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Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 11:08am
JacksonsMom's picture
Joined: 07/21/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by gvmom:
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.
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]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 11:31am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

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.
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.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 11:32am
lakeswimr's picture
Joined: 02/01/2007 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 1:57pm
lilpig99's picture
Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

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).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 2:05pm
lilpig99's picture
Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

[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.
This is nicely stated gvmom.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 2:48pm
lilpig99's picture
Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

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.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 4:28pm
Nutternomore's picture
Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

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).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 4:30pm
PinkPoodle's picture
Joined: 06/12/2007 - 09:00

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).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 5:29pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Quote:Originally posted by gvmom:
[b][b]My superintendent offerred it to us.[/b]
Is that based solely on your child(s) FA's?
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.
[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.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 10:09pm
ambreitner's picture
Joined: 07/06/2006 - 09:00

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.


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