consumed outside his classroom, I may feel somewhat differently. But in our case, they eat in the classroom.

I've been waiting all summer for this private school where the principal and vice principal truly have their hearts in the right place to finalize their allergy policy. Guess what? They can't do it [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] I imagine the cupcake queens are out in full force.

I've printed out all the links in this thread that could help with this argument and I will search for more when I can, and hopefully find more to post.

Now it's time for me to find the backbone to fight the cupcake queens. This thread will hopefully help. Meg

[This message has been edited by mommyofmatt (edited August 22, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by mommyofmatt (edited August 22, 2007).]

On Aug 22, 2007

My dd's school has a similar tradition (although, unfortunately, not in lieu of a party treat). The birthday child donates a book to the school library, and the school librarian puts a photo of the child holding their book on a huge bulletin board in the library. It is also announced in our weekly newsletter. No one wants to be left out, so this has been very successful over the years.

On Aug 22, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by ceross: [b] This happened with my DD last year. Her kindergarten teacher gave each student a candy cane and told them not to eat them until they got home. According to DD, the teacher read the label and said there were no nuts in them (she's also egg allergic, though). Thankfully, DD did not eat it but I had to be the bad guy and take it away when she got home. When I emailed the teacher about it, she said she didn't want DD to be left out. We'd noted on DD's allergy plan that she's not to be fed anything not provided by us.

Cupcakes arriving at school unannounced are pretty common. That's why I leave a box of safe snacks at school (mini Oreos, etc.) for DD so that she can at least have some treat. I guess I don't look at this as an inclusion issue with her. I mean she already has different treats when she goes to parties, so this is just part of her life.

Is it fair? Of course not. But it's hardly fair that she has these allergies to begin with but it's not something she can change.

As for feeling excluded because she's different from her peers, there are so many means that kids can find to exclude other children: you don't wear the right clothes, you're fat, you wear glasses, etc. Exclusion is a lesson she'll learn anyway even though she's sunny, sweet, and young. For me, it's more productive to teach her how to handle that gracefully and that it's is not reflective of her value as a person. Also, I should model the behavior of grace for her if I expect her to learn it and that entails being gracious about these issues in the classroom. I'm not saying be a doormat but you don't need to go to the mattresses to make a point and thereby exclude and single-out your child even more.

Our school has nut-free classrooms for those students with allergies. Some items that are may contains did make their way into the classroom during the holiday parties (strangely despite the class mom having kids with severe food allergies) but those posed less of a risk to DD. Birthday cupcakes were handed out during snack, which was held in the cafeteria.

We also have a very simple rule for DD (who is 6): You don't eat anything not provided or checked by mommy/daddy. So forcing parents to bring in a celebratory snack free of all her allergens that she wouldn't be allowed to eat anyway wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be fair to the other 24 kids in her class who do not have allergies. My daughter is one person and the world does not revolve around her even despite her allergies. Certainly, safeguards should be in place and if those are violated, I'll deal with them but asking for protections that would serve no purpose would only serve to make other families resent us.

[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 17, 2007).][/b]

AND

Quote:

Originally posted by ceross: [b] Please go back and reread my post. You have quoted me out of context. I said that in our situation asking the entire class to bring in safe treats would be moot because we would [b]never[\b] allow DD to eat them. That's our rule for her at her current age and I don't foresee that changing for a number of years. My only request is that the treat not include nuts, but if it includes eggs that's not a big deal because she's not going to eat it.

Please don't quote me out of context to make some point that had nothing to do with what I posted. Of course, we all have the same goal and that's to keep our children safe. I don't disagree with that. I'm also not going to say that you can't take your approach but I do think it might make accommodating children with MFAs less palatable to the parents of non-allergic children and could possibly exclude your child further (every child in his/her class is going to know that they can't have treats that other classes have because of your child).

I am fortunate to be in a school system, that while not perfect, does a lot of good things as standard practice. There are no peanut-free tables so there's no exclusion there: Children with allergies are seated with their class at one end of the table buffered from the kids who bring lunch by kids who get hot lunch (which has no peanut products). No nut products are served in the cafeteria. For birthday celebrations, parents can order Scribblers popsicles instead of bringing in cupcakes, but this is optional. Cupcakes (at least for kindergartners) were doled out at snack, which was served in the cafeteria. Signs are prominently displayed on each classroom with a peanut-allergic child to indicate that no nuts are allowed in the class. DD's teacher contacted me ahead of time about a lesson involving food (the were learning about the senses and sour, sweet, etc.) to let me know what they were using and I sent in safe items for DD. Also, DD's teacher last year allowed her to have her Epi in her backpack (in addition to the one in the office) so that one would be closer to the class and so that DD would have it for the bus to day care; this was allowed despite the fact that legally DD cannot carry it because her allergist has not signed off on her to self-administer. When we did have an issue both the teacher and principal were very responsive.

There were still hiccups (the candy cane) and instances of not always being informed about b-day celebrations beforehand (but that was often because parents just showed up with cupcakes without informing the teacher beforehand). However, the school year went well and I expect next year to be good as well. As I said, we're lucky. To me it's about balance. I'm more likely to drive hard on an issue like the teacher giving DD a candy cane than about birthday celebrations.

[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 19, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 19, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 19, 2007).][/b]

Keeping your posts (as they currently appear) there in full, but only addressing that you felt I took part of your original post out of context.

First of all, it was not my intention to "quote out of context" but to simply respond briefly to a specific part of your post which I interpreted to be a generalized comment, given my perceived tone of the entire post.

Additionally, with the "original" version of your follow-up post to mine (as I read it in its form on August 19th, but did not have time to respond), your reference to our method of "NO safe treat box" as being a [b] [i] Draconian approach [/i] [/b] led me to again perceive an intended "tone".

If I have horribly misinterpreted or misunderstood, I apologize.

~Eliz

On Aug 22, 2007

PLEASE DON'T quote THIS!! WILL HAVE TO EDIT OUT FOR PRIVACY!!

.

First you cry. Then you get angry. Then you take calm, appropriate action. Repeat after me.

~Elizabeth

[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 23, 2007).]

On Aug 22, 2007

Oh my. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img]

I had already printed up certain pages of this thread for our records & to use particular passages and "quotable quotes" in our arguments with the school.

But just printing "Page 1" of this thread took 34 pieces of paper. Please forgive me, Mother Nature.

~Eliz

On Aug 22, 2007

Does this mean I've been Draconian for, um, 8 years?

Oh well. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

To me, I actually see it the other way. It would be Draconian for me to provide a safe treat box.

I was up all night puking my guts out with one of the most vicious migraines I have had in years, so I will return later, but honestly, truly, do not believe what I am reading in this thread, for the most part. I'm shocked. But then again, I'm Canadian. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

Please everyone, visit [url="http://www.cbc.ca"]www.cbc.ca[/url] and check out Rick Mercer. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 22, 2007

Elizabeth....

I don't know whether to laugh or cry... or both!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] (For your post you don't want quoted)

O.M.G!!!!! That is one of the most absurd things I have EVER-- and I do mean EVER-- heard.

(Wonder if they know who Carlos Mencia is? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] He has a term for people who do things like..... ummm, introducing high-fat, high-calorie foods into PE.)

Remind me again what the obesity rate is in your state? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Gaaaa.

On Aug 22, 2007

Is there room in Draconia for me? I'm ready for a move!

Safe snack boxes aren't a panacea. We had one for 3 years. And you know what one of my son's favorite things to do when he comes home from school on the last day of the year is? Eat the contents of his safe snack box. He and his brother get to split them. HOOOOORAH!

Count yourself lucky if you have a good teacher THIS YEAR. Count yourself lucky if you have a good principal THIS YEAR. Find security in that snack box if it worked for you LAST YEAR.... and if they use it this year again.... well, maybe you will think you are lucky again.

Complacency, getting comfortable, providing outs......... hopefully that works for people. But when the #hit hits the fan, and you have to go back through, see what precedent YOU'VE set to support what YOU have to do for YOUR child. When you get stuck dealing with people that aren't the TEACHER or PRINCIPAL that you think are great now, or from last year, you might end up thinking differently.

