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Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 10:05am
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[b]Your story gave me goosebumps Eliz. How smart of you, and deeply thoughtful.[/b]
Hey! She just copied my soccer party analogy!
...and I even had a person I really knew in high school worked into my analogy too!...
*sniff* *sniff*
You guys always leave me out when it comes to those goosebump things!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Oh, read too with silly whining tone....and maybe add a stomping foot)

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 10:08am
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Quote:Originally posted by ajas_folks:
[b]Just a little story to share:
The other day, in a very quiet, nice conversation I was having with another classroom mom -- I used the example of having a "class celebration" for my son's class where they go ice skating -- a VERY special event for these southerners, in the kids' minds anyway -- and asked the mother I was speaking with how little "Mary Beth" might feel if the only way she was accomodated as far as being "INcluded" was to sit next to the rink and count the other kids' laps. "Mary Beth" is currently wheel chair bound. (She may be back on both feet in months to come.) This mother I was talking to (not "Mary Beth's mother, but another classroom mom) looked at me with this WOW look, teared up, and thanked me. Profusely.[/b]
Quote:Originally posted by lilpig99:
[b]
Your story gave me goosebumps Eliz. How smart of you, and deeply thoughtful.
[/b]
I don't know how it came to me as an example, right then, right there. But it was borne out of this thread.
Because this thread has made me DEEPLY question how I have handled our son's FA with regard to the schools.
This is my new [i] softer side [/i] -- ((eye rolling here is acceptable [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] )) -- me trying to get my point across using velvet hammer rather than sledge hammer. Trying to appeal to the concept of INclusiveness for all.
Quote: [b]
You guys are great.
[/b]
You included.
~Elizabeth

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 10:10am
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Quote:Originally posted by The #l Mouser!:
[b][b]"The Hand That Frosts the Cupcake"[/b][/b]
Pink-polka-dotted can full of Tab Energy now up my nose and onto desk, narrowly missing keyboard.
THAT was funny.
~Eliz

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 10:41am
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[quote] Originally posted by ajas_folks:
[b]IMPHO, it has become the parent's "responsiblity" because we took that onto ourselves, voluntarily. Because many schools have been allowed an easy way out of their "inclusiveness predicament" by the parents who have been accomodating the school by providing the safe treats.
Want to insert here, that I bear that responsibility myself and am NOT FAULTING any of us who have done this & may still do this as a means of keeping child totally safe. It's just that we've let the schools off the HOOK![/b]
Yes, I done/allowed this too. . . I tried very hard to provide DD with a look-alike treat to lessen the pain of being excluded. So she could look like her peers. Even had an 'advance notice' written into her IHP so that I had enough time to run out a get the 'look alike'.
But that all changed [i]when Mariah received the 504 designation. [/i]Now, anything served in the classroom must be safe for her to consume or it cannot be served.
Elizabeth, no need to apologize. I was in a rush tonight as I was headed out the door. I enjoyed the levity too. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 10:49am
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Quote:Originally posted by ajas_folks:
[b] Pink-polka-dotted can full of Tab Energy now up my nose and onto desk, narrowly missing keyboard.
THAT was funny.
[/b]
[b]"Children of the Cupcakes"[/b]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 10:57am
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Quote:Originally posted by gvmom:
[b][b]Your story gave me goosebumps Eliz. How smart of you, and deeply thoughtful.[/b]
Hey! She just copied my soccer party analogy!
...and I even had a person I really knew in high school worked into my analogy too!...
*sniff* *sniff*
You guys always leave me out when it comes to those goosebump things!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Oh, read too with silly whining tone....and maybe add a stomping foot)
[/b]
I'm so sorry gvmom [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img]. You *are* smart and thoughtful as well...sorrrrrrryyyyyyyy!!!!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 10:59am
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[b]"Rosemary's Cupcake"[/b]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 11:06am
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[b] All Quiet on the Cupcake Front
The 504 and the Fury
East of Eating [/b]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 11:07am
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[url="http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr34/fanrr34-11/fanrr34-11.pdf"]http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/fanrr34/fanrr34-11/fanrr34-11.pdf[/url]
[i]Childhood Obesity and
the Role of USDA
Food Assistance Research BriefIssue:
The rapid increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children is one of the most serious public health concerns in the United States today. Overweight children tend to become overweight adults and overweight adults are at increased risk for a number of ailments
including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, stroke,
and some types of cancer. [b]In addition to increased health risks, overweight children may suffer from ostracism and diminished self-esteem.[/b] Although most of USDA

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 11:09am
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[b]Baker Rudolph and the The Year with out a Cupcake.[/b]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 11:09am
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[b]I'm so sorry gvmom . You *are* smart and thoughtful as well...sorrrrrrryyyyyyyy!!!!![/b]
....well...*shoving sand around with my shoe* ..... okay then.... I guess I'll still play with you guys....
"A Passage to Cupcakes"
"The Invisible Shrinking Cupcake"
"A Canticle for Cupcake"
... will have to think of more during swimming lessons.....
[b]Now, anything served in the classroom must be safe for her to consume or it cannot be served.[/b]
I agree with this naturally. It is the "cannot be served" that always ends up being a problem.
I almost feel like that knight from Monty Python when working on that part -- you know the one I'm talking about no legs, no arms, bleeding.... still fighting.....

