Obesity as A Disability? Thoughts?

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For starters, does obesity qualify as a "disability" in the "reasonable accommodation" sense?

What "accommodations" if any, have you noticed?

How are these accommodations, if there be any, recieved/viewed by the public? Yourself?

On Jan 8, 2004

Hmmmm,

Obesity caused by lifestyle is not a disability IMO. Obesity caused by a genetic/medical condition should be.

As a person who could stand to lose a few beer pounds ( [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] ), my weight is totally my responsibility. People who become obese due to sedentary lifestyles and high-fat diets will have a difficult time gaining(!)... "reasonable accomodations" when good nutrition and exercise should be the reasonable accomodations they should bring to THEMSELVES.

Now, for cases of obesity due to genetic/medical problems; I've never noted any kind of accomodation made specifically for those of greater girth than average.

Unfortunately, I don't think requests to accomodate the obese would be met very favourably by the public at large. Fat jokes are a staple of the North American humour grist.

*edited 'cuz I'm tired and making lots of typos

[This message has been edited by arachide (edited January 08, 2004).]

On Jan 8, 2004

I think most obesity is not a disability. Or, it's not a disability in the same way peanut allergies or blindness are. When your behavior can completely reverse your condition, I think it's a personal responsiblity issue. Some people are more prone to obesity and that is an unfortunate propensity...but I am prone to high metabolism and have to work not to be a complete stick - and in other times this is a severe disadvantage. In times of food shortage, I'd be the first to go... That said though I would love to see a focus in school on healthy nutritious things and physical activity. In the US our culture does seem to promote obesity...no junk food machines in school or fast food vendors...I'd be all for that.

On Jan 8, 2004

I agree that most cases are not a disability unless there is an underlying medical condition. Childhood obesity is one thing that makes me very angry. Why do people let kids become so overweight? I know the school has a lot of focus on food, but I believe the parents have a lot to do with it too.

I also know that everyone is paying for obesity because they say that it is the leading cause for rising medical costs and rising insurance premiums. So we are paying for those who choose to overeat and not exercise. Not much different than paying for those who smoke their whole lives and have tons of medical bills, I guess.

I would have a difficult time with making accomodations for someone who is overweight with no medical problems. I dont want to be overweight so I watch what I eat and exercise. Why should we make special accomodations for those who choose not too?

I have no personal hard feelings against overweight people, just dont think its a disablility I should accomodate. The kids whose parents allow them to become overweight is a whole other situation with me.

On Jan 8, 2004

I have noticed accommodations once. Read about it in the newspaper, but can't remember where it was.

Someone was convicted of a crime. A serious crime. Anyone else would have been in jail. Due to this man's size, jail was considered *cruel and unusual punishment* and so he was placed under house arrest.

I don't know how the rest of the public recieved/viewed this, but personally, I was disgusted. He belonged in jail.

On Jan 8, 2004

AnnaMarie, That is pretty disgusting! Can you imagine how the family of the victim felt?

On Jan 9, 2004

Have any of you read "Fat Land"? I can't remember who wrote it, and am only half-way through, but it makes fascinating reading. It gives accounts of why exactly it is that it is cheaper now for low income families to feed themselves at a McDonalds, etc, than to buy food at the grocery store.

I don't think that obesity is a disability as such, but when you look at all the factors, the odds are weighed (pardon the pun!) against low income, non-white people leading a healthy lifestyle.

Its not a pair of shoes I can easily imagine myself in - I'm not American and I'm not low income or obese, but the facts are that since the 1970s, its become easier and easier to become obese.

Take as an example a complaint the Olive Garden received in the 80's - the chairs were not big enough for the "over size". The CEO deemed it necessary that at least 3 over size chairs be supplied to every branch to accomodate those who found the regular chairs too small. If that isn't permissive, I don't know what is.

McDonald's goal is to have repeat custom at 20 visits per month. 20. 20???? I go maybe once a month, but if that is a realistic goal (and it is in some cases), then what the heck are we coming to??

Sorry MommaBear, you struck a real chord with me, I could go on and on, but I won't!

No, I don't think obesity is a disability, but facts are that it is easier to be obese than it is to be lean and fit in this day and age.

On Jan 9, 2004

I think some people who are obese are disabled by their obesity, but not all. Some obese people are active and pretty healthy and aren't too slowed down by their extra weight. But others are too big to walk. Obviously, those people are disabled.

I'm always surprised by the stigma surrounding obesity. It's a medical condition, not a moral condition!

After all, lots of diseases are caused or influenced by lifestyle choices. Emphysema, lung cancer, diabetes, AIDS, heart disease, cervical cancer, even breast cancer...they can all be caused at least partly by things people do and choices they make in their lives.

I don't think it matters what caused the disability or disease in the first place. Some people with spinal cord injuries did something stupid to cause their own injury, but they are just as disabled and are entitled to the same kind of accommodations as someone who was born with spina bifida, for example.

Anyway, obesity isn't just a simple matter of someone eating too much. It has to be more complicated than that. I know a family with one obese child and in that case it's definitely not caused by diet. I think there's a lot more to obesity than meets the eye.

[url="http://www.obesity.org"]www.obesity.org[/url]

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by arachide: [b]Hmmmm,

Obesity caused by lifestyle is not a disability IMO. Obesity caused by a genetic/medical condition should be. [/b]

could you give me some examples?

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by momma2boys: [b]I agree that most cases are not a disability unless there is an underlying medical condition. .............. ............I would have a difficult time with making accomodations for someone who is overweight with no medical problems. [/b]

is obesity a "medical condition"?

Quote:

Originally posted by momma2boys: [b]I dont want to be overweight so I watch what I eat and exercise. [/b]

Does this method [i]always[/i] achieve desired goals for everyone? Are there persons [i]for whatever reason(s)[/i] that [b]do not posess this capability[/b]? Are we all created equal?

Quote:

Originally posted by momma2boys: [b]Why should we make special accomodations for those who choose not too?[/b]

Is it always a choice, or always a conscious choice?

Quote:

Originally posted by momma2boys: [b]I have no personal hard feelings against overweight people, just dont think its a disablility I should accomodate. [/b]

Wondering if other persons have similiar sentiments wrt to other disabilities?

On Jan 9, 2004

SandraY,

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

(In an otherwise imperfect world...?)

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Sandra Y: [b]I don't think it matters what caused the disability or disease in the first place. [/b]

WRT accomodation.......... I completely agree. ([i]jumping up and down with joy[/i])

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Gwen Thornberry: [b]Sorry MommaBear, you struck a real chord with me, I could go on and on, but I won't!

[/b]

No need to say "Sorry" to me. (Your post had me riveted.) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Jan 9, 2004

My MIL has a handicap parking permit because she is large and has difficulty walking. My personal opinions don't matter since I've never been obese nor have any family members that are. My dh's family are all large. Everything does come into play when someone is overweight(lack of exercise, bad food choices, eating for all the wrong reasons)however, I always thought overweight people may just have larger stomachs because if I overeat I sometimes could throw up!

Lots of things can be considered a disability. If you have two people with the same medical condition, they will experience it differently. One may be bedridden, the other walking. In other words leave the diagnosis up to the Doctors/or individuals and the heck with everyone else.

Anyway, I agree mostly with Sandra Y [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Jan 9, 2004

SandraY,

Just checked out the link. Noted there was a section entitled: "Disability Due to Obesity".

On Jan 9, 2004

I have to say that I don't see obesity as a moral issue, either. In that it's not morally better to be thin than fat. But if the obese individual is unhappy and unhealthy and wants to change, there are a lot of things they can do - so many programs, so many behavioral changes that can be made. On the other hand, though my daughter's peanut allergy makes her unhappy and potentially very unhealthy from a reaction, there is no personal behavioral change she can make to make her PA go away. Also, the peanut allergy is potentially IMMEDIATELY deadly whereas obesity takes time to build up and potentially be deadly. One slipup with a carton of icecream doesn't make you fat. One slip up with a peanut could kill my daughter. While being obese makes you disabled on a day to day basis, it just is not in the same category of disabilities as PA in my opinion.

