how do you feel about answering these questions?

Posted on: Fri, 08/06/2004 - 5:55am
meadow's picture
Joined: 10/21/2003 - 09:00

Hi again,

Maybe I'm overly sensitive to everything the Special Education Director says because of our rough start, but I'm wondering how any of you would feel about answering these questions.

Let me preface by saying that my daughter's doctor (pediatrician) wrote a letter to the school district stating that my daughter is airborne, contact and ingestion allergic to peanuts,almonds and sesame. He went on to say when she was diagnosed what her symptoms are, course of action, meds prescribed and that because she is anaphylactic her environment must be allergen-free.

Today I get an email from the Sp. Ed. Director asking me to answer the following questions:

1. When was the last time XXXX seen by her allergist? What were her numeric levels to allergens tested? Could we please have a report from the Allergist?
2. Could we please have a written statement from XXXXX's doctors that provide us with their medical judgment of:
a. the extent to which XXXXX's daily life/activities are affected (e.g., may she go to public places such as stores, malls, restaurants, county fairs, pumpkin farms, etc.)?
b. do they believe that her airborne allergy is such that if there was a peanut, tree nut or sesame product in a child's locker and XXXXX passed by, that she will have an allergic reaction?
c. Is her contact allergy to peanuts only or to tree nuts and sesame?
d. Is her airborne allergy to peanuts only or to tree nuts and sesame?

I am not understanding why this is necessary if the school board's form that I submitted to my daughter's pediatrician didn't request the information.

Am I just being super-sensitive about this? I am just feeling as though this is a stall tactic and quite frankly I am wondering why she needs numbers of scores if my daughter's doctor has already stated that she's anaphylactic and when her most recent test was conducted.

We also just had a three hour meeting with the building principal, superintendent, special ed director, school nurse and my husband and I. These issues never came up.

Sorry to vent!!

Posted on: Fri, 08/06/2004 - 9:09am
Chicago's picture
Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

Sorry, I have not seen posts from you before, so forgive me if I do not know something in your history with the school...
With the exception of #1 (that I will comment on later) I think they seem like good/fair questions that would help keep your child safe (do we need to check lockers for allergens - do we need to do all precautions for sesame, peanut and almond when typical - only peanut has airbourne reactions etc...). In good faith I would assume that they are asking for more info in order to put together the best enviroment possible. Your providing that info w/o getting defensive may be a good start to a partnership that will help them help your child and other FA kids. I mean if your child was in a wheelchair, would you be offended by questions that revolved around his moblity? Being seen as a helpful partner vs a P.O. parent is in your best advantage for the future.
As to #1- they are asking specifically about an allergist vs a peditritian. The allergist statement may be something that they need to make modifications. While I am sure that some peds. are very allergy aware, I know that ours just sent my PA/ TNA dd home with a "don't eat them and you won't grow out of it" warning, so I obviously needed an allergist for better advice.
Good luck to your child in school and I hope this all works out.

Posted on: Fri, 08/06/2004 - 9:58am
California Mom's picture
Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I dislike the questions and the fact that they were asked. [img][/img] I think they are setting you up to try and poke holes through your dr.'s request for a nut and sesame free environment. I am at the library and it is closing! I will try to get back.
Good luck!