And honestly, if I could post more details I would. Because I think some things people could take as warnings. To learn from. To see the things that we have done that have helped when your great teacher, or principal, aren't there the next year. And to see the mistakes we've made.... so that you don't repeat them.

Now, I guess I need to go shopping for a new outfit. Draconia seems to have more extreme weather.............

On Aug 22, 2007

I'm so sorry Eliz, such evil strategy these cupcakes queens are capable of. To set out to willfully exclude a child, in the name of birthday fun, is unbelievable.

On Aug 22, 2007

Last night I managed to cry in the shower long enough to drain a 60-gallon hot water heater, with no help from dishwasher or laundry running.

This after I stood at the foot of my son's bed and told him that we would do everything we could to work to have him fully included in at-school events. I again reminded him that not ALL of life is fair, and that we must all work toward accepting those things which we truly cannot change. And I told him he could always come to us when he felt he was not being treated fairly -- and that we would listen and help in all ways we believed to be appropriate. And my boy -- the one who normally just wants a good night peck on the cheek -- my 65-pound "little" boy crawled across the bed and into my arms, squeezed me as tight as he could, and with a kiss on my cheek, he whispered [i]thank you, Mommy. [/i]

~Eliz, thanks for listening

On Aug 22, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by ajas_folks: [b]Last night I managed to cry in the shower long enough to drain a 60-gallon hot water heater, with no help from dishwasher or laundry running.

[/b]

ajasfolks, gvmom, please read this thread, (paying in particular attention to [b]The Cupcake Incident[/b], which involved a "circumvent the plan" strategy, much similiar to the one Z describes. Probably exactly the same.

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001880.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001880.html[/url]

gvmom, I believe the 3 page interaction in that thread lay at the very heart of this thread. I'm noting with glee, once again, that I managed to get the premeditated violation of my child's IEP documented as [i]an incident report[/i] and placed on permanent file/record. Still remembering the teacher telling me in plain view/earshot [i]of the office staff and visitors[/i].: "I'd do it again."

U-huh. Yeah, sure you would. I bet.

And I'm no betting woman.

On Aug 22, 2007

EB--I'm very sorry to hear about your issues.

In PE???????????????????????????

Let me say, though, that if those food-filled birthday celebrations are going to happen, I think the cafeteria IS the best place. There's already unsafe stuff being eaten there. The cupcakes are kept out of the classroom.

It's how we've had it in Texas the last few years, since the passing of that law, and I think it's WAAAAAY better than how it will be now in my new home. I'd give anything for cupcakes in the cafeteria once again, in fact--if they are at the school at all.

And I must say I'm surprised that in the fourth grade, cupcakes are still a presence. Did I say "presence?" I meant to say "bane"--that they are still part of our lives at all. But they apparently are part of my DS' life at school this year, so if they are there, I'd rather they be in the cafeteria.

That this was somehow supposed to be sneaked past you is truly horrific, though. And that your child must be realizing the value place on those stupid cupcakes seems to be greater than the value placed on his inclusion is just . . . profoundly sad.

On Aug 22, 2007

I occasionally peek in here (in this thread) to lurk and read and learn. Interesting thread--very interesting.

Elizabeth,

It happened to my dd last year too. The teacher would get around the tree nut/ peanut free classroom for kindergarten wide celebrations. A different teacher would bring in treats for the entire kindergarten (spur of the moment type thing, I was told) and the classroom teacher didn't check with me. They had the kids eat the treats outside or in the hall so it wouldn't violate the peanut/tree nut free room part of the 504.

The tough part of it is the fact that my dd doesn't always come home and tell me. She holds it in and tries to be brave. She tells herself it's O.K. The teacher then believed she was O.K. with this arrangement. She was not. I found out--later. I wish I had known sooner.

The worst was when the class had an ice cream party. Two kids were misbehaving and had to miss it as a consequence. They were told to sit on the carpet. Guess where the teacher put dd? On the carpet with those kids. Yes, she put her with kids who were being punished. This brought on a meeting at the school and yes, this was discussed at the meeting and 11 more items were added to dd's 504 at that meeting. I was furious.

So I'm sorry. I can feel what you are going through. I'm glad that you have this thread to bury your info in.** I felt like I couldn't post about my experience. I didn't want the teacher to take it out on dd. I didn't want the school to see what I post. I had to deal with it privately.

I am very, very sorry.

This thread has given me a lot to think about.

**edited to add: when I say bury, I just mean that I don't think anyone who doesn't have pa would take the time to read a long thread. I DO think the info in this thread is important and valuable.

Gotta stop re-reading these posts! I feel like nothing I say comes out right!!

[This message has been edited by Lori Anne (edited August 24, 2007).]

On Aug 22, 2007

Wow....I just finished reading the link #1 Mouser provided...

2 years ago you, GailW, Synthia, csc (Alternative to Mainstream??) had this discussion.

It is somewhat discouraging to know that history keeps repeating itself with the cupcakes [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

It was a great discussion, though! I love that you got a copy of the incident report, MB! Love that!

2005 was prior to this huge Wellness Policy thrust. We'll see if there is a difference in 2 more years regarding cupcakes since schools have been mandated to include "Wellness Policies"--our school calls them "guidelines"/"voluntary"/"can't tell a teacher what to do in their classroom"...

On Aug 22, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Lori Anne: [b] It happened to my dd last year too. The tough part of it is the fact that my dd doesn't always come home and tell me. She holds it in and tries to be brave. She tells herself it's O.K. The teacher then believed she was O.K. with this arrangement. She was not. I found out--later. I wish I had known sooner.[/b]

Ditto--so many times this happened to DD. She also kept so much in. I hate to think where this will lead us in 5, 10 years...

Quote:

Originally posted by Lori Anne: [b] The worst was when the class had an ice cream party. Two kids were misbehaving and had to miss it as a consequence. They were told to sit on the carpet. Guess where the teacher put dd? On the carpet with those kids. Yes, she put her with kids who were being punished. [/b]

Shaking my head... I'm sorry. So very sorry. It is disgusting behavior---repeating itself over and over...in schools all over.

I'm also sorry that we all have so much to deal with the schools and we can't post openly because we know they are looking (I know for a fact they have).

On Aug 22, 2007

Just want to say that I am not intending to hijack this thread -- and to say to EVERYBODY here -- there are MANY sympathetic ears here. Truly. If you do not feel comfortable about posting an experience, there are many of us with e-mail addresses posted in profiles & we are more than willing to be a sounding board, or even a private "ear". Protocol supposedly is that you just ask on boards, "may I e-mail you" --though some of us have written into our Profiles "Please feel free to e-mail me" as a way of relieving that burden, should you feel it.

(OH, forgive this analogy) We *are* all in this same boat -- though some of us row (& feel like we're getting NO where), and some of us may occasionally feel like we're at the helm. But many are in between -- steerage? prisoner-hold? walking the plank? or just plain [i] shot in the screws [/i] (for the navy wives here [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] ). We get all excited when somebody can cry "Land Ho!"

And we are all there when the cry is "Man Overboard!"

So, thank you all for the preservers thrown & the life boats launched to me tonight.

There is nothing more important than the children. That's all we ever really want anybody to really recognize anyway.

Thank you all.

~Elizabeth

On Aug 22, 2007

Oops sorry! I didn't mean to hijack it either. I've just been carrying those experiences around for a year and when I heard a similar story....well...

anyway, I'll delete my info if you'd like.

I know we're all in this together and no one has it easy.

On Aug 22, 2007

Lori Anne -- Please leave your experience here, if you feel comfortable. I think it's really important to show the realm of experiences, and I am SO glad you felt comfortable posting this!!

gvmom -- this thread and its marvelous input, from all directions, is or will be [i]pivotal[/i] for many of us in our PA journeys. THANK YOU.

~Eliz

On Aug 22, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by PinkPoodle: [b] It was a great discussion, though! I love that you got a copy of the incident report, MB! Love that!