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] could you give me some examples?

[/b]

...of underlying medical conditions that may cause obesity?

Quote:

Originally posted by Sandra Y:[b] I'm always surprised by the stigma surrounding obesity. It's a medical condition, not a moral condition![/b]

Can it be argued that obesity falls into 2 camps? That caused by medical conditions and that caused by "controllable" external factors. If one's obesity is self-induced and self-imposed, is that not an immoral act done upon oneself? Let me explain what I think I mean...

Am I safe to presume that it's common knowledge that junk food and no physical activity are bad for your body? If a person chooses to forgo any effort to maintain a healthier lifestyle (and I'm referring to people who do NOT have underlying medical conditions), then they are knowingly doing something bad to themselves (moral issue?). It's a reversible choice. That's the crux there, the fact that it's reversible in those cases.

I absolutely agree that accomodations should be made to those who have "no choice", who cannot reverse their situations themselves.

Quote:

Originally posted by Sandra Y:[b] I don't think it matters what caused the disability or disease in the first place. Some people with spinal cord injuries did something stupid to cause their own injury, but they are just as disabled and are entitled to the same kind of accommodations as someone who was born with spina bifida, for example.[/b]

Yes, absolutely. But let's agree that a spinal cord injury is not reversible (yet!). It's not like a situation where the individual keeps giving themselves the accident over and over again... (likened to self-caused obesity)

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] btw Sandra, I'm not trying to nitpick with you. Just found you raised some very good thought-provoking points.

On Jan 9, 2004

[quote]Originally posted by MommaBear:

is obesity a "medical condition"?

The definition of obesity is excess accumulation of fat. Does that qualify it as a medical condition? Or does it [i]cause[/i] a medical condition?? I also think you have to look at the reasons behind it. If you are like someone I know who eats a box of hohos in one day, gets extra mayo or extra dressing on everything, eats mcdonalds 4 times a week, does absolutely no exercise and is overweight, is that a medical condition? IMHO, NO! Maybe bad eating habits and laziness, but not an underlying medical condition.

Originally posted by momma2boys: I dont want to be overweight so I watch what I eat and exercise. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Does this method always achieve desired goals for everyone? Are there persons for whatever reason(s) that do not posess this capability? Are we all created equal?

I believe for most people, you can achieve this goal. [i]Desire[/i] to do so may impact the outcome. Surely there are those who have to battle heredity. I am one of those people. Losing weight isnt easy for most people, and its harder for some. There is body shape, bone size, etc, so not everyone will have the capability to be a size 6, but can you stay in a healthy range? Usually, unless you have metabolism problems or other medical problems.

Originally posted by momma2boys: Why should we make special accomodations for those who choose not too? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is it always a choice, or always a conscious choice?

No, not always a choice, and there are times I dont realize Ive been gaining. Then I realize it, and work on it. Yes it is a choice whether you exercise or not, and whether you eat at home or get the double whopper, eat one donut or 6.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Originally posted by momma2boys: I have no personal hard feelings against overweight people, just dont think its a disablility I should accomodate. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wondering if other persons have similiar sentiments wrt to other disabilities?

Absolutely they do. Thats why you have people who arent handicapped parking in handicapped spots or bitching about the amount of them. Or those who will send in peanut butter to school after being requested not to. If you accomodate everyone for everything, where do you draw the line? If Im just kinda lazy and dont like walking far, especially in the cold can I get a special parking permit? Im allergic to perfume, so should we ban it for public use, because if I go near you I get a headache and lightheaded? Im allergic to trees and grass. Could my neighbors please be forced to cut down their trees?

After all, lots of diseases are caused or influenced by lifestyle choices. Emphysema, lung cancer, diabetes, AIDS, heart disease, cervical cancer, even breast cancer...they can all be caused at least partly by things people do and choices they make in their lives.

I don't think it matters what caused the disability or disease in the first place. Some people with spinal cord injuries did something stupid to cause their own injury, but they are just as disabled and are entitled to the same kind of accommodations as someone who was born with spina bifida, for example.

I believe their is the issue of "personal responsibility" that comes into play. I know not all childhood obesity is due to overeating, but a lot of it is. A lot of it is fast food and junk food. These are poor choices by parents and then their child has health problems, should they be held responsible? Not only are you causing them physical problems, but what about the emotional when they go to school and are laughed at, and called names? That makes me really sad that kids are put in that situation.

I know this may sound like I have no compassion for people who are overweight, but I know a lot of people who are overweight. I have friends who are overweight. And they will all tell you its because they just dont have time to exercise, or dont have time to cook a healthy meal. They dont claim to have medical problems causing it.

Is it completely their fault, no, blame society for the greed most people have now, bigger and better, supersize, extra large, give me more food for my money. Food and treats in classrooms, candy as incentives to learn, toys at mcdonalds to entice kids to beg for that happy meal. Something def. needs to change.

Im not saying if you are overweight and have difficulty walking we should say, "sorry no wheelchair entrance for YOU", but how many people think the man AnnaMarie posted about should be under house arrest after a murder because he was too big to be in jail?? There have to be boundaries.

On Jan 9, 2004

BTW Mommabear, I just prob. left myself wide open to slaughter with my opinions. So lets hear what your answer is to these questions [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Jan 9, 2004

Did anyone else check out the link?

On Jan 9, 2004

Why would the cause of the medical condition even be a consideration when deciding whether a person is disabled. Who cares what caused it? The term "disability" is not a prize that is awarded to good people who suffer through no fault of their own. It just means the person's function is impaired.

Why would we say an obese person who overeats is not truly disabled? I mean, if she can't get down the stairs out of her house and hold a job, obviously she's disabled. Who cares how she got that way?

Arachide, I don't feel picked on at all, don't worry. I'm sure you'll see the light eventually! Hee!

And why am I up in the middle of the night arguing about obesity? Hmmm. I have no idea. Somehow it hit a nerve. Guess it reminds me of peanut allergy for some reason.

On Jan 9, 2004

"overweight"

"obese"

"morbidly obese"

Different?

The Same?

Similiar? Anyone?

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b]

Different?

The Same?

Similiar? [/b]

[i]A Spectrum?[/i]

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Sandra Y: [b]

And why am I up in the middle of the night arguing about obesity? Hmmm. I have no idea. Somehow it hit a nerve. Guess it reminds me of peanut allergy for some reason. [/b]

Interesting. The conversation is beginning to remind me of some of the comments persons have directed at my cubs. (As well as myself as a parent). And they are not "obese". Actually, what I'm speaking of is not in reference to food anywhoo. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Sandra Y: [b]Why would the cause of the medical condition even be a consideration when deciding whether a person is disabled. Who cares what caused it? The term "disability" is not a prize that is awarded to good people who suffer through no fault of their own. It just means the person's function is impaired.

[/b]

[i]Waaaaaaaaaaaait a minute.[/i] Does this mean I should be more concerned with the literal interpretation than the [i]baggage[/i]? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

On Jan 9, 2004

*Personally*? I live in a glass house. A fragile thing, but the [i]view[/i] is wonderful. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

On Jan 9, 2004

So................... [i]back to the visible thing[/i].

Are other human conditions as visible and open to scrutiny (and [i]comment[/i]) as "obesity"?

On Jan 9, 2004

SandraY,

I checked out the "Editorials" section in the link and found in it two articles with the titles:

[b]"It's Your Fault"[/b]

and

[b]"Why Don't They Get It?"[/b]

[i]Interesting[/i]

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Sandra Y: [b]Why would the cause of the medical condition even be a consideration when deciding whether a person is disabled. Who cares what caused it? The term "disability" is not a prize that is awarded to good people who suffer through no fault of their own. It just means the person's function is impaired.

