Speech at sons school

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2007 - 1:10am
nikosmommy's picture
Joined: 08/17/2006 - 09:00

I am the mother of a 4 yr old w/ peanut and milk allergies. My son started a private school this year. Of course, I have been concerned but they have tried to work with me. They have taken peanuts out of his classroom, which I was very happy about. I had a meeting before school started this year with his teachers/principal/superintendent/nurse/etc regarding what we can do for my son.
My question to you is: Now the school wants me to do a presentation to the k-6 staff to help educate about food allergies/epipens/precautions teachers can take/etc. I am not certified or even really qualified to "teach" about allergies. Of course I said yes b/c this is my opportunity to be an advocate for my son. However, I think they are putting alot of responsibility on me, a mother, and not utilizing other sources. I have tried and tried to get them to request the School Food Allergy Program from FAAN, which is FREE and they have given me the brush off all year so far. Any opinions on what to do? And if/when I do the presentation-- what do you think are some important things to include??

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2007 - 1:53am
chanda4's picture
Joined: 12/14/2006 - 09:00

If this were me, in your shoes...I couldn't do it. I know we all know our own kids our own allergies...but they really need an expert in this situation...I would love our school to let an allergist come speak. Would they be willing to let you find someone qualified(I know we are qualified, didn't want to sound rude) but a true allergist?? Your own allergist may be up for this, an opportunity to educate a school, how awessome is that!!?? I would contact him, if he doesn't want to, maybe he knows someone who will/can. Good luck...not to mention I would be a nervous freak-mess(social anxiety here!!!) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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: Sat, 02/10/2007 - 3:10am
Momcat's picture
Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

Order a video from FAAN ("It Only Takes One Bite" is good) and show the video. Then you can answer questions and hand out information for them to read at home. You can also get an epipen training video from DEY or FAAN. I think it's worth the expense to purchase these because you will be using them over and over to train different groups of people.
Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 4 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2007 - 6:01am
Chicago's picture
Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

I have always used the materials from FAAN and Dey, and that is appreciated by the school administration since that is not just "my" veiw, but some offical info. On these boards I have learned (as in life) that there are many degrees of comfort zones and the school staff cannot be expected to embrace everyone's needs as the policy for all.
For example, if a child has never had a reaction to touch/smell and has been a regular lunchroom for years - that is different then another child how has reacted to touch. The I in IEP stands for indivdual. And if you want to go out on the whacked end of the scale - some parent at our school has told all of the teachers that her child is allergic to sugar - but only the sugar in candy. If you don't want your child to have candy - rock on, however this woman has insisted that this is an allergic disablity.
I am trying to say that I don't want you to be put in the postion of "food allergic children expert". Your making the staff aware, providing materials and anwering questions on HOW YOUR FAMILY DOES THINGS FOR YOUR CHILD is wonderful. But I have seen this sort of thing be taken out of context.
I think it is great that you are doing it and awareness is good. I hope my thoughts above made some sense and were of some help.

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2007 - 6:49am
Greenlady's picture
Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

I'd second either bringing in a formal expert, or showing the FAAN video. That helps make it less about "you" and more about allergies in general.
They may have not done this intentially, but asking you to do this could put you in a bad position. If there happens to be families with an axe to grind about accomodating allergies, then this makes your family, rather than the school, their target.
Of course, this also could help put a human face on the issue, and most families are truly supportive, so I don't mean to scare you! Just something to think about as your child moves through the system - to what extent should the school be carrying out their policies, rather than putting the burden on you.

Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2007 - 11:04am
safetyfirst's picture
Joined: 09/21/2005 - 09:00

I don't think you should have to educate the school staff. In our school our school nurse has inservice day where every fall just a few days before school begins she goes over all the allergie info and makes sure EVERY staff member knows how to use the epi-pen. I save all my expired epi-pens for her to use with oranges. An expert would be nice but in my experience I have found most doctors don't believa peanut free school is nessary. If it is the only training they will get I would do it for sure but I don't think this burden should have been put on you.

Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2007 - 8:21am
nikosmommy's picture
Joined: 08/17/2006 - 09:00

Thank all of you for your responses!! They were very helpful. I am still 50/50 on how I feel. The school had to push back the presentation b/c of time constraints. I will be doing it before the start of school next year. I have let the superintendent and the principal know that I am not qualified and have urged them to get the School Food Allergy Program from FAAN (so that I could use these materials to help educate). I guess I am at the point where something is better than nothing. If I have to be the "face", then I am willing to be that for my son. I feel in my heart that this is what I am supposed to do. Thank you again for your responses!!

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

There are many reasons why you may want to substitute almond flour for wheat flour in recipes. Of course, if you have a...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

Do you have a child with peanut allergies and an upcoming birthday? Perhaps you'd like to bake a...

Most nut butters provide all the same benefits: an easy sandwich spread, a great dip for veggies, a fun addition to a smoothie. But not...

Do you have a sweet tooth and more specifically a chocolate craving? Those with peanut allergies must...