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 11:12am
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[b]Hellraiser[/b] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
good grief i can't bracket my way out of a paper bag today
[This message has been edited by lilpig99 (edited August 16, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 11:14am
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[b] Curious George and the 504 Violation [/b]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 11:16am
ajas_folks's picture
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[b] Madeline[i]s[/i] [/b]
Oh forgive me.
[b] Make Way for Dumplings[/b]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 11:25am
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[b] Oh say, Can you say COM-PE-TI-TIVE? [/b]
(by Dr. Seuss)
[b] Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, School Birthday Celebration [/b]
[b] Bridge to Tapioca [/b]
[b] The Lion, The Witch, and the Waldorf [/b]
[b] ____________ (your name) the Pest [/b]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 11:35am
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[i]State Competitive Foods Policies
Updated by USDA
September 2002
[url="http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/CompetitiveFoods/state_policies_2002.htm"]http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/CompetitiveFoods/state_policies_2002.htm[/i][/url]
It appears the law may actually consider competitive foods as ones [i]sold[/i], despite what the the first article I linked to stated...I wonder which it is, a food that is *offered* or a food that is *sold*? :
[i]Federal Regulations Definitions:
Competitive Foods: Means any foods sold in competition with the Program to children in food service areas during the lunch periods.[/i]
[This message has been edited by lilpig99 (edited August 16, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 12:10pm
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[b]"The Velveteen Cake"[/b]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 12:12pm
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[b]"Of Mousse and Meringue"[/b]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 12:17pm
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Quote:Originally posted by gvmom:
[b]
I almost feel like that knight from Monty Python when working on that part -- you know the one I'm talking about no legs, no arms, bleeding.... still fighting.....
[/b]
do your children still need a few "back to school" t-shirts?
[url="http://www.cafepress.com/buy/Holy+Hand+Grenade/-/pv_design_prod/p_1146239.41269213/pNo_41269213/id_10208848/?click=true&CMP=KNC-F-ALL"]http://www.cafepress.com/buy/Holy+Hand+G...e&CMP=KNC-F-ALL[/url]

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 1:27pm
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[img]http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h257/dwenzler/monty_python_2__limbless_black_knig.jpg[/img]
"Don't be silly, it's just a flesh wound"

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 1:58pm
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What are ya gonna do.. BLEED on me???

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 1:59pm
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I love that scene. He's so persistant! Hilarious.

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 2:32pm
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[b]"A Clockwork Danish"[/b]
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
I sure know that all those treats give [i]me[/i] the impulse to listen to a little of the old Ludwig von myself. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Do you think that we could interest either Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp in our production? They both have [i]just[/i] the sinister aspect that I think is called for in my vision for the Clockwork Danish, which opens with a scene quite similar to the Nut Room in Dahl's chocolate factory... with the cupcake-weilding 'queen' ending up down the chute, followed by the oh-so-concerned teacher. Heheheh. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
[i]"No wait stop don't."[/i] (All with Wilder's bored monotone.)
I have another vision in which a giant cupcake is released from the bomb bay's double doors with Jack Nicholson screaming madly and popping out of the top wearing pasties as it drops into the landscape below.... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] Just can't rework the title....
[i]"Stealing our Precious...... cupcakes!"[/i]
[b]The Neverending Party[/b]
BIG {{{hugs}} gvmom-- my thoughts are with you and your family.

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 2:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

gvmom, I just re-raised a couple of my old threads. They might actually be of interest to you when things settle down a bit.
Also, if you do a "search" just entitled First Day of School - there are quite a few threads dealing with "exclusion".
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
I felt sad reading those two threads for a few reasons. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
------------------
There but for the Grace of God, go I.

Posted on: Thu, 08/16/2007 - 3:02pm
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*smacking forehead*
Two words:
TIM BURTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks CM for the thoughts & hugs. (And for the image of Gene Wilder... yes that monotone.... perfect....of couse, Johnny Depp also has it down to perfection --- such decisions!)
And ATM, thank you for raising those threads. I've gotten to be quite the insomniac, so I know I will get to them. I probably have an idea why they'd make you sad too. <<<>>>

