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Posted on: Sat, 08/14/1999 - 2:41am
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Anonymous (not verified)

Just got back from Kindergarten Orientation and it went VERY smoothly.
With all the parents in the classroom, the teacher announced there were not one, but two peanut allergy children in her classroom and would the parents please refrain from sending in any peanut products for lunch for the safety of these two children. The gentleman behind me muttered "allergic to peanuts" like he had never heard of it or couldn't believe it. I turned to him and said my son is one of the allergic ones and he just said "wow I bet that's hard." Nothing derogatory at all was said.
In lieu of cupcakes and cakes and such for birthdays, the teacher asked if EACH parent would send in a book for the Birthday Child and all of the trimmings would go with the party w/o food being involved. As she was speaking, I did a full look around the room at the other parents and not one person flinched. The teacher reiterated it was for the safety of these children and she would appreciate all cooperation.
I know some may think I'm going into this blinded, but I really have a good feeling about this year! I have volunteered for "lunch duty" making sure the kids are wiped up etc. and because other parents may let PB products "slip" through--they are not going to be as thorough as we are and this is to be expected.
The PTA President's daughter is in my son's class and she is also a volunteer at the school FULLTIME and as stated before, she is also an EMT.
I just have a very positive feeling about this school year. I wish everyone had a school that was as accommodating as ours is.
Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to meet the other parents of the allergic child. I was trying to spot the child via medic alert bracelet but didn't see one.
I hope everyone has a SAFE school year!
Connie
[This message has been edited by Connie (edited August 14, 1999).]

Posted on: Sat, 08/14/1999 - 3:29am
carrie's picture
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Joined: 05/15/1999 - 09:00

Connie,
Could you explain the book part. Does the parent of the birthday child send in a book to be given to the child instead of cupcakes?
Let me know!
Carrie

Posted on: Sat, 08/14/1999 - 5:09am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi Carrie,
The teacher asked if each parent would donate a book in lieu of goodies--meaning each of us would send in a book for the "Birthday Boy or Girl." (This was a different idea than we had discussed earlier but I like this one better). What a way to boost academics!
The child will still get to wear their birthday crown, their day will still be very special and they will be fussed over, just no food will be involved! I love it!

Posted on: Sat, 08/14/1999 - 5:21am
carrie's picture
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Joined: 05/15/1999 - 09:00

Connie-
I am very slow today!I'm still not positive I have it right. So each family donates one book for the year--the teacher gives one to the birthday child at their party, right? You don't have to buy a book for each child in your daughter's class, right?
I'm sorry!
thanks again,
Carrie

Posted on: Sat, 08/14/1999 - 5:23am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Connie, you are not alone in wondering if you are doing the "right thing". Our schools have been WONDERFUL in dealing with my daughter's allergy, and all her teachers have been very accomodating to suggestions I might pose throughout the school year. Since finding this site and reading about 504s and IEPs, I have many times wondered if I needed to put something in place. Just last week we met at her new campus for an in-service that was scheduled to discuss her needs. The school nurse got in contact with FAN and purchased a resource kit for schools dealing with food allergies. It came with booklets for the teachers, booklets for food service workers, booklets for the school nurses, a video about anaphylaxis and managing reactions in a school setting, an epi-trainer and much more! It also had forms for an IHP. The school nurse felt like it would be a good idea to have one on hand, so she has asked me to fill it out. There was a Q & A period where the teachers & aids discussed potential problem areas and we brainstormed about possible solutions. It all went VERY well. I hate to hear about all the people whose schools won't work with them; we are truly blessed to have a school who is willing to do what they can to make Jordyn safe.

Posted on: Sun, 09/05/1999 - 9:32am
Samsmom's picture
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Joined: 08/19/1999 - 09:00

My PA son,age 4,attends pre-K a small Catholic school in D.C. This summer we arranged to meet with the administration and his teacher and teacher aide to discuss his situation and how best to protect him. At the time, we were told that there were no other PA children attending his school. We were quite surprised, to say the least, to discover at orientation that there are two other children, in a class of 20, that are PA. The teacher/school was reluctant to send a letter to the other parents explaining the allergy and the necessary precautions. They were especially reluctant to identify our son for fear of ostracizing him. We wound up at the hospital on day 3 of school with a contact exposure - even with the teacher requesting no peanut butter or peanut products in the classroom. We are now being permitted to make a presentation to all the parents at "Back to School" night, in an attempt to educate and elicit their support. We are not worried about "outing" our son as we believe education is the answer BUT ... has anyone else regretted identifying their child as PA? Was the child ostracized in or out of school?

Posted on: Mon, 09/06/1999 - 3:08am
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Joined: 07/11/1999 - 09:00

Being PA myself, and also the mother of a PA son, I have found that when your child is very young, you must tell other people about the allergy, as the child cannot take care of himself. However, once my son gets older, I do not like the idea of telling people because in my own personal experience, older children can be very cruel. Yes, there are nice older children, but once people know about the allergy, you cannot take it back. Once I could read labels, ask ingredients, etc, I was very careful who I told in school, because believe it or not, there are kids who would love to experiment and see how sick you'll get if you eat a peanut. It doesn't matter how much you educate some people, they don't get it, don't want to get it, or couldn't be bothered because it's not their kids. So, my philosophy is, preschool years, of course tell whomever you need to. Grade school and up, think carefully.

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