[/b]

it's on linen district letterhead..... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

After that incident, I really started investing some strategy into writing the food allergy accommodations with [i]goals[/i] included. Like "(Student name) will safely participate in an environment as outlined in his physician letter with peers for all celebrations, birthdays, holidays, rewards, class or extracurricular activities. He will not be excluded due to his disability of a Life Threatening Food Allergy or Asthma." (paraphrased from memory)

Just in case people aren't good at interpreting what the "accommodation" should translate too. Goals are very powerful. Equally as powerful, if not more powerful than the accommodation itself. Then you can say: "Hey, does this picture (ie: celebration) look like that picture (goal)?" if not....you can say:

"Make it so. Do what you gotta do, but make it so." It removes the onus of you having to anticipate every snake-like movement.

Sure, goals are part of the normal IEP process (and I'd expect them to be for a 504 as well), but I was accustomed to them long before I ever heard the expressions IEP or 504. It's what I do. Measuring [i]outcomes[/i] is part of the Nursing Process. the "As Evidenced by" part. I chart on them every shift. It leaves one with a sense of accountability. Goals....

On Aug 22, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: [b] goals are part of the normal IEP process (and I'd expect them to be for a [i]504[/i] as well), but I was accustomed to them long before I ever heard the expressions IEP or 504. [/b]

Can someone who is more knowledgable with 504s answer this. I know my DD's 504 didn't include goals; simply accommodations. Should goals have been discussed/included???!!! Sounds like a lovely idea or should I write 'idea' as IDEA [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by PinkPoodle (edited August 22, 2007).]

On Aug 22, 2007

EB--I just reread your post, and I don't think I initially truly got the underhandedness with which your school is behaving. I don't think my response was very supportive. My apologies.

(Stomping Foot) Of all the slime ballin', controlling, yellow belly tricks to play . . . just completely going around the plan like that--and in a way that completely leaves your little guy out . . . it's sickening.

On Aug 22, 2007

[b]gvmom -- this thread and its marvelous input, from all directions, is or will be pivotal for many of us in our PA journeys. THANK YOU.[/b]

If there ever needs to be a 'sticky' thread on a board, it's this one. The perspective offered within, the analogies. All of it....needed. It has felt good to take off the blinders, that is step one. Step two is up to each one of us, for our own unique situations.

On Aug 22, 2007

Okay. The topic I cannot stay away from. I know that I cannot equate not sending in a safe treat box with the "peanut free" table at school but I'm going to anyway. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

How do you think my son felt, when starting at a new school, back in the "big city" (he was born here, but grew up in the country), when he was confronted with not only having to eat in a lunchroom but not in his classroom (previously, food was eaten in the classroom - so "peanut free" classrooms were done and again do-able - even if that word is no where to be found in a dictionary).

He is new to the school, new to the City (at least in the last town, when he did change schools he often ran into other children he knew who had also moved - similar Nomad like minded parents whatever [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] ), and he is placed, when is in in Grade 4, at a BENCH, in the lunchroom for Grade 7 and 8's.

My nieces just completed Grade 8 at this particular school and let's just say that their transition also back into "the city" has not been easy. They had a difficult enough time of it in Grades 6, 7, and 8, without being forced to sit away from their classmates and eat at a BENCH.

So, in Grade 4, he's sitting at a BENCH, with all of the other PA students (perhaps 7 or 8, various grades), and I can imagine what some of the Grade 7 or 8 kids had to say to them (or maybe they were completely ignored).

He doesn't get that social time to sit with his new classmates and interact with them at all at lunch-time. He's the type of child that has had a difficult go of it, and yes, I share some responsibility in that, having moved as much as we did.

When he mentioned the BENCH to me, I went in one day to find him sitting at the BENCH with only one other PA student, older than him. I asked the older PA student about it and he said that that was the way it had always been done and he was okay with it. Also noting, that as far as I've seen, my son is the only one wearing an Epi-Belt.

Talk about wounding to one's psyche. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Yes, it did happen for a whole year. When I spoke with the principal, she told me that she would try to work something out. When I spoke with Anaphylaxis Canada (our version of FAAN), they basically told me to grin and bear it.

Then, tonight I was thinking about different personalities of our children - my two kids are like day and night personality wise and I was thinking if one would have accepted the situation any better than the other. NO!

I guess my ? really has to be - if we are asking for "accommodations" for our PA children in the schools - aren't we doing kinda a half a$$ed job when we allow for certain things that shouldn't be allow-able? The 504 Plan, as I understand it, outlines very clearly what foods are okay for celebrations in gvmom's children's classrooms.

So, in essence, the 504 Plan is to be adhered to, except.....

That makes NO sense to me.

Based on my own family's experience (including that of Ron's sister/husband and their three daughters), us all coming back to Toronto three years ago, only the two youngest children from each family made an easy transition (or relatively) into yet another new school and school in the "big city". It was hard. These were children that had spent 6 or 4 years in the country (and in the case of Ron's sister - her children did not change schools). ALL of them had a hard time making friends.

The two oldest of my nieces, never did - not because they're not personable, nice young ladies, but by the time they came back to Toronto, cliques had already been formed and they were left out (and they had gone to school in Toronto).

My point in all the rambling about family stuff is that none of the children (except, as I say, the youngest two - my daughter and my youngest niece), had an easy go of it. Can you imagine how my son felt when you add PA and a BENCH into the mix?

I remember an incident when toilet teaching my son. One thing I did *wrong*. I had encouraged him too loudly one day and that set him back for months. He does not like to be centered out; for any reason.

So, for me to have sent a safe treat box into school with him, no, that would have centered him out again. I worked with the school(s) so that he wouldn't be.

The other thing I was thinking earlier tonight was that I consider us to be living in the *real* world and from what erik has posted on this board, at the age of 40 (or so), he has lived in the *real* world with his PA and experienced I think, pretty much everything we all have, except eating peanuts.

So, this thing (I do have another word, but not a nice one) about sending in a safe treat box to show that your child has to do things differently in the *real* world doesn't wash with me at all. That they have to learn that they will be excluded. That they have to learn that there are certain foods that they cannot eat. ******* , they all know that already. Why have it re-inforced in an environment where it can be stopped (although perhaps for some not easily)? What is *wrong* with people that they would send that message to their children? How can you sit back and watch this happen and say that if they didn't have a safe treat box it is damaging their psyche?

NO! Telling them that someone else's birthday cupcake is more important than their emotional well-being and even moreso, their LIFE, well.......

I'll stop my diatribe. But every time I sit down to think, I just can't believe that people think that this is okay. Even when presented with the particular words in gvmom's 504 Plan.

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 22, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by ajas_folks: [b] Keeping your posts (as they currently appear) there in full, but only addressing that you felt I took part of your original post out of context.

First of all, it was not my intention to "quote out of context" but to simply respond briefly to a specific part of your post which I interpreted to be a generalized comment, given my perceived tone of the entire post.

Additionally, with the "original" version of your follow-up post to mine (as I read it in its form on August 19th, but did not have time to respond), your reference to our method of "NO safe treat box" as being a [b] [i] Draconian approach [/i] [/b] led me to again perceive an intended "tone".

If I have horribly misinterpreted or misunderstood, I apologize.

~Eliz[/b]

Here for everyone's benefit is your quote out of context of my post:

Quote:

quote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Originally posted by ceross: Certainly, safeguards should be in place and if those are violated, I'll deal with them but asking for protections that would serve no purpose would only serve to make other families resent us.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Insisting on a a basic, inclusive, and CONSISTENT policy of food if it's only completely safe for everyone is HARDLY asking for a protection that "serves no purpose"! We are talking about "special" celebrations and food in the classroom, NOT required meals and required daily nutrition. And if the BASIC purpose is to keep my son fundamentally ALIVE, then does that not serve a bonafide purpose??

I guess what I really want to know at this point is, when are WE as a food allergy community going to be willing to QUIT APOLOGIZING to EVERYBODY ELSE for INCONVENIENCING THEM with our OUR MEDICAL NEEDS?? W.H.E.N.???

I will take the resentment of 10,000,000 other families if it means my son comes home to me at the end of the school day ALIVE.

~Elizabeth

Here's the full portion of my quote you excised. Note it starts with "We" which means I was discussing our situation. It further goes on to discuss our rule for DD and food. I further reference "free of all her allergens" and say she wouldn't be allowed to eat it anyway. I'm not sure how a paragraph with so many specific references to our situation can be construed as a "generalized" comment. Yet it was used but only a sentence that could be inflammatory to make a point.