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 1:16am
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This is what bothers me. It is okay to serve our children competitive foods if there is a profit attached to it. I [b]knew[/b] that it had to be about profit. Here is a quote from an article from an USDA document.
"Competitive foods are those food items that are sold in competition with the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs to children in food service areas during meal periods. These food items do not include foods of minimal nutritional value, which are excluded from sale in the food service area during meal times. They do, however,include food items offered for sale in the serving line, a la carte, vending machines, or other areas in the cafeteria. Such items may include snack products, candy, dessert items, ice cream products, and beverages. [b]The sale of competitive foods may be allowed only if all income from the sale of such foods accrues to the benefit of the nonprofit school food service or the school or student organizations approved by the
school.[/b]"
This particular document does not say anything about food brought from home, but it does specify foods *sold*.
I know this is a little off-topic, but it just makes me crazy knowing that it is okay to stuff our children with foods with high fat content as long as it is for profit. What other motivation would there be?
I am not sure how this will ultimately relate to food allergies, or even if it ever will, but I just think that if the food allergy community can focus on *wellness* a secondary benefit would be to get some of the allergens out of the school to begin with. Less food equals less food to worry about.
[This message has been edited by notnutty (edited August 17, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 1:47am
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Quote:Originally posted by notnutty:
[b]This is what bothers me. It is okay to serve our children competitive foods if there is a profit attached to it. I [b]knew[/b] that it had to be about profit. Here is a quote from an article from an USDA document.
"Competitive foods are those food items that are sold in competition with the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs to children in food service areas during meal periods. These food items do not include foods of minimal nutritional value, which are excluded from sale in the food service area during meal times. They do, however,include food items offered for sale in the serving line, a la carte, vending machines, or other areas in the cafeteria. Such items may include snack products, candy, dessert items, ice cream products, and beverages. [b]The sale of competitive foods may be allowed only if all income from the sale of such foods accrues to the benefit of the nonprofit school food service or the school or student organizations approved by the
school.[/b]"
This particular document does not say anything about food brought from home, but it does specify foods *sold*.
I know this is a little off-topic, but it just makes me crazy knowing that it is okay to stuff our children with foods with high fat content as long as it is for profit. What other motivation would there be?
[/b]
well it doesn't come as a shock to me, since there just may be a lot of people getting 504's (translate: no federal dollars) and requiring accommodations when they could be getting an IEP and bringing the bucks in. It's got to be made up somewhere....the school nurse and one to one aides, for instance, don't pay for themselves.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 3:41am
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Quote:Originally posted by The #l Mouser!:
[b] well it doesn't come as a shock to me, since there just may be a lot of people getting 504's (translate: no federal dollars) and requiring accommodations when they could be getting an IEP and bringing the bucks in. It's got to be made up somewhere....the school nurse and one to one aides, for instance, don't pay for themselves.
[/b]
Yes, people are not getting IEPs [b]because [/b] the administration will not qualify them for IEP. I have been trying. If only the administration was knowledgeable enough to realize that federal dollars are available to help with accommodations. I know my son does not have a 1:1 aid or an RN in the school at all times. I find it hard to believe that the profit from the sale of competitive foods is going to help children with disabilities...at least in our school. It would be interesting to find out exactly where these dollars are spent.
If the administration would only do as much homework on food allergies and IEPs as they do on circumventing the USDA standards and the local wellness policies...maybe we all would not be in these situations.
It seems to be all about priorities. FA children get the short end of the stick (in my mind).
[This message has been edited by notnutty (edited August 17, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 3:46am
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Touche.
This is why it eludes me why an OHI designation is so much more difficult to obtain for extremely severe/sensitive FA.
Many school districts (and even parents) see the need to provide those children with such [i]services[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] but why do that under the aegis of 504 and not IDEA???
I mean, if the [i]need[/i] is there, and the accommodations needed come with [i]associated costs[/i] for implemenation..... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] What am I missing?
So in our case, OHI really isn't needed-- because the only modifications necessary are cost-free to the school. Yes, they provide un-used materials. Which the vendor already [i]has warehoused.[/i] Most kids get a mix-- from what I've seen, about 20% previously used materials, on average....They just make sure that those never get into our box.
But in a B+M school, a 1:1 aide isn't that out of line with what might be considered an 'appropriate accommodation.'
So here's my question, Mouser-- is my child appropriately designated as 504-eligible in the ONE instance, but OHI in the other? That confuses me, since the child is, in fact, no different. Just the environment is. Or is she more properly considered OHI in [i]both[/i]-- even though in the one environment, she doesn't need any 'associated services' at all?
Is it clear what I am asking here?
(Recognizing that this is off on a bit of a tangent relative to the cupcake queens being lashed by oompa-loompas weilding giant, though entirely fat-free, licorice ropes in my Burton-esque shared fantasy.)

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 4:25am
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Quote:Originally posted by notnutty:
Yes, people are not getting IEPs [b]because [/b] the administration will not qualify them for IEP.
not entirely true. My superintendent [i]offerred it to us[/i]. edit to add, I shouldn't say "offerred", since that year, we were in an "out of district" placement. (to get a full time school nurse, next year, they got in step with LRE). He just strongly suggested I might be able to get it, even though we weren't going to be in *his* district. LOLOL. Howz that for leverage? One district held accountable to the other for the care of their charge, and the top dog strongly suggesting it might be a possibility. Probably didn't hurt that my district had to pay $$ to the other district for my son, and the fed dollars probably went in place of many of those.
It was a very complicated dance...
Quote:[b] I have been trying. [/b]
I know that. I wasn't wagging my finger at you. There are plenty of people who describe their children's LTFA in terms that scream "special needs/special education" but shrink at the idea of actually owning the label. Ironic thing is, in my possibly flawed opinion, I think that's exactly what a 504 is. Special Education.
Quote:[b]If only the administration was knowledgeable enough to realize that federal dollars are available to help with accommodations. I know my son does not have a 1:1 aid or an RN in the school at all times. I find it hard to believe that the profit from the sale of competitive foods is going to help children with disabilities...at least in our school. It would be interesting to find out exactly where these dollars are spent.[/b]
I've used this example before, but even if my child was the only child who [i]required[/i] a full time school nurse, they'd have to provide it, by the way his IEP is worded. But he surely isn't the only child benefitting from her presence. I believe the [b]entire student body[/i] does, special needs or not. I don't care how the funds are allocated. Keeping that in mind, can you imagine how much easier her salary would be to pay if every child who qualified for OHI and the services of a full time school nurse was documented as such? I also truly believe a full time school nurse, each day, all day, every day, in the building is a necessity for ALL children. "Special Needs" or not. Unfortunately this is not the condition in many, many, schools. [i]There, that's *my* public service for today.[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
[This message has been edited by The #l Mouser! (edited August 17, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 4:51am
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[b]My superintendent offerred it to us.[/b]
Is that based solely on your child(s) FA's?

