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Posted on: Mon, 08/13/2007 - 1:59am
ajas_folks's picture
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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).]

Posted on: Mon, 08/13/2007 - 2:23am
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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.

Posted on: Mon, 08/13/2007 - 3:58am
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[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

Posted on: Mon, 08/13/2007 - 8:09am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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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).]

Posted on: Mon, 08/13/2007 - 9:26am
Spoedig's picture
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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).]

Posted on: Mon, 08/13/2007 - 10:21am
ajas_folks's picture
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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

Posted on: Mon, 08/13/2007 - 11:02am
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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*

Posted on: Mon, 08/13/2007 - 9:09pm
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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

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 12:21am
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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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 12:28am
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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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 12:30am
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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]

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 1:08am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 2:00am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

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]

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 3:13am
solarflare's picture
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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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 3:23am
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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?

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 4:44am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 5:41am
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Sorry this is going to be long again. Apparently somebody has appointed themselves as post police and I don

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 5:56am
gvmom's picture
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[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

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 7:05am
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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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 7:09am
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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

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 8:27am
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Quote:Originally posted by gvmom:
[b]
So, does that mean if the conditions of your children

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 8:43am
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Quote:Originally posted by gvmom:
[b]Will you inform them that your children won

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 8:54am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 8:59am
gvmom's picture
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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).]

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 9:08am
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[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......

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 9:20am
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[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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 9:57am
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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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 10:55am
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Anonymous (not verified)

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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 11:50am
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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

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 12:53pm
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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)

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 1:32pm
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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]

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 1:55pm
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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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 2:00pm
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Anonymous (not verified)

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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 2:09pm
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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]

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 2:11pm
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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.?

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 2:37pm
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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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 3:08pm
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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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 3:28pm
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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.

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 5:38pm
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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).]

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 10:45pm
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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.....)

Posted on: Tue, 08/14/2007 - 10:49pm
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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
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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
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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
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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]

Posted on: Wed, 08/15/2007 - 12:13am
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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
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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.
Regards,
Kelly

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.
[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.

Posted on: Wed, 08/15/2007 - 1:48am
solarflare's picture
Offline
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
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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.
[/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).]

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