Why would we say an obese person who overeats is not truly disabled? I mean, if she can't get down the stairs out of her house and hold a job, obviously she's disabled. Who cares how she got that way? [/b]

Most people have to work in order to support themselves and their family. If you are truly overweight due ONLY to overeating should you be allowed to continue that course and collect disability? Never have to get a job? Or should you exercise, diet, and get a job? At the rate obesity is rising there will soon be a lot of people on disability.

I dont relate this form of obesity to peanut allergy, because you can bet your a@@ if there was a way to get rid of peanut allergy by the same means we would be doing it.

There are serious healthcare and insurance problems in our country and you are right, a lot of them are from paying for medical costs for problems people self inflict. Smoking, drug use, unsafe sex, drunk driving, etc. Everyone has to pay for those who abuse their bodies. I dont know what the answer is but obesity is rapidly rising into a major problem in this country.

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Sandra Y: [b]Why would the cause of the medical condition even be a consideration when deciding whether a person is disabled. [/b]

[i]elitism?[/i]

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] [i]elitism?[/i]

[/b]

How about [i]preventable[/i], [i]reversible[/i], [i]curable[/i]

I dont think im being elitist. Maybe realistic. I dont think I should have to work for a living, while someone else sits home getting paid disability because they [b]chose[/b] to overeat and not exercise and continue to do so. Yes its unfortunate. My son could go to work and be exposed to peanuts and die instantly. Will he ever have the option to sit home and collect disability? NO. Would I want him to? NO.

Still waiting for your opinion.

On Jan 9, 2004

I think personal responsibility has to come in at some point ~ if you take drugs and can't hold a job because you are always addled, then would we still say, "It's a disability, who cares how it came about?" I actually am insulted with such a comparison to peanut allergy. My daughter didn't give herself or cause her own PA. Behaviorally based disabilities are differnt. This doesn't mean I have no compassion for them, by the way. (Going to go duck now... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] )

On Jan 9, 2004

Very timely article I just found.

Youth obesity blamed for rise in disability Study: Rates up sharply in last two decadesThe Associated Press Updated: 1:12 p.m. ET Jan. 08, 2004WASHINGTON - Disability rates rose sharply in the last two decades among those under 60, and obesity appears to be the main reason, according to a study released Thursday.

advertisement The Rand Corp. study

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Sandra Y: [b]Why would the cause of the medical condition even be a consideration when deciding whether a person is disabled. Who cares what caused it? [/b]

Yabbut, what about when there is NO medical condition present? And by medical, I mean physical problem with the body.

Let me open another can of worms here by bringing in the whole psychological conditions that may be attributable to unhealthy lifestyle (low self-esteem, addictive nature,...). Hey! Addiction! I like the comparisons made with drug-use, how about smoking? Drinking and driving?

If I'm a smoker, does that mean I'm disabled becuase I can't walk up a flight of stairs, or can't eat my food properly cause my mouth has sores?

Shall we argue now that psychological conditions are medical conditions (I'm not saying they're not --now the one ducking for cover [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]). Definitions, definitions, definitions...

On Jan 9, 2004

StaceyK and Arachide,you dont have to duck from me, I agree completely [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by arachide: [b] If I'm a smoker, does that mean I'm disabled becuase I can't walk up a flight of stairs, or can't eat my food properly cause my mouth has sores? [/b]

In my opinion, you would be a smoker by choice. You could choose to stop smoking with or without help. But perhaps you just like to smoke. It's still your decision.

A smoker given the title of disabled??? Heck no. Not in my opinion.

On Jan 9, 2004

The only thing that I can think of regarding obesity is if the person had some sort of thyroid issue that could not be controlled.

Then I would considered it a disability.

On Jan 9, 2004

I completely agree with Sandra Y. This has really struck a chord with me, too. While obesity and pa clearly are different in that the pa person has no control whatsoever over their affliction; I still think that obese people deserve all of the compassion we can offer. Yes, in some cases that includes accomodations.

I don't think anyone truly wants to be overweight. There are certainly psychological and even psychiatric issues involved for many morbidly obese people, I would think.

Each to his/her own, I guess. But I think I live in a glass house, too.

Miriam

On Jan 9, 2004

momma2boys,

Interesting article. Pretty much like the domino effect.

The problem I see is that these people are basically making poor decisions when it comes to food eating habits. Then issues just fall into place after that.

People just need to start taking responsibility for themselves and stop blaming others for their problems. For example, being able to eat at McDonalds because it's cheaper. Cheaper might be true in some instances but in the most part it's BS. Just like the man who tried to sue McD's because he was having health issues due to his obsesity from eating so much fast food!!! I mean c'mon!!

On Jan 9, 2004

I think that obesity is not a disability unless there really is medical condition like a thiroid problem, that is obviously uncontrollable. I keep thinking of the Simpsons episode where Homer gains weight so that he can work from home.

Andrea

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by momma2boys: [b] Still waiting for your opinion. [/b]

Already gave it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] :

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] *Personally*? I live in a glass house. A fragile thing, but the view is wonderful. [/b]

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by mattchrismom: [b]I keep thinking of the Simpsons episode where Homer gains weight so that he can work from home. [/b]

Does this share any similarities with how PA/Food Allergies are sometimes portrayed on T.V.? Asthma? "Quirky Kids"?(read an excellent article in the Chicago Sun-Times on "Quirky Kids" recently.)

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by arachide: [b] Shall we argue now that psychological conditions are medical conditions (I'm not saying they're not --now the one ducking for cover [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]). Definitions, definitions, definitions...

[/b]

[i]Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay?[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

PS........Is this discussion beginning to resemble any trains of thought surrounding the [b]homeless[/b]? So many cans, so little time.

[i]Great.[/i] Now I've got the "Duck and Cover" song running amok in my head. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Jan 9, 2004

Does feeling a person somehow "deserves" their "unfavorable" circumstances translate to a "lack of compassion/concern"?

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by momma2boys: [b]Very timely article I just found.

[/b]

VERY. [i]Thank you for finding it.[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Jan 9, 2004

is "avoidance" and "education" and "preparedness" a form of "control" over one's condition? For example, PA?

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b]Does feeling a person somehow "deserves" their "unfavorable" circumstances translate to a "lack of compassion/concern"?[/b]

I don't feel any good person deserves hardship. I do not lack compassion/concern for the obese (my father and my cousin are obese). It breaks my heart to see my dad huffing and puffing to simply get in and out of his car, for example, but the pies/ice cream/cakes he eats every night are his doing...

I strongly believe that the lack of personal accountability in our society is a serious problem.

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by mattchrismom: [b] I keep thinking of the Simpsons episode where Homer gains weight so that he can work from home. [/b]

Hmmmmm, beeeerrrrrr...........

On Jan 9, 2004

Gotta say I agree mostly with Sandra Y's post regarding obesity. Obesity can be a disability if it prevents you from doing things that most people can do.

I didn't answer this post yesterday as I have been sick w/bronchitis and didn't have the energy to think too much. I do know that something struck me...and after reading some of Mommabear's posts I think it is this:

The argument of "they should just eat less and excercise more" etc...sounds a little similar to "if your child is allergic to peanuts just keep them away from the peanut products" (ie, as no other accomodations need to me made.)

Kelly

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by mattchrismom: [b]I keep thinking of the Simpsons episode where Homer gains weight so that he can work from home.[/b]

That episode keeps popping into my head too. To paraphrase

[i]where's my "Tab"? press any key there is no anykey! where's the anykey?! who'd believe that Dad's butt actually prevented the release of toxic fumes[/i]

hehe

hmmm. now I'm going to have Simpsons episodes running through my head all day [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by erik (edited January 09, 2004).]

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by kelly01: [b]The argument of "they should just eat less and excercise more" etc...sounds a little similar to "if your child is allergic to peanuts just keep them away from the peanut products" (ie, as no other accomodations need to me made.) [/b]

I don't knoew if that's comparable since there's no way to keep pa kids away from peanut products without a cooperative effort.