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 5:22am
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I think my DD qualifies for an IEP based on her life-threatening food allergies and asthma. She will have a 1:1 aide this year during lunch and recess. Her classroom environment needs to be altered (peanut-free) in order for her to attend school (per her doctors). The school offered us the 504 before she even started there. Now a year plus later I'm wondering if we sought the wrong designation. I can only think the reason they do not want her to have an IEP (& funds associated) is because it also requires them to do so much more in terms of compliance, meetings, etc..
DD missed about 10 days (going from memory) last year due to her asthma. If this happens again this year, we'll have to read up and pursue the IEP. The educational advocate I spoke with multiple times also suggested that we look into IEP. She was under the impression it offers more protection to the student and said if my DD doesn't qualify for an IEP for OHI, she doesn't know who would.
I don't have a good answer for why we are not pursuing it right now---I guess I feel like we're on such a rocky boat that one more rock and we'll fall off [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
CorvallisMom-I think the important thing to remember is that your DD is at home rather than the B&M school due to her disability---that is a significant alteration to her learning environment. She absolutely would be qualified under IDEA law. I'm not sure you 'need' that vs. 504 right now, but I think your DD qualifies (not that I hold much weight in the educational systems [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ). While you might only need the accomodation of new supplies/books right now...add that to the need for her to be educated in your egg-free, peanut-free, etc.. home.
#1 Mouser can add her thoughts as she is much better educated about IEP vs. 504 than I am.
Alternative to Mainstream-I read your resurfaced posts about what you had to do for your son. It made me sick reading about the treatment he (and you) experienced. You should be really proud of how far you came!

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 5:59am
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Mouser...you are fortunate...most schools do not [b]offer[/b] anything. I have had to fight for every accommodation (for LDs not PA) my son has. Fight, fight, fight for [b]everything[/b].
I don't want to turn this into an IEP v. 504 thread...that is not how it started (sorry gvmom for the sideline). There are many threads regarding the details of 504 v. IEP. However, I just wanted to clarify that most of us have to fight for IEPs and the administartion does not offer much (unless it is for profit as in the unhealthy lunches and snacks that are served on a daily basis.)
Sorry for the ramble...too many ideas in my head at one time....whew.
ETA: One more thing. I too believe that a 504 is special education. It does not bother me in the least. He is designated special education (IEP for speech) regardless of his PA.
[This message has been edited by notnutty (edited August 17, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 7:00am
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[b](sorry gvmom for the sideline). [/b]
That's okay. I just think as I read all of this, as we in our own community debate IDEA/IEP vs 504, and fight with schools over designations & accommodations, we still have to do something in the meantime.
While DH and I fight with the school, make complaints, write letters, etc., we still have to do something... right now.... with our boys.
Sure, it involves at the moment not sending them to school possibly.
But even if the school agrees, and what if out of nowhere they offered an IEP, what would we do on any single given day when that is violated?
Do you still send in a safe snack box with and IEP? Should you send in a safe snack box with an IEP? Does it undermine the IEP if you give them an "out"? Does it undermine your position that is one mandating an IEP if you do send in a treat box.... recognizing that there is an out if they violate it? "Well, it turned out okay anyway.... your son was safe.... he had one of those treats you sent in."
Do you still hold yourself to the same Standard of Care that you hold the school to if you have an IEP?
We can list reasons up one side and down why FA's should be IEP or not, or if they should be 504 or not.
When it comes down to it, what are YOU going to do for the day to day management of occurences when a parent or teacher either knowingly, or by mistake, does something that doesn't go according to your plan?
I mean, really? My son is designated. He has accommodations. Unless I stood at the door of the classroom all day long, everyday, food got in. It was dispensed. In conflict with the rules for food in the classroom. In violation of his 504.
No treat box was opened or given to my son when that happened.
I wasn't notified in advance.... even two minutes before.... of most of the food that violated his 504. And the notifications that we got was by happenstance. By accident really. Nothing directly from the teacher.
The teacher flat out said to DH and I that she would have no problem turning away food. But she didn't.
I spent lots of last year writing letters of understanding. Lots of phone calls. Discussions & meetings with the principal went on.
In the moment though, what will your stance be?
Bear with me for a minute and imagine if you will:
Big gooey cupcakes are getting into your child's classroom today. The parent doesn't even think about the ingredients. Drops them off at lunchtime on the teachers desk so the kids can have them during the last period of the day. The teacher thinks they are so great. It'll be great too, she can give the cupcakes during the last 20 minutes of class and not have to deal with teaching. She'll get a break.... doesn't think that day about your kids FA's. The principal is at a conference. And all your district contacts aren't in the building, they are in their offices, scattered around the city, looking at emails and wondering how to deal with your last complaint.
What then?
How much pause will that teacher have if she goes to pass out the cupcakes and has that "stop in your tracks" moment, realizing that your child can't have the stuff.
If you send in a safe treat box... as part of an IEP or 504..... is that teacher more likely to think, "Darn... he has allergies... I can't pass these out... oh, wait... I can just give him one of those treats from that box in the cupboard."
Wouldn't you rather they think, and probably likely, "Darn.... he has allergies. I can't pass these out. Now what? *looking at your kid* Maybe I can just pass them out as the kids leave the class for the day." .... and even better still.... "Darn, I can't pass these out because of that kid's FA's. Guess I'll have to just leave them and give them back to that parent." ... ideally.... "Darn. I wish these parents would stop sending in junk food. Why can't they send in something that has nothing to do with food. Then it would keep these FA kids safe, help prevent obesity, and just be healthier overall. I'm so sick of these Cupcake Queens. That woman will just have to take these da&^ cupcakes back home with her when she comes to pick up her kid.... who really doesn't need a cupcake anyway. Spoiled brat."