Quote:

We also have a very simple rule for DD (who is 6): You don't eat anything not provided or checked by mommy/daddy. So forcing parents to bring in a celebratory snack free of all her allergens that she wouldn't be allowed to eat anyway wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be fair to the other 24 kids in her class who do not have allergies. My daughter is one person and the world does not revolve around her even despite her allergies. Certainly, safeguards should be in place and if those are violated, I'll deal with them but asking for protections that would serve no purpose would only serve to make other families resent us.

My comment was not a general comment; it was specific to our situation. You snipped it to make a generalized comment. By all means make that comment but don't quote me out of context to do so.

As for the draconian remark, I edited because I did feel that was harsh. But certainly continue to have fun using the term at my expense. You talk about inclusion in your posts in regards to your child; however, you, gvmom, #1Mouser are rather exclusionary on the boards. You routinely put down thoughts are approaches that are not in lock-step with yours.

I understand that you have had horrendous experiences and reading about them is enlightening. As you so thoughtfully pointed out, I am a neophyte with dealing with this and you have certainly indicated that you feel I will likely be disabused of my optimism in the future. I guess I'd like to cling to that optimism.

You are entitled to feel that I am giving the school an out with the safe snack box. I see it differently by allowing a fallback in case a celebration "pops up" as routinely happens or the teacher fails to inform us of a celebration. (I'll deal with the teacher but that happens after the fact; at least the treat box resolves the issue at that moment and DD is truly not excluded.) At least DD will have something rather than have to sit there and gaze at her navel. I also do the treat box because as I've mentioned DD is not allowed to have anything her parents haven't provided; because she sees me prepare the treat box by reading labels and placing the items in the box, she knows it's safe and that alleviates some anxiety on her part. For me, I'm just not at a point that I would want to give up that control and I'd never feel comfortable letting her have something another parent brought even it it had an ingredient listing or came off the safe snack list. I just don't have that level of trust in other parents. Because of that, I'd always be sending something in for DD.

May I ask this question: Given the chicanery that parents at your child's school will go to to circumvent the, I would say, reasonable protections in place, would you trust them to bring in a safe snack for your child? Wasn't their a column posted on the board here in which the author talked about purposely disguising the ingredients of her child's day care snack so as to appear not to be in violation of the rules. Couldn't it be conceivable that a parent **** -bent on having the treat they want do a similar thing? To get into even more detail, wouldn't cupcakes bought at a store bakery technically be acceptable if they didn't have the allergen as an ingredient and didn't carry any may contain/cross contamination warnings? However, most of us here would find no cross-contamination warnings on those boxes to be highly dubious. What would happen if you nixed that treat for safety reasons (again, I think that would be the safest thing to do)? Wouldn't there be a further backlash?

Certainly food-free celebrations would be best, but I think that is an unlikely scenario in most school districts. (See the pragmatist in me trumps my optimism in that situation.) I think flying pigs were mentioned earlier.

I can see why you're so upset. I hope your approach works for you but I also hope that your son doesn't suffer more (because of retaliation or snide comments). Unfortunately, it sounds as if you are dealing with an incredibly selfish group of parents. I hope that their attitude does not trickle down to their children.

I would certainly say that I have been fortunate to have had understanding teachers, administrators, and fellow parents. It's not to say that everything has run smoothly but when there has been an issue, I have been fortunate enough that it was not motivated by malice on the part of the teacher as some of you have encountered. I will also add that I have been very luckly to have encountered almost no parents that have not been accommodating. I accompanied DD on a day care field trip to the zoo today and not one child had a lunch with peanut butter. As requested, every child had a nut free lunch. And guess what, they all managed to be happy and survive without peanut butter.

Our approaches are colored by our previous experiences and neither is wrong and both have the best of intentions at their core. In the 6 years of dealing with DD's allergies, I have been fortunate. I guess, according to you, I should be counting my lucky stars.

This may a bit OT but I'll share this: We changed DD's allergist to Dr. Robert Wood and saw him for the first time this year. I brought up the issue of obtaining a 504 for DD because their had been a couple of issues last year. He essentially said that the 504 is not going to make them any more compliant and I read into his comments that day that he probably felt it not necessary.

[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 23, 2007).]

On Aug 22, 2007

IRT Dr. Woods comment... A 504 won't make them more compliant? Maybe not. More [i]accountable[/i]? Absolutely.

On Aug 22, 2007

I am in the midst of drafting several letters

On Aug 22, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: BTW, haven't you ever had to nix something? Do you allow Peanut products in the classroom? If somebody brought peanut butter cookies in, would that be okay with you because your child had a safe treat?

Just to answer your question: All classrooms with allergic children in them at DD's school are peanut and nut free and parents are requested not to bring in items with nuts. I attended all but one class party and spoke often with the class mother and none of the class parties had nut items in them. I happened to be there one day when there was a birthday party and the cupcakes did not have nuts (and were even egg free for religious reasons); however, I was not notified in advance of this birthday but the aide did pull a treat from DD's box for her (without any prompting from me). However, I can't say I knew of every birthday celebration in DD's class. BTW, birthday treats were eaten in the cafeteria not the classroom. So I have not been in a situation to nix a treat. I've actually more often been consulted prior to a party as was the case at DD's kindergarten enrichment/aftercare program last year or with field day this year at school when we were informed that popsicles would be given out; we brought one in for DD which was kept in the classroom freezer, in that situation even if we'd approved a popsicle there's always the possibility that they could run out and a substitution could be made after the fact. We've also been fortunate that since age 2, DD has been in day care and school centers/classrooms that are nut-free.

[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 23, 2007).]

On Aug 22, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: [b]Doesn

On Aug 23, 2007

It is 1:45 am, and I need a manila envelope!

WHERE ARE ALL OF MY MANILA ENVELOPES!!!!!

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

On Aug 23, 2007

Well, it's 4:46 AM here & I have 4 sizes of manilla envelopes. Just can't change the 3000 miles they'd have to fly to get to you.

~Eliz

On Aug 23, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by ceross: [b] Just to answer your question: All classrooms with allergic children in them at DD's school are peanut and nut free and parents are requested not to bring in items with nuts. I attended all but one class party and spoke often with the class mother and none of the class parties had nut items in them. I happened to be there one day when there was a birthday party and the cupcakes did not have nuts (and were even egg free for religious reasons); however, I was not notified in advance of this birthday but the aide did pull a treat from DD's box for her (without any prompting from me). However, I can't say I knew of every birthday celebration in DD's class. BTW, birthday treats were eaten in the cafeteria not the classroom. So I have not been in a situation to nix a treat. I've actually more often been consulted prior to a party as was the case at DD's kindergarten enrichment/aftercare program last year or with field day this year at school when we were informed that popsicles would be given out; we brought one in for DD which was kept in the classroom freezer, in that situation even if we'd approved a popsicle there's always the possibility that they could run out and a substitution could be made after the fact. We've also been fortunate that since age 2, DD has been in day care and school centers/classrooms that are nut-free.

[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 23, 2007).][/b]

It's not hard to be optimistic when everything is running smoothly. I don't know of to many parents with PA children who have never had to "nix" something in the classroom. Standing there with the teacher staring at you..."sorry this will have to be sent home, it contains peanuts...see the warning label...in bold?" Then leaving the classroom feeling very grateful you were there to catch the mistake. This happened to me several times last year. Yes, indeed, you are lucky.

On Aug 23, 2007

So seriously, I am about to puke. I literally feel sick to my stomach. Ready to just burst into tears. I can't say everything. But buried in this thread, I will say the following. For those of you, treading along comfortably. And for those of you drowning like me.

In addition to.... all the other loveliness.... we just found out that the new Principal has a child that is PA. The way they found out was through a reaction that landed their kid in the ER. They do not have an Epi-pen. Their doctor has told them that their child might even be able to try peanuts again.

We yell about FAAN. And I agree with it. But I am going to add the AAAAI to it.

What is wrong with doctors out there? Forget about what it does in general to us as a community when doctors and allergists blow off hospital worthy reactions.... but what the &*&k are they doing? That kids life is in jeopardy.

We as a community should be even more angry at the medical community that can't get it's act together.... for the sake of saving children's lives.... and tell parents that their kids could die, understand the seriousness of these allergies, and get people to carry Epi-pens.