What accomodations could be requested for those who refuse to eat better and exercise?

Makes me think of the original question MB posed. What "reasonable accomodations" could be made if all obseity was defined as a disability?

Definitions again! What are we talking about when we say "accomodations"? ***I*** interpret it as meaning that I would have to alter something I usually do without thought in order to make an environment safer/easier/accessible to someone else who would otherwise be endangered/hampered/restricted from that environment if I didn't alter whatever it was.

Whew, that was a mouthful!

What would the person, disabled by obesity, require of me to change in order to accomodate them?

On Jan 9, 2004

This sort of reminds me of an argument I had with my uncle about 15 years ago. He was complaining that he didn't think his insurance premiums should go up to pay for care for AIDS patients who contracted AIDS because of their lifestyles. I asked him about the vegetarians and marathon runners who wouldn't want to pay for his bypass surgery due to his meat-eating and sedentary lifestyle.

While I do think personal responsibility plays a role in many of our chronic "lifestyle" diseases, it's a pretty slippery slope when we start deciding which conditions are worthy and which are not.

Just my $.02.

Amy

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by arachide: [b] Makes me think of the original question MB posed. What "reasonable accomodations" could be made if all obseity was defined as a disability?

[/b]

[i]Actually..............[/i]

[b]these[/i] were the "original" questions *I* posed:

"[i]For starters, does obesity qualify as a "disability" in the "reasonable accommodation" sense? What "accommodations" if any, have you noticed?

How are these accommodations, if there be any, recieved/viewed by the public? Yourself?[/i]"

On Jan 9, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by arachide: [b] Definitions again! What are we talking about when we say "accomodations"? ***I*** interpret it as meaning that I would have to alter something I usually do without thought in order to make an environment safer/easier/accessible to someone else who would otherwise be endangered/hampered/restricted from that environment if I didn't alter whatever it was.

Whew, that was a mouthful!

What would the person, disabled by obesity, require of me to change in order to accomodate them?

[/b]

Is [i] a wheelchair ramp[/i] a "reasonable accomodation"? (For example.) Not saying for sure if it is specifically for "obesity", but just in general.

On Jan 9, 2004

Does a "reasonable accomodation" have to necessarily be something someone does for someone else, or can it be giving/allowing someone the tools to do something [i]for themselves[/i]?

On Jan 9, 2004

I agree that it's a slippery slope.

On Jan 9, 2004

Wowser, is this ever quite the discussion! I can now see where Momma Bear got the next two questions she raised which I actually did have the nerve to answer. Now I'm afraid that I did. However.

When I initially saw the title and had not read anything, I thought obesity is a disability if it is caused by a medical condition.

As a smoker do I consider myself disabled? No. Can I become disabled one day because I am a smoker? Yes.

Is this any way shape or form similar to PA? IMHO, no. Is this in any way shape or form similar to PA as a disability? IMHO, no.

How the heck did homelessness get mentioned? Someone must have watched the regular Law & Order this past Wednesday night. With that one, although no one else has stated an opinion on homelessness, I say, "there but for the Grace of God go I".

Gwen Thornberry, Cayley's Mom very recently (within the last couple of months) posted about how it has been shown that low income families do find it cheaper to eat at say McDonald's, especially with their 2 for 1 daily deals than it is to buy *proper* food. I believe she posted about it in off topic, but it may be under Main Discussion. In reading your post, if I hadn't seen your name, I would have thought it was Cayley's Mom posting.

All very thought provoking Momma Bear.

California Mom, I thought you were missing. I see you aren't. Just missing where I thought I would have seen you. Kinda surprised. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

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

------------------

On Jan 10, 2004

MB, you get my vote for "teacher of the year".

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b]Does a "reasonable accomodation" have to necessarily be something someone does for someone else, or can it be giving/allowing someone the tools to do something [i]for themselves[/i]?[/b]

Interesting that the link defines obesity as a disability. Anyone read the section on taxes?

Just thinking through how this could playout if the parent pursued that their child's disability (obesity) entitled them to protection under 504 (ADA). Brainstorming a list of "accommodations" that the parent of an obese child may bring with them to their 504 meeting to which they believe and insist that their child has the *right*:

~The obese child has a physician-order special diet. They state that under the federal lunch program, their child has the *right* to a daily school-provided lunch, and they insist that the school do so under the exacting recommendations of their dietician/physician.

~The obese child is unable to participate in the school's regular PE curiculum. Parents state their child needs a daily PE aide to instruct their child on a physician-ordered daily exercise regime. The parents claim that without such, their PE class is discriminatory since their child cannot participate.

~Some doorways in the school building meet the width requirements of the ADA (36 inches) yet are still too narrow for their child to comfortably squeeze through. The parents want the school to widen these doorways. They claim that their child's access to a public building is impaired otherwise.

~Due to the child's specific, restricted diet, the parents want the school to change its exisiting policies related to food brought into the school by parents/children. The parents do not want any food at any school-sponsored event (including classroom parties) because, due to his disbility, their child cannot participate. They claim that the school providing food (or authorizing others to bring in food at a school-sponsored event) is unfair and discriminatory under ADA.

If I had an obese child, I wonder to what extent I would advocate for her. I wonder what I would believe to be "reasonable" for the school to accommodate. I wonder to what extent I believed he/she had the *right* to certain experiences while in a public building. Admittedly, there have been times when I have argued for the above scenarios, except under the ADA accommodation of PA.

Thank you MB.

On Jan 10, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]

Thank you MB.[/b]

You are extremely welcome. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

(blushing) "teacher" may be one of the many hats I wear as a nurse, but *my* personal favorite role is that of the "student". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

edit to shorten quote. (didn't mean to quote the entire post, but wow, Gail, you take excellent notes!)

[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited January 10, 2004).]

On Jan 10, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]If I had an obese child, I wonder to what extent I would advocate for her. I wonder what I would believe to be "reasonable" for the school to accommodate. I wonder to what extent I believed he/she had the *right* to certain experiences while in a public building. Admittedly, there have been times when I have argued for the above scenarios, except under the ADA accommodation of PA.

[/b]

I completely understand. [i]Since I've worn those same shoes[/i]. They were too flashy, didn't go well with many of my outfits, and weren't suited for distance running. (I find myself doing a lot of it, many times out of necessity, Many times due to choice. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img])

On Jan 10, 2004

Working in the schools already, there is something that I've noticed. Regarding obesity and how parents would advocate for their child, the sad thing is, many don't.

And in my own personal work/parenting experience... schools, unless the parents advocate loud and clear for their kids (even with the obvious disabilities), will do the minimum required, cite money and staffing issues, etc until the parents force their children to be accomodated. Some teachers prefer to do no more then they have to and resent parents that push for more. Of course there are certain things like wheelchair ramps and bathrooms which are law, but there is so many other things that are overlooked.

The kids who have parents that won't back down get the most accomodation. (as usually are labeled as difficult parents) The kids whose parents don't say a thing....usually suffer.

By "accomodations" I mean....

-having the specific special needs bus to transport the child on field trips -modifying classroom activities so that the child can participate and not be left sitting on the sidelines because the "can't do it" -having appropriate supervision for the child (not just sticking them in a play room while the EA has to have a break) -providing an appropriate educational program for the child (many times this can be overlooked) -in my son's case, recognizing that he has some special needs in the first place, and recognizing that while he's intellegent they must modify the method for putting it out there.

And you know what? This isn't just special needs/obese/kids with special health problems. This is ALL kids.

On Jan 10, 2004

Karen H., great post! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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

------------------

On Jan 10, 2004

Just wanted to say that I found the latest posts citing specific examples of accomodations very interesting.

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W:[b] ~Due to the child's specific, restricted diet, the parents want the school to change its exisiting policies related to food brought into the school by parents/children. The parents do not want any food at any school-sponsored event (including classroom parties) because, due to his disbility, their child cannot participate. They claim that the school providing food (or authorizing others to bring in food at a school-sponsored event) is unfair and discriminatory under ADA.[/b]

Food-free schools...