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 7:08am
gvmom's picture
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I just re-read that last part and realized I forgot the last point of my fantasy.... it was really good wasn't it? You know, the last option?
Anyway, point is..... do you want them to stop... give pause... and not have an option that lets them off the hook?
Is there anything in these people, and, *rolling my eyes*, they are human.... that would recognize at least the simplest of math:
1(the kid has FA's and can't eat a cupcake) + 1 (if I pass these out, he can't have one and will be the only one without one) = 2 (maybe I shouldn't pass them out)
I do realize this does require math competence, but, I'm assuming as part of standardized requirements for a teaching license, most teachers have to at least know how to do single digit math. No fractions, multiplication, or division in that equation either.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 7:22am
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No, *some* of these teachers have advanced math and critical thinking skills:
[b] 1 [/b] Mommy-Queen has brought in [b] 20 [/b] cupcakes,
+ [b] 1 [/b] FA child cannot eat this, so he must DO WITHOUT, for safety's sake, SO
= [b] 2 [/b] cupcakes for teacher (me, ME, ME!!) to eat while all the kids pig out & I shall be so busy stuffing my face that I cannot possibly even see the FA kid.
So who cares. The End.
[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 17, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 7:33am
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Okay. I actually laughed at the same time that I knew that is true too.
But... do they take you more seriously when you stand there mad at them when your kid ended up eating something safe you sent, or do they take you more seriously if you stand there mad at them with FA's and complete exclusion?
We've debated "separate but equal" right? To me it is illegal. But that is what snack boxes do.
But, isn't plain out "separate" wrong?
Isn't blatant exclusion even easier for people to understand?
Aside from my previous points, I think having a snack box confuses people. They just see that you sent in a safe food for them to give your kid when something they can't have comes in. Registering the point is too much brain work for them.
I think even the dimmest of bulbs could get -- when a parent is telling them of course -- that a child can't be excluded.
Plus, wouldn't you have a complaint for the OCR just based on exclusion based on disability, in addition to the many ways it would violate a 504?