What is wrong with these doctors?

I am sick right now. I am angry. Furious really, for a multitude of reasons. But I am also just so worried that there is a child, right now, that doesn't have an Epi-pen that absolutely needs it.

I know eventually, I will get to the part where I start to see how even more screwed we are. It is there in the back of my head.... but at the moment, I am just shocked for that child. And mad at the medical community.

I hope you are counting your lucky stars....

On Aug 23, 2007

I always remember being a member that wished I could be like other members and NOT have to use the Schools section of the board to get help/advice/support. I know a LOT of our members where they have schools where things run smoothly for their PA children. I always wished I could be one of them. I never was. It wasn't my son's fault. It wasn't my fault. It just was.

The thing I continue to NOT understand is why it would be okay for one part of gvmom's 504 Plan to be violated and not other parts? If it's written down; agreed to; the food in the classroom part (which is very clearly written) is the same as any other segment of the 504 Plan. Again, I continue to NOT understand. Especially when it is a legally binding document. My son's written school plan is only a set of "guidelines" for the school to work from, and yet they do.

gvmom, I do like the homeless analogy (that's a whole other long story about my last field trip with my children's school), but look what happened in my instance even. Changing schools for Grade 3 and a principal deciding that he could throw the written school plan out the window. The teacher had the same attitude. But I did get those unsafe treats out of the classroom at the Christmas party regardless. With very clear words - no harsh, not witchy, not horrible - simply clear.

Did I get that jelly bean jar out of the classroom that year? No. But the jelly bean jar was discussed with my son and how he felt about it.

If I had tried to get the jelly bean jar out of the classroom, I do suspect that I would have been asked to take both children out of the school by that idiot of a principal.

But that jelly bean jar was certainly among the many things that was going to be placed in the OHRC complaint (again, didn't file it, very ashamed EVEN TO THIS DAY).

I think some PA parents have been very fortunate - I know I started a thread a few years ago about people who had *good* experiences with their school and again, I always wish I could have been one of them. I wasn't.

When my son started school, I was apparently the parent of the first ever PA parent. So, I did whatever it was to get him into school and all inclusively (without any knowledge whatsoever from PA.com or OHRC or anything - just basic ideas of what life *should* be like).

When I came upon a BENCH situation - yes, it did take a year to get it resolved - again, yes, I dealt with it. Other PA parents/children were okay with it. We weren't.

ceross, I don't think anyone meant for this to be an argument and I apologize if you felt that I was one of the people that centered out that one line of your post. I am really happy for you that things do work at your child's school. I really, truly am.

A Canadian thing perhaps, but do you know how SHOCKED I was when my son couldn't attend the first day of school (in Grade 3) to find out that other people in my Province had experienced the same thing? SHOCKED! I didn't think it happened in Canada. I read about it so often happening in America and what he$$ my American friends went through to get their PA children through the door of the school and yet, yes, here it was happening in my Province as well (and at a school board district not far from mine at the time).

If it was all smooth sailing for all of us - then no, you wouldn't see people "rocking the boat"; being advocates (that sounds like a dirty word here nowadays); speaking about inclusion/exclusion and human rights. If your child was being treated the way he/she *should* be treated.

I believe it was nutternomore, very early on in this thread that mentioned children with visible physical disabilities and how it took a couple of decades to really get things in place for them. I think the majority of us would be SHOCKED (PA parent or not) if we saw a visibly physically disabled child EXCLUDED from some school activity.

Yet, it's okay for our kid?

(Jeez, now I wish I had been in contact with The Cupcake Queens all summer and I could have made the Fun Fair "safe" for this Fall - I am a wimp - this thread, in itself has revitalized my thoughts at least and for that I am thankful; even if what I have to say has nothing to do with the price of tea in China).

To-day's recommendation again, would be to check out [url="http://www.cbc.ca"]www.cbc.ca[/url] and watch Rick Mercer.

Oh, and kinda OT, but not really, I watched the Power of 10 last night and I was shocked by some of the answers. Don't know if Canadians would be collectively shocked, but this Canadian was, so yes, there is a difference between our countries for sure. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 23, 2007

I guess the biggest thing, for me, is how many times to I have to apologize to my PA son for wrongs done to him at school? I'm sorry. And hear, it's okay Mama. HOW MANY TIMES?

Whenever he said (or says), it's okay, Mama, I always tell him NO, Jesse it is NOT okay. It is NOT OKAY.

I'll try to edit previous post for spelling errors later.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 23, 2007

ohhhhhhhhh.... gvmom. That is NOT GOOD.

But really-- we were seen in the ER and left with only instructions to give DD [i]benadryl[/i] for the next 24 hours. She was almost entirely unresponsive during the initial portion of that reaction, and this is the advice we were given. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

No epipen, no nothing. We were [i]LUCKY[/i] that our then pediatrician had just recently come from an ER stint in Kansas City-- he KNEW what we were describing. He had the [i]sense[/i] to call a board certified allergist to ask for immediate advice. MANY PEDIATRICIANS DON'T. All this to say that I don't know that AAAAI is at fault there. Because it probably wasn't one of their members that did it. Just a GP who didn't know enough to know what he doesn't know.

I'm definitely not unconcerned about an obviously PA child without an epipen. But frankly, I'm MUCH more concerned about how difficult this is going to make things FOR YOU. (I already [i]know[/i] you... so it's personal, you know?)

And FWIW, I have a favorites folder on my computer that says "allergy info" and the first folder inside it? "OCR complaints."

I [i]fervently HOPE[/i] I will never need it. But I am not so naive as to think that it [i]can't[/i] happen to me. Or anyone else. (Well.... Cindy excepted... she can't contact OCR, being one of them there Candadians, eh?)

Just hugs}} gvmom. That is so awful that I am having trouble processing it, too. (right along with cupcakes brought into PE) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]

On Aug 23, 2007

And yes, how the changing of school administration can have a profound effect on what happens. (I hate starting sentences with and).

As an example, I finally got the IEP process started for my son when he entered Grade 4. What happens? The person in charge, at the school, is the vice principal. We have a new vice principal each and every year.

That first year, what it meant was the request for one particular assessment was lost. When I asked about it, things had to be started from square one again and that really meant a one year longer wait for that one assessment. We finally got it done this year (Grade 6) and have to work out the ramifications of that assessment (the school's request for a couple of specialists' appointments, etc.) for this coming year. Lost in the shuffle. Back to square one. While my child suffers (to some degree).

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 23, 2007

gvmom.....all the more reason then, for you to keep on your path. You have the opportunity to educate the principal while you're at it and maybe save her child in the process.

Full steam ahead. Hang in there!

On Aug 23, 2007

[quote]Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: [b] All this to say that I don't know that AAAAI is at fault there. Because it probably wasn't one of their members that did it. Just a GP who didn't know enough to know what he doesn't know.[/b]

I wouldn't bet on it. The kiddo who lived across the street from us had PA, "oh, but not very bad--she only gets diarrhea and throws up a little." Her ALLERGIST told her mom the same blasted thing. Same thing: she may be able to eat peanuts--should probably try some every now and then. I recommended my allergist. I fantasized about leaving an Epi there after DS came home so she'd have one on hand just in case (didn't--although anther neighbor friend's house had permanent Epi Kit there---oops, still there [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] ). The standards of care in our country are [i]all over the place.[/i] It weakens our credibility--and more importantly, it increases the risk for all children--even ours.

[b] I'm definitely not unconcerned about an obviously PA child without an epipen. But frankly, I'm MUCH more concerned about how difficult this is going to make things FOR YOU.[/b]

Just echoing this--couldn't have said it differently but just wanting to offer my support here.

[This message has been edited by McCobbre (edited August 23, 2007).]

On Aug 23, 2007

Oh, GGA, gvmom. I was posting at the same time as you were about your new principal with the PA child.

Okay, since I'm Canadian (Corvallis Mom, in my Province, I contact The Ontario Human Rights Commission [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] ), how much a part of your 504 Process is the principal?

I had been thinking that perhaps one of the reasons I have been relatively fortunate (relatively being the key word - please remember that Fun Fair - an again, I'm a wimp), is that my principal has a bee sting allergy and does have an Epi-Pen. So, she kinda (kinda) "gets it".