(for MB's crystal ball): Would public response be more sympathetic arguing from the childhood obesity perspective as opposed to the food allergy perspective. And do we (here who deal with FAs) really care as long as the result is the same?

The ends justify the means?

On Jan 10, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by KarenH: [b]The kids who have parents that won't back down get the most accomodation (as usually are labeled as difficult parents). The kids whose parents don't say a thing....usually suffer.[/b]

As one who wouldn't "back down", I agree... But I think it's also important to add that I worked equally hard to avoid the "difficult parent" label. It is defintely possible.

As for the 4 children with PA who enrolled at our school after we helped create district-wide procedures... their parents didn't [i]have[/i] to "say a thing" and have the exact same accommodations as my dd. It's now just "standard procedure" for any student with PA.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited January 10, 2004).]

On Jan 10, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b]~Due to the child's specific, restricted diet, the parents want the school to change its exisiting policies related to food brought into the school by parents/children....[/b]

arachide, you know that I was just putting this forward in the hypothetical, right?

So good to see you engaged in discussion again.

On Jan 10, 2004

arachide, I think you may be on to something. I mentioned this in I don't know what thread now about how things that affect the ALL or can potentially affect the ALL are more easily accepted and accommodated than say PA. For example, "smoke free". Got it. Has the potential to affect ALL people if not "smoke free". I'm not sure what thread it is in and my mind feels quite hazy right now.

However, since we all know that obesity is becoming a major problem and we don't like foods used in the schools as incentive, etc., but if it's something that can potentially affect the ALL, like obesity can, I think the obese would have a greater chance of getting the same accommodations that we're basically asking for our PA children. Do you know what I mean?

(What does KWIM mean?)

Gail W., it's wonderful that you have been able to be precedent setting without being seen as a difficult parent. I wish that had been my experience. I would just so love to be seen as not being difficult in my requirements of the school.

I did work really closely with Jesse's first principal, although it did involve superintendent involvement as well and I was probably seen as a difficult parent, but we finally got a *reduce the risk* school (albeit one without written guidelines by the time I had left) and the four new PA children that entered the school after Jesse already had everything in place for them.

I think there is also a difference between being seen as a difficult parent or an involved parent. Of course, sometimes you can be both. Sometimes you can be neither. Sometimes you can be one or the other. For example, I know even myself, I can certainly be perceived at the school as difficult because of my requirements (which have not changed since Jesse started school and I actually don't think is asking for too much) while not being considered involved and vice versa.

Anyway.

Again, people should not be allowed to have children unless they know how to drive and have a vehicle to transport them in. I have to go out in the bloody cold and get some stuff in and I am not looking forward to it one bit.

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

------------------

On Jan 10, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by arachide: [b]Just wanted to say that I found the latest posts citing specific examples of accomodations very interesting.

Food-free schools...

(for MB's crystal ball): Would public response be more sympathetic arguing from the childhood obesity perspective as opposed to the food allergy perspective. And do we (here who deal with FAs) really care as long as the result is the same?

The ends justify the means? [/b]

Does the means you describe [i]need[/i] justification?

I'm thinking more along the lines of "A rose by any other name................" [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

And yes, quite possibly, there is more to be gained through collaberation than isolation. WRT to *special interest* groups and beyond. Seems to be a common theme in the universe. Be helpmeets for one another, I mean. (But not really in the biblical sense of the word, just the general idea. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img])

On Jan 10, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Alternative to Mainstream: [b]... things that affect the ALL or can potentially affect the ALL are more easily accepted and accommodated than say PA. [/b]

Example:

We wanted handwashing instituted both before and especially after lunch to reduce peanut butter residue getting around the school. But our request was met with some resistence because, the school principal said, it would be difficult to implement. However when my husband pointed to multiple studies showing how basic handwashing decreases the transmission illness (translation: better attendance) at school, they were all much more receptive and it didn't seem as difficult to implement. (And, BTW, handwashing procedures are in effect under the justification that it "is good for everyone".)

A rose is a rose is a rose...

On Jan 11, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] However when my husband pointed to multiple studies showing how basic handwashing decreases the transmission illness (translation: better attendance) at school, they were all much more receptive and it didn't seem as difficult to implement. [/b]

Sort of "off topic"..... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]........ but does "better attendance" = "more $$$" for the school?

On Jan 11, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b]... does "better attendance" = "more $$$" for the school?[/b]

We've wondered the same thing. Not sure. I think it might depend on reporting. The school has always seemed very motivated to document that the absence is due to illness.

I've noticed that whenever I call the school to report my kid(s) absence, the secretary specifically asks, "Are they sick?" And if I haven't called in to report the absence, the school nurse calls and asks "if the child is sick?" These questions have made me wonder if there is a stat sheet the school uses. Wonder if funding depends on the [i]reason[/i] a child is not in attendance. They seem very motivated to document that the absence is due to illness.

I've wondered what would happen if, as we have considered, I were to answer her "no, I'm keeping my child home out of protest because she isn't safe". I'd guess that's a different "box" for her to tick and funding [i]would[/i] be effected.

In any event, the fact that handwashing was "good for everyone" was the rationale that was well received (both staff and parents) and used to justify new handwashing routines.... no mention of food allergies.

On Jan 11, 2004

Excellent, Gail W.! When presented with something you wanted for your PA child, but had benefits for the ALL, it was accepted.

Is that how your schools receive funding in the U.S.? Depending on how many children are in attendance and why they are not there on a particular day?

I don't know how schools receive funding here in Canada.

For some reason, I've always felt the need to be very specific when I call the kids in sick - asthma flare-up, whatever. Even when I go into the school to sign one of the children out sick, I'm very specific about why they're leaving. But that's just me. I've never had the secretary question me as to why they were not in school, usually because I'm able to determine in the middle of the night most times and call and leave a message.

We do have a program here where they simply want to make sure each child is safe (Canadians could tell me what it's called) and if your child is not at school and you have not called, there is supposed to be a list of people that the school can call to check on your child's whereabouts to make sure that they are, in fact, at least at home and not missing on the way to school.

I do know that for my DH, he was given a telephone tree at the beginning of the school year - one student calls two students who then call two students, etc. if the college was going to be closed. This was due to funding for the college, but not sure how it worked. But say there was a wicked snow storm and the college was closed, the students were notified early enough in the morning to get on their phone tree and start making calls. Then, the college would still receive funds for the day even though they had to close.

As far as the students themselves attending, well, they're college students, have paid their tuition and who gives a toss?

I am so upset right now. So, we've been beaten down with this horrible coldness outside for days. Remembering correctly as I travelled to Ottawa earlier in the week, it was snowing. But Tuesday, it was fine. It was still bloody cold Monday even with the snow. So, all week has been horrible.

I get up this morning to let the dog out and what do I find? We're in the middle of a snow storm.

Now, I'm trying to think if I can put a positive spin on travelling out in it or if I'm going out with a face on me like a madman's ar** which my Grandmother always used to say and is something I never understood. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] (if anyone does know what it means, except that you look disagreeable, please let me know).

Aside from funding, wouldn't DEVOTED school administrators want better attendance regardless of money?

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

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On Jan 11, 2004

In the US, to the best of my knowledge, attendance doesn't impact dollars- children just have to be enrolled and federal and state dollars follow. What it does impact is how kids do on all the accountability measures that have been instituted. In my state (NC), kids undergo some pretty rigorous testing, and teachers are teaching to the test because under "No Child Left Behind", that's what happens. If Johnny isn't there, he misses the important factoid or practice test or test taking skill of the day, thereby resulting in lower scores. Lower scores for hte child mean lower scores for the school, which does impact federal and state funds.