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 8:49am
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I guess my worry is that a teacher who is already violating the provisions of a 504 in that manner may actually be so thoughtless as to think, "Oh.... what nice cupcakes! How awesome of that mom to think of us. I'll pass them out during that last class period."
With [b] NO thought for the food allergy. NONE.[/b]
With some kids, this might have a happy ending, but I honestly wonder how many K-2 kids (even the most responsible among them) would really [i]always[/i] say "No." All it would take is [i]once.[/i]
Oh, sure, I'd sue the pants off the teacher, the parent (assuming notice had been given to the other parents in the class at some point) and the district too.... SURE it would be negligence. SURE it would be a 504 violation. No question how it would turn out, either.
But it wouldn't bring my kid back.
And anything [i]less[/i] than that type of scenario is probably going to get shrugged off with some explanation of how it is "okay" because "{child} knows s/he can't have that and reminded me," or even "{child} knew just what to do during an allergic reaction." [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]
What will the teacher do if she's passed out HALF of the cupcakes before she remembers that "Doh! The allergy kid. RIGHT." She'll say "OOOOOPSIE.... I'll, umm, get you a sticker. Or something. Later." And then she'll keep passing them out. Little choice at that point, KWIM?
Maybe it's just me. There [i]is[/i] after all, another scenario. [i]"Ohhhh.... [b]CR@P.[/b] Another set of flippin cupcakes. GREAT. Like I have the freakin time for THIS today...I'm supposed to be doing test prep this afternoon.... Well, they'll be back from music in ten minutes, or I could do it after lunch. Oh, no-- then the special ed kids go to the resource room for language arts until test prep at 1:30. Might as well pass them out sooner rather than later since they're already amped up anyway after music. Maybe they'll settle down later on if I just get it over with so that they aren't sitting here. GOOD GRIEF I wish parents would quit doing this."[/i]
(As the daughter of one of this variety. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )
Perspective-- that's all. That classroom teacher we are relying on to do this is ALSO thinking about a lot of other things. A LOT. Like it or not, 'inclusion' of our kids (or anyone else's) isn't always going to be at the top of that list.
What gvmom is saying, though, I get. And agree with, at least in theory. When the teacher gets to my child's theoretical desk and starts to put a cupcake on a paper towel in front of her.... THEN that teacher will think about exclusion. BUT-- two things are wrong with that. 1. Obviously, what if-- at that moment-- the person handing out those cupcakes simply doesn't recognize that my child [i]must NOT[/i] have one? And what if my child decides-- in that moment-- that NOTHING is worse than not licking the frosting off of that cupcake right along with her classmates?
2. Even if the teacher remembers, the rest of the class' cupcakes are out already, right? The exclusion is a reality at that point. A done deal. She will sit there with [i]nothing.[/i] (Or the promised "uhh, sticker.")
Just thinking out here... free association, if you will.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 9:11am
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Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
With some kids, this might have a happy ending, but I honestly wonder how many K-2 kids (even the most responsible among them) would really [i]always[/i] say "No." All it would take is [i]once.[/i]
This happened with my DD last year. Her kindergarten teacher gave each student a candy cane and told them not to eat them until they got home. According to DD, the teacher read the label and said there were no nuts in them (she's also egg allergic, though). Thankfully, DD did not eat it but I had to be the bad guy and take it away when she got home. When I emailed the teacher about it, she said she didn't want DD to be left out. We'd noted on DD's allergy plan that she's not to be fed anything not provided by us.
Cupcakes arriving at school unannounced are pretty common. That's why I leave a box of safe snacks at school (mini Oreos, etc.) for DD so that she can at least have some treat. I guess I don't look at this as an inclusion issue with her. I mean she already has different treats when she goes to parties, so this is just part of her life.
Is it fair? Of course not. But it's hardly fair that she has these allergies to begin with but it's not something she can change.
As for feeling excluded because she's different from her peers, there are so many means that kids can find to exclude other children: you don't wear the right clothes, you're fat, you wear glasses, etc. Exclusion is a lesson she'll learn anyway even though she's sunny, sweet, and young. For me, it's more productive to teach her how to handle that gracefully and that it's is not reflective of her value as a person. Also, I should model the behavior of grace for her if I expect her to learn it and that entails being gracious about these issues in the classroom. I'm not saying be a doormat but you don't need to go to the mattresses to make a point and thereby exclude and single-out your child even more.
Our school has nut-free classrooms for those students with allergies. Some items that are may contains did make their way into the classroom during the holiday parties (strangely despite the class mom having kids with severe food allergies) but those posed less of a risk to DD. Birthday cupcakes were handed out during snack, which was held in the cafeteria.
We also have a very simple rule for DD (who is 6): You don't eat anything not provided or checked by mommy/daddy. So forcing parents to bring in a celebratory snack free of all her allergens that she wouldn't be allowed to eat anyway wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be fair to the other 24 kids in her class who do not have allergies. My daughter is one person and the world does not revolve around her even despite her allergies. Certainly, safeguards should be in place and if those are violated, I'll deal with them but asking for protections that would serve no purpose would only serve to make other families resent us.
[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 17, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 9:23am
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That's okay. I guess part of it all is that I have the advantage, if you will, of having gone through those scenarios.
Having a safe snack box -- which never got used. Not because I said,"Don't use it"... but because the teacher and my son didn't think of it at the time it was necessary.
Having the kid that did eat something he knew he wasn't supposed to.
Having the kid that ate something he knew he wasn't supposed to, but remembered to ask if it had nuts.
Having a teacher that believed it was okay for my son to opt out of a math lesson so he wouldn't be using the candy that wasn't supposed to be used AT ALL.
