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Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 10:49pm
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 11:05pm
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

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).]

Posted on: Wed, 08/15/2007 - 12:07am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

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

Posted on: Wed, 08/15/2007 - 12:11am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

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

Posted on: Wed, 08/15/2007 - 12:13am
lilpig99's picture
Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Wed, 08/15/2007 - 12:55am
kelly01's picture
Joined: 03/19/2001 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Wed, 08/15/2007 - 1:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

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.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
There but for the Grace of God, go I.

Posted on: Wed, 08/15/2007 - 1:48am
solarflare's picture
Joined: 02/07/2002 - 09:00

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*

Posted on: Wed, 08/15/2007 - 1:49am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

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.

Posted on: Wed, 08/15/2007 - 1:58am
PinkPoodle's picture
Joined: 06/12/2007 - 09:00

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.
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).]


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