My thoughts and prayers (atheist as they may be) are with you and your family because all I can think right now is GGA.

Although, I do agree with Adele.

BIG HUGS}}}}}

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 23, 2007

McCobbre, I agree about the allergist. Look at what the allergist had to say to Jesse and I when he tested positive to tree nuts. A well reputed, long practicing allergist.

gvmom, no wonder you feel like puking. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 23, 2007

Corvallis Mom, separate kinda from the topic at hand, but in Grade 3, that's what pi$$es me off, I had each and every thing documented on the computer - dates, incidents, etc. I had the paperwork sent to me to file the complaint. Then, I never filed it. TO THIS DAY, I am angry with myself for not filing it.

My reasoning at the time? Oh, we're leaving this town anyway and hopefully going back to a city with more PA *customers* that will be more understanding.

I wish I had filed the complaint, regardless of us leaving that school district, just so that no other PA child would ever have to experience what my son did in 3rd Grade.

I had everything ready to go. I even had a year to file the complaint. I didn't do it. I am ashamed and angry to this day - three years later.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 23, 2007

quoting myself: [b] gvmom.....all the more reason then, for you to keep on your path. You have the opportunity to educate the principal while you're at it and maybe save her child in the process. Full steam ahead. Hang in there! [/b]

gvmom - I suspect I am very naive about these matters.

BIG HUG }}}}}}}}}}

[This message has been edited by Adele (edited August 23, 2007).]

On Aug 23, 2007

gvmom: Gosh...not even sure what to say to help...perhaps there is nothing. But [i]know[/i] that we are all pulling for you and sending you good luck.

Nothing worse than someone who [i]thinks[/i] they are experts when it comes to your child's allergy.

Just know you are on the right path to doing what is fundamentally [i]right[/i].

[This message has been edited by notnutty (edited August 23, 2007).]

On Aug 23, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by notnutty: [b]Just know you are on the right path to doing what is fundamentally [i]right[/i].

[/b]

As gvmom herself might say, "worth repeating".

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 23, 2007

gymom, that just stinks. I am so sorry.

you may just show him the err of the doctors ways...so sorry you have to prove this to him.

On Aug 23, 2007

Dear gymom, I wanted to respond to the topic about not sending in safe treats. We are in the middle of an ugly battle and were told that the school didn't have to detail anything about birthdays and celebrations in my child's IHCP because my child has a "safe treat box", and that the districts policy states the child have a this. Our district is trying to use the "safe treat box" to get away with not having to contact me prior to parties. It is allowing them to exclude my child. I would like to send in a similar treat for my child on those party days, but since he has the "safe treat box" they don't feel it's necessary. So I do feel that this is a way out for at least my district. The question I have is why does my child have to eat, lets say a bag of pretzels when everyone else is enjoying that beautiful, decorated, over the top, frosting covered cupcake. This is not acceptable to me and I will do everything in my power to not let my child be treated this way. I will not stop advocating for the rights of my child to attend school as safely as other children and to be included in all areas of the day. My child deserves to be treated equaly and to date this has not happened. We are in a situation where my child will not be starting off the school year. I, as the parent, have the right and the duty to protect my child from any unsafe enviornment.

I'm not saying that we should or shouldn't send in the "safe treat box". I just wanted to share what is happening in our situation. Our district is using this against us.

On Aug 23, 2007

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000894.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/000894.html[/url]

On Aug 23, 2007

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TLmpL2AzLs"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TLmpL2AzLs[/url]

....felt a bit apropos....

On Aug 23, 2007

The moving nail walls.

Yup.

And I am soooo there on the back of the police cruiser grabbing a beverage in the bar drive thru.

Thank you!

~Eliz

On Aug 23, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: [b] ajasfolks, gvmom, please read this thread, (paying in particular attention to [b]The Cupcake Incident[/b], which involved a "circumvent the plan" strategy, much similiar to the one Z describes. Probably exactly the same.

[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001880.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001880.html[/url]

gvmom, I believe the 3 page interaction in that thread lay at the very heart of this thread. I'm noting with glee, once again, that I managed to get the premeditated violation of my child's IEP documented as [i]an incident report[/i] and placed on permanent file/record. Still remembering the teacher telling me in plain view/earshot [i]of the office staff and visitors[/i].: "I'd do it again."

U-huh. Yeah, sure you would. I bet.

And I'm no betting woman.[/b]

Interesting to re-read this thread after a few years. I remain in agreement w/Gail W that providing a substitute treat is comparable in the eyes of the law and not a violation.

Irrespective of that, though, as others have mentioned, [b]the crux of the issue here is that gvmom's 504 was violated and they were not held accountable.[/b] Plain and simple. It's clear that gvmom will be more direct in addressing violations head on to ensure accountability. No more learning curve...

gvmom - I'm sorry that the principal has turned out to be more of a lemon than a true gift, at least in terms of PA awareness and support. [i]Could a new principal, though, ultimately be a good thing?[/i]

I would recommend that rather than a full-court press on trying to re-educate her on PA best practices right now, you couch things under the premise that PA treatment/protocols are individualized, and everything re: your 504 and DS is based on medical advice from [b]your allergist[/b] treating the particulars of [b]your[/b] son's situation. That minimizes the risk of taking the focus off your child and his 504 to broader issues which could muddy the waters.

On Aug 24, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by gvmom: Keep your optimism. Cling to it ferociously. I have optimism too. But, don

On Aug 24, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by ceross: [b] This may a bit OT but I'll share this: We changed DD's allergist to Dr. Robert Wood and saw him for the first time this year. I brought up the issue of obtaining a 504 for DD because their had been a couple of issues last year. He essentially said that the 504 is not going to make them any more compliant and I read into his comments that day that he probably felt it not necessary.[/b]

That's because IMO schools violate the law not out of malicious intentions, but out of ignorance.

I would imagine that Dr. Wood is aware of his obligations under which he practices his profession. And that the thought that schools would be motivated by fear of litigation is abhorent to him.

Unfortunately, that is often not the case with schools. I mean, it was only when we finally had a 504 evalution that the light bulbs began to turn on and the school began to understand what its obligation was under the law.

On Aug 24, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] That's because IMO schools violate the law not out of malicious intentions, but out of ignorance. [/b]

yes, those were my first thoughts when I read that. it's also part of the reason I went the "incident report" route/chain of command years ago instead of proceeding directly to Due Process.

Quote:

[b]I would imagine that Dr. Wood is aware of his obligations under which he practices his profession. And that the thought that schools would be motivated by fear of litigation is abhorent to him.[/b]

Can we say this fits me to a "T" as well? I'm just not used to the mentality that is so pervasive in the school districts. That they [i]mistakenly[/i] believe that there is safety in ignorance. I don't now how to put it.....that for instance, "If mom and dad aren't concerned, or refuse care, then I'm automatically homefree of that responsibility too."

Personally? I find it telling that [i]even as a parent who homeschooled[/i], I find the ginormous amount of "homework" that comes home in the book bag [i]shocking.[/i] Can't figure out why they need my children six hours a day, five days a week if that's what's comming home. I can only pity the children who's parents aren't prepared (financially, emotionally, physically, mentally) to deal with it.

Quote:

[b]Unfortunately, that is often not the case with schools. I mean, it was only when we finally had a 504 evalution that the light bulbs began to turn on and the school began to understand what its obligation was under the law.

[/b]

Yes, after getting over my shock, hurt, loathing, anger, resentment, and self pity, I was able to deal effectively and [i]fairly[/i] with my school district. It certainly wasn't easy, and somehow, I managed to do it without anti-paranoia pills. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

I decided to be a mentor, not a menace. Pro-active, not re-active. There is satisfaction and a sense of peace in that.

On Aug 24, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]Unfortunately, that is often not the case with schools. I mean, it was only when we finally had a 504 evalution that the light bulbs began to turn on and the school began to understand what its obligation was under the law. [/b]

I would say that was likely the case for our school system which was sued by a diabetic child's family and had to put in place processes for dealing with children with medical issues. There are fairly uniform processes in place in our district but I still have to be vigilant.