Having a parent think it was okay to feed my son something she made from home, which apparently the teacher had told her to call me about, which she never did, and the teacher never told me about until I was standing in the classroom with food all around, as I asked her what my son ate, to which her answer was "I don't know".
Having a teacher who paid no attention to what foods my son ate in her own classroom, foods which shouldn't have been there in the first place according to his 504, foods she knew were going to be there long before they were, foods she could have said no to, foods that not a single person let us in on that I could smell as I walked in the door of the school (and when I walked in that door, smelled the waft of it... my stomach sank... and I had a whole hall to walk down, to make a left, to walk down to the end of the hall, getting to that classroom door to realize I wasn't wrong about my sinking feeling).
I could really go on, and on, and on....
My point is, I know it will happen once. I don't want it to be so... but reality is, that it will. And I am really not the luckiest of women by most standards, but I know, all joking aside, that I am. Why you ask? Because, my son actually is alive at the end of the year that we had. But, what things make it less likely to happen again... if at all?
I guess I am just thinking that exclusion isn't something that most people don't get.
If you are standing talking to people and try and discuss the subtleties of it all you lose them. Relateable. Easy.
Exclude = Wrong to most people. Exclude = Illegal to many people. It is simple. It is easy. It is easier to say "If you exclude my child you will be in trouble" -- and easier for them to get. "If you end up giving my son a treat from his treat box that I'm giving to you, you are still going to be in trouble for violating his 504" is harder to say, makes no sense to them because for them it is too subtle and is likely to result in repeating.
And if you just sanction food for them in the classroom, in a way that lets them associate food=okay --- without a really big catch word --- besides "death" -- then I think their minds get fuzzy and the idea is lost.
It could just be me, but it is okay. I will try it. I am tired of trying with a safe snack box. IT DOESN'T WORK EITHER AND COMPROMISES THE ENTIRE PRINCIPLE.
In ATM's words, "It is do-able" -- and if it isn't, if everything completely fails, including all the other stuff we are going through right now, well, then we'll deal with it. And maybe I'll get my opportunity to flip them all off as I walk out those dam* doors with my boys.
But I have to look at myself in the mirror. I have to know that I didn't let "separate but equal" be okay for my sons.
In their school, they are entitled to a safe school. They are entitled to have an accessible education.
Edited to add -- And really, I'm feeling frustrated right now, for a multitude of reasons... not just here, but on my side of the computer.... but.... really..... if we don't hold a PUBLIC institution, funded with PUBLIC TAX DOLLARS to the standards that are contained in LAWS because that is just life out in the real world, then we do an enormous disservice to everyone.
Out in the Real World my 5 year old would have a 1:1 ratio. And the adult supervising him would be DH or I.... a trained individual, that follows the accommodations in the 504 plan (out in the REAL WORLD), and wouldn't expect him, 5 year old -- or 7 year old (my other son)for that matter, to take responsibility for his own allergy on a level that would be akin to a child in middle school or high school.
The reality is that you are not dealing with a real life scenario in schools.
Would you ever, in real life, leave your child with someone who was shown how to use the epi-pen once, was told basic symptoms, repeatedly gave your child food they shouldn't eat -- that could kill them, allowed other people to give your child food that could kill them and pay them for doing so?
Honestly, yes, I am testy, but no offense to the poster above, this whole notion that anything applicable in the real world is the way you approach schools is just ludicrous. It has nothing to do with the idea that the world revolves around a single child.
[This message has been edited by gvmom (edited August 17, 2007).]
[This message has been edited by gvmom (edited August 17, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 11:08am
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Quote:Originally posted by gvmom:
[B].
Out in the Real World my 5 year old would have a 1:1 ratio. And the adult supervising him would be DH or I.... a trained individual, that follows the accommodations in the 504 plan (out in the REAL WORLD), and wouldn't expect him, 5 year old -- or 7 year old (my other son)for that matter, to take responsibility for his own allergy on a level that would be akin to a child in middle school or high school.
The reality is that you are not dealing with a real life scenario in schools.
Would you ever, in real life, leave your child with someone who was shown how to use the epi-pen once, was told basic symptoms, repeatedly gave your child food they shouldn't eat -- that could kill them, allowed other people to give your child food that could kill them and pay them for doing so?
Honestly, yes, I am testy, but no offense to the poster above, this whole notion that anything applicable in the real world is the way you approach schools is just ludicrous. It has nothing to do with the idea that the world revolves around a single child.
B]
Very well said. My DS is 5, and I feel the exact same way. I am still in the *process* of teaching him how to deal with the real world. At 5 he is not ready to be alone in real world situations.
This is a very interesting topic. I have learned so much, and plan to incorporate lots of what I've taken away from it in my 504. Still fine tuning it - but I am close. The cupcake debacle is causing me to loose sleep.
I will, however, begin the year with a safe snack box. I think with MFAs there is no other choice. Not saying I disagree with the points raised here, I am just still trying to wrap my mind around beginning Kindergarten, and the thought of sending him in with nothing is not an option for us.
I have really enjoyed reading all of the perspectives on this subject [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 11:31am
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Quote:Originally posted by ceross:
[b] Certainly, safeguards should be in place and if those are violated, I'll deal with them but asking for protections that would serve no purpose would only serve to make other families resent us.
[/b]
Insisting on a a basic, inclusive, and CONSISTENT policy of [i] food if it's only completely safe for everyone [/i] is HARDLY asking for a protection that "serves no purpose"! We are talking about "special" celebrations and food in the classroom, NOT required meals and required daily nutrition. And if the BASIC purpose is to keep my son fundamentally ALIVE, then does that not serve a bonafide purpose??
I guess what I really want to know at this point is, when are WE as a food allergy community going to be willing to QUIT APOLOGIZING to EVERYBODY ELSE for INCONVENIENCING THEM with our OUR MEDICAL NEEDS?? W.H.E.N.???
I will take the resentment of 10,000,000 other families if it means my son comes home to me at the end of the school day ALIVE.
~Elizabeth