On Jan 11, 2004

Just a note on the mentioned "difficult parent" thing. I suppose that I'm just a bit prickly when it comes to my own personal situation. Gail you mentioned that it is possible to advocate for your child without being labeled a difficult parent. I agree, and I know many who do that.

However,in my case and a few others I know of, when things aren't working out and you have tried the nice route, sometimes you simply have to force the issue and demand that certain things be done, for the sake of your child. In our case the school messed up BIG TIME and only just now are getting their act together with having an appropriate program for our son. They only did so after we went up the ladder and screamed blue murder. Good God, it's January already and they have wasted almost an entire year, not to mention the emotional damage my child has been put through.

I admit, I don't have any faith left in schools. The thing that bothers me is that had we not known how the school is supposed to handle our son's case, they would've gotten away with just pushing it aside and letting him deteriorate in the classroom.

On Jan 12, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by KarenH: [b]I admit, I don't have any faith left in schools. The thing that bothers me is that had we not known how the school is supposed to handle our son's case, they would've gotten away with just pushing it aside and letting him deteriorate in the classroom.[/b]

This is terrible. There certainly is a big difference in our experiences. I [i]trust[/i] my school to do the right thing. Sometimes it takes a nudge, but they always have my dd's best interest at heart. We wouldn't be there otherwise.

I think I remember reading that you're moving (US) soon?

On Jan 12, 2004

Gail, just wanted to say [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] --I realize many a point being discussed here is hypothetical.

I'm a little swamped today, but will try to pop back in tonight.

On Jan 12, 2004

The funding/attendance thing may vary by state, in the U.S. In California, funding dollars are tied to attendance. Illness is an excused absense, but missing school due to family vacations or religious observance is unexcused. So, the school does still get the funding for a sick kid. HTH, Miriam

On Jan 12, 2004

Karen H., I do agree with your last post. I have always, despite what it may seem here when I'm talking about my son's schools, been really *nice* with school personnel. I know that I come across very differently here and I will never convince some people that I'm not a total bi*ch when I deal with my son's school.

I had banged my head against a brick wall for two years in Stayner trying to work things out with the school there and it was only when another PA.com member said to me, Cindy, get superintendent involvement, that I took that next step. Man, once I did that, and also did that nicely, we ended up with a great discussion and a "reduce the risk" school.

Here, I had NO difficulties with the first school Jesse attended whatsoever. The only problem I had was with the liability waiver that the school board wanted me to sign. In fact, I negotiated Jesse's written school plan and my requirements for a "peanut free" classroom with the principal of his school here while I was still in Stayner. We had a great year. The administration was super, his teacher was just awesome and things worked well.

Last year, the principal was super with me as well, it was the teacher that I had the really hard time with (posted ad nauseum about here) and other parents. I didn't request superintendent involvement because of the principal, I requested it because of the teacher and what seemed to be her total lack of concern about my child's life.

This year, well, this year is just a total bloody nightmare.

I am always knowledgeable when I set-up the meetings at the beginning of the school year, but I am also very quiet. I am willing to educate. I am not rude and I am not emotional.

However, when finally presented with the a**hole that we got for a principal this year, yes, I have lost it. Does he know it? Actually not. I have spoken with the vice principal and simply spoken with her in an agreeable tone as well. I began filing the Ontario Human Rights Commission complaint instead. Why? Because I don't feel like banging my head against a wall again (it hurts and it's not really productive to me) and also because this man simply refuses to deal with me period. I'm not the only parent he's like that with. It depends on who he deems "worthy".

Honestly, everyone, you are invited to visit me when it is beautiful here in the summer, when we have our Waterfront Festival and meet me and see that I am a quiet, shy, almost timid middle-aged woman who yes, would prefer to catch more flies with honey than sugar. But sometimes things do snap.

Karen H., I really hear you. I don't march into a school and say, "you're doing this MY way or else" - I go in there quietly with my son's written school plan, quite open to discussion and education.

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

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On Jan 12, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] As for the 4 children with PA who enrolled at our school after we helped create district-wide procedures... their parents didn't [i]have[/i] to "say a thing" and have the exact same accommodations as my dd. It's now just "standard procedure" for any student with PA.

[/b]

I just want you to know my hubby, an honorably discharged U.S. Marine, says:

[b]"OO-RAH.(!)"[/b]

[i]That's quite a compiment in my book.[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] (You earned it.)

Once a Marine, always a Marine? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

On Jan 12, 2004

I have always been the nice, negotiating, even timid kind of person as well. I work in schools so I try the "I understand what you're going through-can we work together?" approach. At work, and with my son's teachers.

Last year was my wake up call. We spent grade one dealing with a nasty old fashioned battle axe of a teacher who hated our son and lied to us, and then grade two with a teacher who simply assumed ds needed ritalin and then set out to "prove" it. In my workplace I had a physically aggressive student and nobody would offer me any support whatsoever even though I was practically SCREAMING for it. I finally permanently wreaked my rotator cuff (from my student) and got the union involved. And then, at that point, I knew that we couldn't take any more bulls***. As a family we'd had enough.

So we went to ds's new school in August, registered, provided documentation, met with them, offered help, insight, whatever. Were paitent. Sent cookies to the staff, saying how welcome we felt. And waited. and waited. and waited.

Nothing was done. Ds, with a known, DIAGNOSED and DOCUMENTED learning disability was expected to preform at the same level and in the same way as everyone else. He began to act out and the school would only focus on behavior (called him a behavior problem) and would not give him any support or accomodation for his disability. The district broke the School Act by having an IEP meeting without telling us and then writing up an "IEP" that was so lame it wasn't even funny. They wrote up behavior plans without our knowledge, consent, or input. The list goes on and on. To be perfectly honest, they broke the law.

We hit the roof. Stormed in there, demanded that they get their act together and provide a proper program for our kid, with our involvement, or we would sue.

So now they are moving, but it's still slow and not unless we are on top of them. Basically this year has been a complete waste of time. Ours and our son's.

I may work for the schools but it's this level of incompetance that makes me ashamed to be even associated with them.

On Jan 12, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by KarenH: [b]

Last year was my wake up call. We spent grade one dealing with a nasty old fashioned battle axe of a teacher who hated our son and lied to us, and then grade two with a teacher who simply assumed ds needed ritalin and then set out to "prove" it. [/b]

Just wonderingl................

Can teachers, for example, recommend "ritalin"? Anyone?

On Jan 13, 2004

MommaBear, believe it or not, I read of a case (I think it was in New Jersey or New York) where a child was actually suspended from school because his parents took him off of his ADHD medication and refused to put him back on it. This was shocking and frightening to me. I know those parents had a lawyer working on their be-half, but I do not know what the outcome was.

On a personal note: yesterday dh and I met with our dd's psychologist to prepare for a school meeting. She felt it was very important that we make it clear to the school officials that we have tried all of the ADHD meds and they haven't worked for DD. She said that often this is what the school will first reccomend.

Hmmm, why is it that schools accept pa kids with no epi-pens?! I guess it doesn't disrupt their classrooms.

Miriam

On Jan 13, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by California Mom: [b]MommaBear, believe it or not, I read of a case (I think it was in New Jersey or New York) where a child was actually suspended from school because his parents took him off of his ADHD medication and refused to put him back on it. This was shocking and frightening to me. [/b]

Was it the school or the physician "recommending"? Were there "recommendations"?

On Jan 13, 2004

California Mom,

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

what are your thoughts on this link?

[url="http://www.healthinschools.org/ejournal/2003/june03_1.htm"]http://www.healthinschools.org/ejournal/2003/june03_1.htm[/url]

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. I do not guarantee the accuracy, content, or currentness of the link in this post.

On Jan 13, 2004

My understanding of the NY/NJ case was that it was actually the school and not the physician who was recommending the medication.

That link was quite an eye opener. I would be infuriated if a school official presumed to know more than my child's doctor and myself about my child's need for medication. The bill makes a lot of sense. I am surprised that this issue must have been pervasive enough to require such a bill, at all.

