Should I be mad or do I need to cut some slack...

Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 8:56am
Boomer's picture
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Joined: 02/09/2007 - 09:00

Hi, I have posted before. I have a 6yr old kindergartener. He is in half day kindergarten, but goes to an extended day program at the school due to some social and behavior concerns. Our school didn't offer all day kindergarten this year, so they offered me this option for free, most people pay. He has an IEP.

Okay, after all of that you can see that the school has been pretty accomodating. They have not had a peanut allergy before or any severe food allergy (and we live in a fairly large suburb!). I have been working with them all year about all the things that need to happen. My son scored a 6 on his RAST and so he is VERY reactive. They now (starting this week) have a fanny pack loaded with epi, and benedryl that follows him around the school, not locked in the nurses cupboard like it was before. They have changed bus companies for him so that they are sure who is driving the bus has been trained on the epi pen. These are all things I have had suggest, but were taken care of. He eats in a classroom with his extended day classmates. If they bring peanut butter, THEY go to the lunch room, which isn't designated peanut free because my son doesn't go in there, except he really does go in there, read on.

BUT about 1/2 hour before school gets out, the kindergarten extended day students go into the lunchroom, which isn't peanut free, to set the tables and stuff up for the rest of the extended day kids grades 1-5 to come in. They have that part of the extended day in the lunchroom. There are balls, games, hoops, etc. in the lunchroom at this time. My son came home today sobbing because they just this week decided that he has to sit at a designated "peanut free" table. He is not allowed to get up from this area and play with the balls or anything. He is made to sit there alone for that last half hour of the day. I was unaware that they were making him do this, and we JUST had a meeting last week because of the fanny pack thing.

Should I raise a little stink about this because my boy is unhappy, or do these children sometimes have to just suck it up because of the fact these were the cards they were dealt. I feel like if I keep complaining, they are going to stop listening to me. It really enrages me that they would do this to him. But, what do I do?? I think they are going to stop serving and allowing peanuts at school next year. But they haven't done that yet.

Sorry so darn long!!!!!

Boomer

Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 9:42am
chanda4's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

It is discrimination, he has to sit while everyone else plays. BUT then you have to think about what he'd be playing with, is it safe, is it covered in traces of PB??? They probably thought they were keeping him safe, I don't think they make our kids sit to be mean, they just don't understand that keeping them safe means also including them! I would try to brainstorm some ideas, maybe see if you son has any? And approach the school, tell them as much as you appreciate trying to keep him safe, this isn't the way to do it, your son is visibly upset...here are some suggestions(I don't know what those would be, maybe someone else can help there). Good luck though, my son has been sent to the principals office, *to keep him safe* that is what made me decide I needed the 504!
------------------
Chanda(mother of 4)
Sidney-8 (beef and chocolate, grasses, molds, weeds, guinea pig & asthma)
Jake-6 (peanut, all tree nuts, eggs, trees, grasses, weeds, molds, cats, dogs, guinea pig & eczema & asthma)
Carson-3 1/2 (milk, soy, egg, beef and pork, cats, dog, guinea pig)
Savannah-1 (milk and egg)

Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 10:08am
Boomer's picture
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Joined: 02/09/2007 - 09:00

Yes, I was very happy that they were thinking about the fact that he could get a reaction from the floor or other tables that had peanutbutter on them. I really appreciated it. I am going to bring it up to them and see what they say. I feel like they are so sick of me. I have a third grade girl who struggles with reading, writing and math. So between the peanut allergy, constantly on the teachers back about my daughter, I just feel like they are beginning to find me a pest! I can't help it though!!
Anyway, I know they aren't doing it to be mean. My son goes there every school day. Starting next week, I am going to cut it back to three days. I guess I just have to talk to them AGAIN!!
Thanks!

Posted on: Thu, 02/08/2007 - 3:33pm
mcmom's picture
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Joined: 06/15/2004 - 09:00

Couldn't they just clean all the tables after lunch? (You would think they would be doing that anyway!)
In my son's school, the cafeteria is also the gym/multi purpose room, there's never been a problem with him being in there. The custodian cleans immediately after lunch. Even if, timing wise, the custodian can't get in to clean, can't they just use lysol wipes on the tables?

Posted on: Fri, 02/09/2007 - 1:48am
kelly01's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2001 - 09:00

Hi Boomer:
I commend you for taking the time to think about how you will approach this! As a parent, I would not let this one go, however I would temper my approach with "kudos" to them about at least thinking about your sons allergies (which you have mentioned). If it was my son, I would approach the people in charge and thank them for being careful with my son. Then I would tell them that unfortunately he really feels isolated and upset with the set up, and can we think of a way to make this work? Hopefully they will work with you to find an alternate solution that you can both feel comfortable with!
kelly

Posted on: Fri, 02/09/2007 - 2:40am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Given that he's being handled with an IEP and that you mention behavioral and social issues.... I would approach them with an open mind and the notion that [i]of course they will be as concerned about this issue as you are...[/i]
(uhh, 'should be as concerned,' anyway [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )
It can't be helpful to have him feeling so negatively about this-- and it is clearly a problem that falls under the domain of his IEP. I'd be worried about the negative impact on other aspects of schooling-- and my guess is that so will his regular classroom teacher.
{{hugs}} to your little guy. How horrible for him.

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