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 11:32am
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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
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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
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[b]Out in the Real World my 5 year old would have a 1:1 ratio. And the adult supervising him would be DH or I.... a trained individual, that follows the accommodations in the 504 plan (out in the REAL WORLD), and wouldn't expect him, 5 year old -- or 7 year old (my other son)for that matter, to take responsibility for his own allergy on a level that would be akin to a child in middle school or high school.
The reality is that you are not dealing with a real life scenario in schools.
[/b]
This is nicely stated gvmom.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 2:48pm
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[url="http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/menu/Presentations/SchoolMealPerformance.ppt"]http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/menu/Presentations/SchoolMealPerformance.ppt[/url]
Again, in this power point demonstration, they do mention classroom parties and snacks as competitive foods, sold or offered.
I do get the feeling that the USDA has difficulty controlling the nutrient value of these items, and therefore restricts the sale of the at lunchtime, in order to push kids to choose meals with nutrition standards. They encourage schools to make wellness policies to do what they cannot. At least not yet.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 4:28pm
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gvmom,
I appreciate your moral stand at an intellectual level. I think that at the middle school level or above, I'd be inclined to side with you, and at that point, I would no longer feel that I'm using my child as the pointy end of the spear. Of course, at that point, I am sincerely hopeful that most of the food issues in the classroom have disappeared (at least B'day party cupcakes!)
However, as some other posters have mentioned, teachers will make mistakes in this imperfect world of elementary school. So for us, [b]snack box = safety net[/b]. DS finds it comforting to have a safety net so he can consume food with confidence when a food situation presents itself. Certainly he has preferred it to the alternative of exclusion, which I still contend, would happen more often than not, realistically.
We have had some parents that cared enough to approach us in advance to try to work out something which would be inclusive for DS. But those situations are few and far between. In addition, we have been unsuccessful in getting the school to adopt no food in the classroom, or only pre-packaged food. So our comfort zone is such that we almost never trust homebaked goods which conform to the 504 accommodation of "no peanuts or tree nuts being present in the classroom" due to cross-contamination risks, as our comfort zone is still pretty tight.
BTW - I hope that you have engaged an expert resource to assist you in your latest struggles...could make a world of difference...hang in there!
[This message has been edited by Nutternomore (edited August 18, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 4:30pm
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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
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Quote:Originally posted by gvmom:
[b][b]My superintendent offerred it to us.[/b]
Is that based solely on your child(s) FA's?
[/b]
I edited that "offerred" (sp?--too tired to check) and added an explanation before you posted. He [i]suggested[/i] it while knowing my child was getting an out of district placement, out of his district. The whole process is outlined in the IEP vs. 504 thread. It took some thinking. Some strategy, but once I wrapped my mind (and my claws [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]) around it, I insisted it stop squirming and let me swallow. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]
[i]I wasn't letting go[/i].
And according to my Director of sped services and Director of the co-op, it's not attached to any other labels. I've tried to explain many times before, "OHI" is listed as a category that qualifies. [b]Period[/b]. I've asked, at IEP meetings, if my child's educational label was dropped, would his protection under OHI still continue. Certainly, I was told, and who knows, maybe they are wrong.
And I asked since my other child's qualifying label for protection under IDEA was [i]dropped[/i] at one point. I had just cause to be concerned.
But seeing I don't question his LTFA and Asthma affect his ability to learn by impacting his ability to be in the school environment period (or subsequently if prohibited, must need accomodations to learn in an alternate fabricated environment) [i]I don't see it as a stretch the way some others might[/i]. If you don't have a key to car "A", your ability to drive car "A" is greatly affected.
One thing I found out was that withdrawing my child on paper didn't cause quite the concern [i]witholding[/i] his attendance, while leaving him enrolled did. :evil grin:
When I took my child home to homeschool him for two years, the school district never looked back. Never called, never followed up. (That's not saying they shouldn't have, either.)
It was a different story when I left him enrolled.
(two different children, same pronoun.)
Anywhooo. Like Nutternomore, I've posted it all before in a thread, and it's out there.
It wasn't like I walked into the neighboring school district and said: "Oh, the super of MY school district suggested we cover my child's health issues under OHI. Do it." First of all, [i]they brought their lawyer.[/i] I brought myself. And my um....muscle. A darn tootin handsome 230 lb hunk of it.
I won't over look the fact they had [i]accountability[/i] to my school district in how they responded to meeting my child's needs. I also remember at times, certain people at the table saying: "We provide (this), and no, your district will have to provide (that). Boiling down to $$$. My district always sent a representative to each meeting held with the other district, supposedly to assure equitable and proper handling of my child's needs. Either way, the designation followed us back to our own district, when lo and behold, the district coincidentally managed to meet conditions I had casually mentioned would better fullfil LRE. [i]As a matter of fact, when I was told my child would be returning to his home district the next year, they made it a point to tell me the full time nurse position wasn't filled after all these years, specifically for my child.[/i]
[b]U-huh.[/b] But like I said, it's a lot easier when people are persuaded by logic than by dragging them to the destination.
Actually, I'm past, way past, believing the only *type* of concern my child's LTFA and Asthma is, is a [i]health concern[/i]. It's much more global than that. I think it's just as much an "educational label" as my child's other label. Make sense? (but I could be wrong, and maybe it's only my perspective. It's not advice.
[url="http://www.newhorizons.org/spneeds/inclusion/law/hayes3.htm"]http://www.newhorizons.org/spneeds/inclusion/law/hayes3.htm[/url]
[i]"In 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was passed, replacing PL 94-142, or the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA). It was here that federal funding was connected to handicapped learners in the public schools.
IDEA became the funding statute that quickly overshadowed any potential use of Section 504, a civil rights statute, for children in schools. Children who were identified and qualified for one of IDEA's 13 defined categories would bring extra federal dollars to a district. If a child were going to be seen as "handicapped" and could be qualified for "special education," even under the complex federal procedural guidelines, it made more sense for schools to use the IDEA label, not "504," which was unfunded. There was literally no incentive to use Section 504 to accommodate students' needs.
While IDEA clearly spells out with rigid guidelines the Individual Education Plan for a special education student, the 504 referral committee simply must have at least two individuals who know the student and his or her work. [b]The committee is not required to have parent consent to put a child under a 504 plan [/b](but best practice is to obtain such consent). Good planning and accurate documentation are needed in both situations, however. Litigation is proving those to be important issues today.[/i]"
Note bold. [i]That would bug me.[/i]
No advice, and guarantees about the accuracy or content of the link.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 10:09pm
ambreitner's picture
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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.
Ann

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