Miriam

On Jan 13, 2004

Of course I saw this on a TV drama, so thus the caution smilie, but it was about a school requiring that a child be medicated for whatever difficulty he was having. He was either medicated or suspended from the school. (He then went on a killing spree due to the meds, however, as I say, it was a TV drama).

I have no doubt in my mind that this happens in schools in America. No doubt. Has there not been uproar in America about the over-use of Ritalin so that teachers have classes full of well behaved, non problematic children? And not recently.

I know a parent who did choose to medicate her child for ADHD, with, of course, a *proper* diagnosis and a physician's prescription, but she did not want the school to know that her child was medicated.

If behavioural problems/psychological disorders/etc. are going to be stimatized in society as badly as mental illness has been (or if these things are mental illnesses), then he**, I wouldn't label my child in the school system either.

I label Jesse PA in the school system because he could die and has to have something in place to provide relative safety for him.

I have reluctantly told my daughter's teacher about her diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder just as I have reluctantly told both teachers about any reason that my children's behaviour may or may not change in recent months. So that they're aware, but certainly not as aware as they would be if it was a physical (i.e., body not mind) thing.

And all this in the obesity thread! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]

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

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On Jan 13, 2004

Sorry, Momma Bear, didn't see one of your questions. If a teacher recommended Ritalin for either of my children, I'd tell them to shove off. I mean it! I understand that they are dealing with my children more than I am sometimes, but no way in he** am I having a teacher tell me to medicate my child. No way, no how.

As I posted about in the ODD thread in Off Topic, I was trying a homeopathic alternative to medication for both of my children. We are also doing talk therapy, first session starts tomorrow. But I honestly believe that the root of my children's difficulties, if they even have any, stems from somewhere other than bio-chemical imbalances in their brain.

As California Mom and I have discussed repeatedly, and probably in the Anti-Depressant/Anti-Anxiety Meds thread in Living with PA, I believe in *situational* responses, i.e., *situational* depression. I have also recently seen a loved one suffer from actual clinical (very specifically defined with a list of symptoms) depression.

Do you know I would actually be horrified if a teacher suggested my child be medicated? Horrifed!

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

------------------

On Jan 15, 2004

Cindy, Ds's teacher for grade two suggested that we look into Ritalin. Dh's response was, "And when did YOU become a psychiatrist??" (exact words, you should've seen the teacher's face, lololol). After that the teacher made the last two months of school his "mission" to prove that our son had ADHD. It made us very, very angry. Our son does not have ADHD, and when I told the teacher that the findings of the psych-ed assessment were that our son was GIFTED, he said "well I always knew that he was a bit bright." I was very unimpressed.

Yep, my kid is exhausting and difficult at times. But I like him that way. I don't want him doped up on drugs, and nothing is going to convince me otherwise. It would only be a complete and total last resort, and then I wouldn't tell the school either.

On Jan 15, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by KarenH: [b]Cindy, Ds's teacher for grade two suggested that we look into Ritalin. Dh's response was, "And when did YOU become a psychiatrist??" (exact words, you should've seen the teacher's face, lololol). After that the teacher made the last two months of school his "mission" to prove that our son had ADHD. It made us very, very angry. Our son does not have ADHD, and when I told the teacher that the findings of the psych-ed assessment were that our son was GIFTED, he said "well I always knew that he was a bit bright." I was very unimpressed.

[/b]

what are your thoughts on this link?

[url="http://www.healthinschools.org/ejournal/2003/june03_1.htm"]http://www.healthinschools.org/ejournal/2003/june03_1.htm[/url]

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. I do not guarantee the accuracy, content, or currentness of the link in this post.

On Jan 16, 2004

Interesting MommaBear!!

Ya gotta love this site Synthia [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

On Jan 16, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by synthia: [b]Interesting MommaBear!!

[/b]

I. thought. so. too.

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

I gotta ask myself, completely hypothetically speaking, and merely wondering outloud:

#1 Is this a "Scope of Practice" issue?

#2 Is this a "Standard of Care" issue?

#3 If an entity such as a school desires the ability to make particular recommendations/participate in a particular manner/have certain input would a school authorized to [i]assume[/i] particular responsibility in a ............... need particular representation by approved, authorized appropriate credential(s)? ie: that have a set "Scope of Practice" or ability to provide a "Standard of Care"?

#4 How does an obesity thread relate to PA, [i]indeed[/i]. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Anyone??

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form.

On Jan 16, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] I. thought. so. too.

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

I gotta ask myself[/b]

After asking youself,what are the answers to your questions?

(MommaBear)?

Love this site Synthia [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

On Jan 16, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by synthia: [b] After asking youself,what are the answers to your questions?

(MommaBear)?

[/b]

[i]I asked first. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img][/i]

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

(in an attempt to disparage myself ---oooooooo goody------ [i]Who cares what I think?[/i])

On Jan 16, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by MommaBear: [b] [i]I asked first. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img][/i]

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

[i]Who cares what I think?[/i]) [/b]

I DO!! Still waiting for the answers PS

DH says---"If they have enough medical knowledge to prescribe ADHD drugs,don't you think they should be able to figure out how to use a EPI-Pen with out sticking themselfs in the butt with it? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

Love this site Synthia

On Jan 16, 2004

Synthia...when I went to the doc yesterday and complained that my allergist didn't give me any info about how to use an epi at all, he said that he went to some conference and was told that over 80% of docs don't know how to use an epi. Scary!

MB, I thought that article was fantastic. I have had foster kids that the schools demanded be on ritalin, only during school hours. Didn't make sense at all. Teacher's jobs are to teach, not to be psychiatrists.

On Jan 17, 2004

Karen H., liked your second to last post above. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

(I could now go into babble speak and explain why I don't feel comfortable with psychological labels being placed on my children's heads, but I honestly don't feel like it. Feel like asking the kids if they can watch their TV show in peace and I'll dye my hair to cover all the grey. See what the response is. Hoping for a new Hack and The District tonight or I'm going to go bonkers).

At any rate, can't figure out which of your disability threads to post this in Momma Bear, so thought I'd post it in the one with the most responses (also glad to see that I wasn't the only person to get confused or just continue one discussion from another thread into another and on and on).

Our buses here, and I'm sure in Toronto as well, but the front seats are very clearly labeled: For Special Needs Persons

We do have, I think, an above-average population of mentally challenged people in our town. I may be wrong. Oh, to clarify, by mentally challenged I also mean (and could be quite incorrect) deaf and mute people as well. Anyway, there are a lot of people with obvious mental or physical (perhaps hearing and speaking are physical?) disabilities in this town (as an aside I have also noticed that there are a lot of what I consider obese people in this town).

The people that take the Special Needs seats on the bus, very clearly labeled again, are usually mentally or physically handicapped (visibly) or the elderly.

Which had me thinking on the bus the other day when ALL of the special needs seats were occupied by the elderly - is being old a disability?

How far can we extend this discussion?

Given the number of people participating or not participating, I do think it goes back to what does this have to do with PA. I believe I think I understand (if that even made sense) in that you're exploring how others perceive other things that are *different* and what accommodations, if any, we feel *should* be in place for those differences and how they compare to PA.

Man, if I counted all of the words that I have posted on this board, surely I've written a book or two by now.

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

------------------

On Jan 21, 2004

Interesting article.

[url="http://www.suntimes.com/output/health/cst-nws-diab21.html"]http://www.suntimes.com/output/health/cst-nws-diab21.html[/url]

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. I do not guarantee the accuracy, content, or currentness of the link in this post.

On Jan 21, 2004

I dont know if we are accomodating obesity but we are all paying for it.

[url="http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4017243/"]http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4017243/[/url]

Taxpayers foot most obesity health bills Study finds $75 billion spent in '03 to treat overweightThe Associated Press Updated: 3:45 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2004ATLANTA - Taxpayers foot the doctor's bill for more than half of obesity-related medical costs, which reached a total of $75 billion in 2003, according to a new study.