I actually think for us the PTO is a big problem. Most of their events are actually allergy-aware but they sell Gertrude Hawk chocolates (I didn't let DD participate on that on the basis of the nut issue but I'm also opposed to using kids to schill products). As a reward for selling the most chocolate, the winning class got a chocolate fountain. That's unfair to kids with allergies or who might be diabetic or on a Feingold diet and it's risky. Thankfully, DD's class did not win last year but you can be certain I would have raised a stink if they had.

This is definitely OT to a degree but I'm a bit more concerned this year about a law that VA passed that requires day care workers to be trained by an RN/LPN in the Epi-Pen. First let me say that I think it's great to require training by a nurse in this. The problem is that there is a shortage of trainers/classes and not all caregivers can/will get trained in time. I'm curious to see how this shakes out with DD and aftercare; she has to ride the day care center bus to the center each day and that is one area where I could see the person would not likely be trained.

On Aug 26, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by The #l Mouser!: [b] After that incident, I really started investing some strategy into writing the food allergy accommodations with [i]goals[/i] included. Like "(Student name) will safely participate in an environment as outlined in his physician letter with peers for all celebrations, birthdays, holidays, rewards, class or extracurricular activities. He will not be excluded due to his disability of a Life Threatening Food Allergy or Asthma." (paraphrased from memory)

Just in case people aren't good at interpreting what the "accommodation" should translate too. Goals are very powerful. Equally as powerful, if not more powerful than the accommodation itself. Then you can say: "Hey, does this picture (ie: celebration) look like that picture (goal)?" if not....you can say:

"Make it so. Do what you gotta do, but make it so." It removes the onus of you having to anticipate every snake-like movement.

Sure, goals are part of the normal IEP process (and I'd expect them to be for a 504 as well), but I was accustomed to them long before I ever heard the expressions IEP or 504. It's what I do. Measuring [i]outcomes[/i] is part of the Nursing Process. the "As Evidenced by" part. I chart on them every shift. It leaves one with a sense of accountability. Goals.... [/b]

Just wanted to say thank you for this post & also the earlier link to Cupcake Incident. (I recall reading that thread when it all first happened, but it is hard to really grasp the situation and details until you have kids in B&M school yourself & are dealing with similar situations.)

Your strategy (goal & "picture" oriented, measuring outcomes) has been very helpful as I compile our info & formulate our strategy for working with school. Just [i]getting[/i] the school (& assorted other "players") to even visualize that we are [i]on the same team[/i] can be very frustrating and difficult when the personality of the principal/dean is one of [i]gatekeeper[/i] who in fact fancies him/herself as the "manager" of even the parents, not just of the employees of the school.

When the principal stiff-arms or dismisses the parents from the get-go, even if the initial requests for 504 &/or accomodations are made graciously but firmly, then the adversarial atmosphere can be very difficult to overcome. I dare say, in some cases, impossible. In all honesty, I find having the door flat slammed in my face preferable to being patted on the head & condescendingly told that I'm simply a "worrying mommy who needs to get a grip" & that only the school knows what's best for my child.

But maybe that's just me.

~Elizabeth

On Aug 26, 2007

[b]When the principal stiff-arms or dismisses the parents from the get-go, even if the initial requests for 504 &/or accomodations are made graciously but firmly, then the adversarial atmosphere can be very difficult to overcome. I dare say, in some cases, impossible. In all honesty, I find having the door flat slammed in my face preferable to being patted on the head & condescendingly told that I'm simply a "worrying mommy who needs to get a grip" & that only the school knows what's best for my child.

But maybe that's just me.[/b]

I have suggestions for this. But am still swamped. School starts tomorrow. It looks like my boys will be at least going for the time up until lunch. Can't really get into details. But it isn't because people weren't cooperating.

Lots to update, but it'll have to wait. I am incredibly guarded. Skeptically optimistic. If things go like they are supposed to as a result of our meeting with the district on Friday, things will be better having actually gotten a new principal and involved the district. Getting the district there though, and I mean just even physically, was like moving a mountain. Lots about getting that to happen too.

Learning a lot. Very practical things coming up too.

Again, though. One thing is said. What actually happens is another.

But, I just can't get together a good post about it all right now. Too many documents, letters and school things to get done just for tomorrow! My baby is headed off to K too, and I am nearly heartbroken. I've wanted some time to me, after 7 years, and now that it is here the prospect of not hearing shuffling legos, or little stompy feet, throughout the day is making me on the verge of tears all the time! Both boys in school all day.... I'm really not ready yet.

OH, BTW, still NO SAFE SNACK BOX. It hasn't even been brought up by either teacher. Wasn't even suggested, floated by, or whatever, in any way, shape or form by anyone. Entertaining the idea of sanctioned exclusion, with anything, did not even cross the table.

I can say, off the top of my head, good emails to find out, make a cc list including all on, are the following:

Principal 504Compliance Officer District Nurse --the Principals boss-- ours has an odd title -- special to the district Special Ed Director Superintendant

OH, and if you get replies, and people like, say, a city attorney, are added on to the CC list by anyone, make sure they stay on your CC list too.

Now, gotta run. Lots to do, little time. Will try to get back and give you all something more substantial. But I have to get through tomorrow.

Have suggestions about 504 format too. Might be helpful.

NO SAFE SNACK BOX.

GET A 504 NO MATTER WHAT YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS WITH THE SCHOOL. THINGS CAN CHANGE IN A NEW YORK MINUTE WHILE YOU ARE COUNTING YOUR LUCKY STARS.

On Aug 26, 2007

gvmom, I'm hoping your day goes well tomorrow. Hang in there.

On Aug 26, 2007

gvmom, I hope your day goes well tomorrow too. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Up-date us if and when you get the chance. You do have a lot on your plate right now.

BIG HUGS}}}}}

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 26, 2007

Good luck tomorrow. I'll be thinking about you and the kiddos.

On Aug 26, 2007

gvmom, I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. (And keeping my fingers crossed. Maybe I should do toes too... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )

[i]Always HOPE for the best, but prepare for the worst, right?[/i]

On Aug 26, 2007

Quote:

Originally posted by ajas_folks: [b] Just wanted to say thank you for this post & also the earlier link to Cupcake Incident. (I recall reading that thread when it all first happened, but it is hard to really grasp the situation and details until you have kids in B&M school yourself & are dealing with similar situations.)[/b]

verily. I find verbal descriptions/directions the most difficult, nearly impossible. I just smile and nod. Then written language.

But [i]show[/i] me, and I'm a scholar. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

to quote myself [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] from "The Cupcake Incident" (starts down on page one a bit) and to help gvmom gird her loins [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] to face the challenge ahead:

[b]"THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR AN ALTERNATE TREAT. THERE SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN AN *NEED* FOR IT."[/b]

Quote:

Originally posted by ajas_folks: [b]When the principal stiff-arms or dismisses the parents from the get-go, even if the initial requests for 504 &/or accomodations are made graciously but firmly, then the adversarial atmosphere can be very difficult to overcome. I dare say, in some cases, impossible. In all honesty, I find having the door flat slammed in my face preferable to being patted on the head & condescendingly told that I'm simply a "worrying mommy who needs to get a grip" & that only the school knows what's best for my child.

But maybe that's just me.

~Elizabeth

[/b]

until I got to the bottom and read your name, I half expected to see it was a quote from me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by The #l Mouser! (edited August 26, 2007).]

On Aug 28, 2007

GVmom, how are things going there?

(Just worrying not to have seen anything in a few days-- and wondering how you're holding up.)

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 28, 2007

i've been peeking in here too, hoping to read something positive from gvmom. . .

On Aug 28, 2007

awaiting your return here as well...

On Aug 28, 2007

me too [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Aug 28, 2007

Hoping that things are O.K....

On Aug 29, 2007

Well, it is 1:21 am, and I had intended to write up a post. I am too beat though to get to what I really wanted to. That will have to wait until tomorrow.

Things are okay. I think I am in a waiting pattern. Not letting myself feel anything now, one way or the other. I would guess that some might think lots of stuff was good news, but that is what I thought of the beginning of last year too.

Thanks to you guys though for thinking of me. You all are the best!!!!