The public pays about $39 billion a year _ or about $175 per person _ for obesity through Medicare and Medicaid programs, which cover sicknesses caused by obesity including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer and gallbladder disease.

The study, to be published Friday in the journal Obesity Research, evaluates state-by-state expenditures related to weight problems. The research was done by the nonprofit group RTI International and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Obesity has become a crucial health problem for our nation, and these findings show that the medical costs alone reflect the significance of the challenge," said Tommy Thompson, secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services. "Of course, the ultimate cost to Americans is measured in chronic disease and early death."

States spend about one-twentieth of their medical costs on obesity _ from a low of 4 percent in Arizona to a high of 6.7 percent in Alaska.

California spends the most on health care for the obese, $7.7 billion, and Wyoming spends the least, $87 million.

"We have a lot of taxpayers financing the costs of overweight and obesity for those in public sector health plans," said Eric Finkelstein, a health economist with RTI International who conducted the study. "That provides justification for governments to find cost-effective strategies to reduce the burdens of obesity."

About 64 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese, according to the CDC's 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Physicians are seeing more and more people having health problems because they're overweight or obese, said Dr. Denise Bruner, chair of the board of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians.

"This is one of the major health epidemics we're looking at in America," she said. "I truly see this as a very grave problem for which we in the public need to certainly be pro-active in terms of taking charge of our health."

Obesity should be treated and prevented more aggressively through public health programs to encourage healthy diets and exercise, said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit health advocacy group.

"It would certainly make for happier lives, and also save medical expenses," he said. "A healthy population would save taxpayers a huge amount of money."

Copyright 2004 The

On Jan 21, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by momma2boys: [b]I dont know if we are accomodating obesity but we are all paying for it.

[url="http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4017243/"]http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4017243/[/url]

Taxpayers foot most obesity health bills Study finds $75 billion spent in '03 to treat overweightThe Associated Press Updated: 3:45 p.m. ET Jan. 21, 2004ATLANTA - Taxpayers foot the doctor's bill for more than half of obesity-related medical costs, which reached a total of $75 billion in 2003, according to a new study.

The public pays about $39 billion a year _ or about $175 per person _ for obesity through Medicare and Medicaid programs, which cover sicknesses caused by obesity including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer and gallbladder disease.

The study, to be published Friday in the journal Obesity Research, evaluates state-by-state expenditures related to weight problems. The research was done by the nonprofit group RTI International and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Obesity has become a crucial health problem for our nation, and these findings show that the medical costs alone reflect the significance of the challenge," said Tommy Thompson, secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services. "Of course, the ultimate cost to Americans is measured in chronic disease and early death."

States spend about one-twentieth of their medical costs on obesity _ from a low of 4 percent in Arizona to a high of 6.7 percent in Alaska.

California spends the most on health care for the obese, $7.7 billion, and Wyoming spends the least, $87 million.

"We have a lot of taxpayers financing the costs of overweight and obesity for those in public sector health plans," said Eric Finkelstein, a health economist with RTI International who conducted the study. "That provides justification for governments to find cost-effective strategies to reduce the burdens of obesity."

About 64 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese, according to the CDC's 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Physicians are seeing more and more people having health problems because they're overweight or obese, said Dr. Denise Bruner, chair of the board of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians.

"This is one of the major health epidemics we're looking at in America," she said. "I truly see this as a very grave problem for which we in the public need to certainly be pro-active in terms of taking charge of our health."

Obesity should be treated and prevented more aggressively through public health programs to encourage healthy diets and exercise, said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit health advocacy group.

"It would certainly make for happier lives, and also save medical expenses," he said. "A healthy population would save taxpayers a huge amount of money."

Copyright 2004 The [/b]

Oh, possibly there are a lot of ways to happier, healthier lives and methods to save taxpayers money. (Considering the Human Condition) Possibly not all of them related to obesity either. I don't live in a perfect world, but if I did, I guess all persons would be given healthcare freely and without concerns over money.

Not sure if this question is relevant to the topic and maybe just an extension off the topic of money, but, I gotta ask myself: should money be a consideration when accomodating a disability? Are some "accomodations" cost prohibitive?

On Jan 21, 2004

Cindy...just to answer your question

"Oh, to clarify, by mentally challenged I also mean (and could be quite incorrect) deaf and mute people as well. Anyway, there are a lot of people with obvious mental or physical (perhaps hearing and speaking are physical?) disabilities in this town "

In special education circles, mentally challenged means mentally handicapped...kids with autism, Downs Syndrome, Tourettes, etc.who have a lower mental intelligence. (forgive me anyone who is offended, I'm doing my best to be politically correct while explaining here)

People who are deaf are considered physically handicapped because usually they simply can't hear-their intelligence is normal. If a person is born deaf they never learn to speak (and are therefore mute) because they never experience sounds.

I work with a mute child, who has average intelligence but has some genetic disorder that affected her ability to speak. I wouldn't even sit her in a handicapped spot-she's pretty much able! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Disabilities are invisible...those elderly people may be unable to walk far due to a bad heart, recent hip surgery, etc. So you never know!

On Jan 22, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by KarenH: [b]

Disabilities are invisible...those elderly people may be unable to walk far due to a bad heart, recent hip surgery, etc. So you never know![/b]

My mother has a "handicapped" parking permit. She has had hip surgery and has a limited ability to walk. She also has degenerative arthritis that has taken a toll on her. The permit assists her in maintaining some independence. She also uses a walker or a cain at times. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] She can be feisty and *scrappy*. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] She is fiercly *independent*. [i]A joy and a treasure[/i]. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

WRT my own highly individual, personal, and unique situation: *I* was issued a "handicapped" parking permit for a limited time after back/neurological surgery. It was my surgeon's decision. It was very much appreciated. (Would you believe the day I came home from surgery, holding a mug of coffee was *intollerable*?) This from a person described by others as "having a high tollerance for pain".

Yup. Ya never know.

Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form.

On Jan 22, 2004

(MB): "Possibly not all of them related to obesity either. I don't live in a perfect world, but if I did, I guess all persons would be given healthcare freely and without concerns over money."

I am always puzzled by this...who would pay the doctors and hospitals, etc., when healthcare is given 'freely'? Taxpayers? Some other system?

On Jan 22, 2004

Quote:

Originally posted by StaceyK: [b](MB): "Possibly not all of them related to obesity either. I don't live in a perfect world, but if I did, I guess all persons would be given healthcare freely and without concerns over money."

I am always puzzled by this...who would pay the doctors and hospitals, etc., when healthcare is given 'freely'? Taxpayers? Some other system? [/b]

I used to be puzzled by statements such as:

"who would pay the doctors and hospitals, etc.,"

(I mean, would the alternative be persons being denied access due to lack of funds?)

until I realized:

[i]In a perfect world, we wouldn't need money.[/i]

PS........ this not presented as verifiable statistic and largely based on what I see with *my own eyes*: With health and other items: Ya know what they say about "The best laid plans of mice and men.........."

There is an idea called: "Preventative Medicine". Good Thing. But, in the back of my mind: "There But For The Grace of God, Go I. (and those I love)."

It's a [b]Big Boolean Thing[/b].

The following given only as *my own unique, highly individual, and personal situation and history*, It is not advice in any manner or form. It is not meant to be representative of anything or a guarantee in any manner or form. It could just have been a "fluke":

I remember being in a car accident. I remember having health insurance (very nice paying too). I remember another passenger in my car having a not so generous, highly regulated form of payment to offer. I remember comparing the bills. I remember being billed more for some similiar services. I remember some charges being waved for the other person. I remember taking a payment plan to remedy my account. I remember squeezing out the extra money every month to satisfy the account. I remember feeling more fortunate despite this. I still do.

I'd like to think that civilization is striving for a "Perfect Society". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] I think the biggest obstacle is defining: "Perfect".

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