And, you know, I really do have some stuff that I want to put here. I think it is important. Just like the whole safe snack issue, lots of stuff has happened that really has kind of altered, or shaped, squished around maybe?, my thoughts on things.

On Aug 29, 2007

Thanks for the update. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

I think it's good, in general, to be cautious. . .

On Aug 29, 2007

Hang in there...just checking in to see how things are going.

On Aug 29, 2007

There is a fairly good article (IMPHO) about food in the classroom in the new issue of Allergic Living Magazine which I received to-day. I checked their website tonight to see if I could link the article here, but their old issue is still up. It does contain a couple of quotes from the woman from FAAN (A. M-F or A. F-M - I'm sorry, I can't remember her name right now). I'll try to at least get the quotes on here over the next few days.

Allergic Living Magazine also has some really great links to a lot of resources, products, etc. (sorry, gvmom, nothing to do with this discussion) and I'll try and post those as well.

Also, a Canadian grocery store chain (so no name really) has come out with a peanut free breakfast bar.

Lots of stuff to post from the mag - but I really wish that one article had been on-line now.

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Aug 30, 2007

It's good to hear things didn't start off with a horrible bang. Thanks for the update.

On Sep 4, 2007

Just wanted to say everyone's input in this thread really got my wheels going in the right direction. I'm happy to report that a letter from the school nurse is going out today informing parents that celebrations will be food-free for my ds' grade [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Wish me luck after people see the letter!

gvmom, I'm getting the impression things are moving in the right direction for you. I hope that's the case, and it continues! Meg

On Sep 13, 2007

For me and my journey with PA, this has been the [b] single most pivotal thread [/b]at PA.com.

Thank you all. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

~Elizabeth

On Sep 13, 2007

That article I referred to from Allergic Living magazine:-

[url="http://www.allergicliving.com/features.asp?copy_id=127"]http://www.allergicliving.com/features.asp?copy_id=127[/url]

Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

------------------ There but for the Grace of God, go I.

On Sep 14, 2007

[b]For me and my journey with PA, this has been the single most pivotal thread at PA.com.[/b]

I want to thank you for saying that. I hesitated starting the thread a bit. Just given things.

Thank you for your contribution, and for the contributions of others in this thread as well.

On Sep 14, 2007

I would agree with eliz. I'm glad I was here to be in on it if even a little bit.

On Sep 20, 2007

Reraising and hoping others from Main Discussion read through....

Thanks to all for this thread---pointing out the obvious that could no longer be ignored.

On Sep 21, 2007

I have read this thread with interest.

From my UK view, and experience , schools that deal with children from 4 1/2- rising 11 seem more allergy aware these days. From the law point of view there isnt really much at all. The education aurthority produce recommended guidelines which they are expect to follow within the indivdual head teachers guiding.

As a parent I CANT jump up and down and demand wide spread change,( there is nothing to solid to back me up) and for the most severely multiple allergic, there will never be the money for a personal aid, even during the early years. We can ask for a policy, and follow the guidelines and pray that the comunity school nurse is well informed about allergies. But for the main part, all they understand is the emergency procedures, little is understood about preventing a reaction. The anaphylaxis campaign is doing sterling work in this area, but it going to take years and years for this to filter down.

The worst part of our childrens lives is the high school years, from 11 onwards. Our son school currently doenst have a indivdual policy, but has three school nurses, all have snippets of allergy understanding. The children are on there own, from the beginging.

I do dream of having a law that I can have, stand with and demand to have. But currently we have nothing, and hope on the good will of others .

I must dash off to work now, but will add some more views later on!! sarah

On Sep 21, 2007

Thank you PinkPoodle, and thank you for your post Williamsmummy. I feel like this is an important topic, and have more that I feel that I should add. Given the nature of it though, and certain things in my own personal situation I have to be careful of at this point, I can't really post it without having the ability to edit.

I would urge people to really think about why they do things the way they do. The issue of consistency and accountability.

What you require of one, you must require of yourself as well.

It isn't the easiest position to take, for sure.

And while the board is under construction, I'd like to offer my email for those of you who might have questions that I could comfortably answer offline. [email]gvbmom@yahoo.com[/email]

On Jun 14, 2008

.

On Jul 14, 2008

Originally Posted By: gvmom

I would urge people to really think about why they do things the way they do. The issue of consistency and accountability.

What you require of one, you must require of yourself as well.

It isn't the easiest position to take, for sure.

This discussion continues in various forms on boards at

[url="http://foodallergysupport.com"]http://foodallergysupport.com[/url]

On Nov 2, 2008

[i][b]Deserves the front page in Schools.

ALWAYS WILL.[/b][/i]

On Nov 19, 2008

bump

By DonnaReed on Oct 3, 2010

Everyone here needs to read and re-read.

Children are excluded if we are complicit in the exclusion.

Enable the food use and enable the discrimination, for your own child and others as well -- now and for years to come.

By DonnaReed on Oct 26, 2009

Suggested reading for those struggling with schools . . .

Food-free classrooms should be the goal for ALL children, not just those with life-threatening food allergies.

Refusing to accommodate the school's use of food may sometimes be the best option.

By waterless on Nov 15, 2010

My son has a peanut allergy and we always have to watch what enters our house or what we send to school. So I was delighted when I found www.grandpascoffeecakes.com

We just received our large banana chocolate chip coffee cake that has no nuts (dairy free too). My son loved every last crumb of that cake which my family polished off in a couple of days. I saw that they had portion control sizes on their site so I will order a bunch of those and freeze them till needed. I am thrilled grandpascoffeecakes.com is a dedicated no nuts bakery so I don't have to worry. I hope your experience will be as positive as mine was.

By DonnaReed on May 11, 2011

(Please ignore the idiotic food-hawking SPAM post above. This site doesn't seem to monitor those.)

Re-raising for current conversations as part of Food Allergy Awareness Week.

Be AWARE of how you enable the discrimination and potential risk to EVERY child when you provide supposed "safe" treats . . . for your own child or the "entire" class . . .

EXCLUDE THE FOOD, NOT THE CHILD!

By DonnaReed on Oct 14, 2014

Bumping.

Because there is NO excuse to NOT INCLUDE the child! And enabling the school to exclude by offering them a "safe treat" out on the LTFA parents' back is just plain wrong.

Food-free classrooms, rewards, incentives, manipulatives, treats, parties, celebrations in school.

Period!

By crazytwinmom on Jun 10, 2011

I think you all might be overreacting. I have a peanut allergic son. I was all too happy to send in some safe treats for the lunch lady to keep in the kitchen at his preschool. I sent prepackaged oreos, chips ahoy. He loves those cookies and since we don't give him sweets constantly, it is a treat to him to get them. If a parent brought in something he could not eat, then they gave him the cookies. He never complained or looked unhappy about it.

In fact, there is a picture of the Valentine's party and some parent brought in store bought cookies that were processed with peanuts. So in the picture you see my son eating his oreo while the other kids eat the fancy Valentine cookies. He didn't look sad though. In the picture he was grinning ear to ear.

I think it is all about attitude. My son has had this allergy since birth. We just made it a way of life for him. You will not be able to have what everyone else has all the time. He totally accepts that. Maybe its because I am a vegetarian when everyone else I know is not. But its not a huge deal to me either. I often have had to make do with my vegetarianism. As long as I have something to eat I am usually happy.

My husband also has a shellfish allergy so we have been dealing with the food allergy issue long before we had our sons. I don't think it is all about making things 100% equal. Life is not like that. The sooner kids learn that the better.

My son is totally happy and is very accepted by his peers. As long as the kid gets some kind of treat they enjoy does it matter if it is not the exact same thing as everyone else? When their birthday came I sent in safe cupcakes for them. He got to eat that one. For class parties I try to sign up for cookies so I can make sure to get fancy cookies he can eat. But if not, he can just eat his oreos or chips ahoy.

We went to a lot of birthday parties and I always brought him oreos. He used to have an egg allergy too but outgrew it. He actually thought he was lucky because he got his oreos right away and did not have to wait on the birthday cake to get passed down the line to him.

You can't control everyone else. You can only control yourself. We just adjust and move on. My son is not going to need therapy over this. That is just silly. Now maybe if he had to sit there and get no treat, he might. But that is why I send in a safe treat. He is not missing out on anything that way.

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