Posted on: Fri, 08/06/2004 - 10:08am
meadow's picture
Joined: 10/21/2003 - 09:00

Dear Chicago,
Thank you for giving me your opinion. I agree with you about being cooperative versus angry. My husband and I have been nothing but cooperative, even when we've been spoken down to, strong-armed etc.. We followed guidelines set forth by the board of education and at the eleventh hour the rules are changing.
We were supposed to have a meeting today to go over the revised 504 Plan. Late yesterday I received an email telling me the school nurse is on vacation and won't be able to attend so we need to reschedule. Had I not checked my email last night I would not have been aware of the cancellation. At our original meeting we knew of the nurse's vacation and we all agreed we would hold the meeting without her.
The questions asked about airborne to all three allergens were answered at the meeting. We have never taken our daughter to an allergist. Our pediatrician specializes in allergies, asthma and nutrition. He has gone above and beyond what we've asked him to do for us, has spent countless hours on the phone with us and during office visits and I don't think an allergist could have served our daughter any better. I feel he is capable of interpreting RAST results and he relayed all pertinent information to the school as they requested of him.
I agree with you about answering the question about peanut butter in lockers, but my daughter will be in kindergarten with no lunch program at a school with a kindergarten wing. I do not agree with being asked if she is able to go to stores etc. This has no bearing on her education and if it relates to school trips that is addressed in her 504 outline.
To me this was another attempt at stalling the approval of the 504 plan.
I will fill out the necessary forms they are requiring, but will not provide them with numeric values of her test scores since no medical doctor is on staff to interpret the results. I am just not understanding the value of many of the questions.
Our doctor's letter was thorough and listed a history of reactions, symptoms, treatments etc and the last date of testing.
It just angers me that at the eleventh hour this is happening. We are donating a large number of classroom resources to help educate classmates, have supplied the school with educational materials - all cost money and it seems the cooperation is not being reciprocated.
I apologize for the rant and maybe tomorrow I will see I am over-reacting, then again I may not. Regardless, thanks for listening and responding!!

Posted on: Fri, 08/06/2004 - 11:30am
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

meadow, we provided our school district with a letter from the allergist and copies of his testing to verify the allergy. He also was given a checklist with certain accomodations and they had him check which he felt were necessary.
I didn't have a problem with them verifying this info, because there are alot of accomodations and he has a personal aide. Obviously they need to make sure its necessary. To prove what I mean, there was a little girl in his class who said she was pa, and her mother said she was pa. The nurse kept calling her to try and get an epi and a dr. letter. NO results. And the second week of school what does she bring for lunch? Pb&j. Obviously no allergy.
I think they also want it in writing how severe her allergies are, airborne, etc.
The only thing I would be uncomfortable answering is about her being able to go shopping, etc.

Posted on: Fri, 08/06/2004 - 11:45am
Peg541's picture
Joined: 12/29/2002 - 09:00

Sounds to me like the kind of questions you might WANT the school to ask. At least they are thinking.
My son's college had similar questions, not in writing though.
They wanted to know if another student in the dorm was eating PB could it travel thru the ventilation stystem to DS room?
I felt it was a decent well thought out question and was able to answer as best I could.
I would cooperate as best I could and you will have the school on your side.

Posted on: Fri, 08/06/2004 - 12:10pm
meadow's picture
Joined: 10/21/2003 - 09:00

I agree with verifying the allergy. My daughter's pediatrician has already done this. The letter to the school district gave a history of her allergy, symptoms, severity, etc. I'm uncertain why another letter is necessary.
The school district has verified information with my daughter's preschool and we have given them every other piece of information requested. It seems redundant, and the other questions seem invasive.
As for the girl in your child's school. That is insane. We would never lie about our children have this type of allergy. Our pediatrician's letter verifies the truthfulness.
I just don't like having a meeting cancelled via email the night before then the day of the meeting receiving an email requesting more information. To me that tells me they were never prepared to give us the revised 504 Plan in the first place.
I apologize if I am coming across defensively. I'm just feeling like I'm being given the runaround.

Posted on: Fri, 08/06/2004 - 1:07pm
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

meadow, I hope you didn't think I was saying you might be lying!! I just wanted to tell you why they may be leary of just making accomodations without verification. Hope you didn't take it that way! [img][/img]

Posted on: Sat, 08/07/2004 - 1:29am
Chicago's picture
Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

Thank you for the additional information.
I think that I would, in writing, respond to all of the Special Ed. director's points in the following manner: 1) if it is a question you feel you have already answered in the 504 or in your early discussion - quickly restate or source where the question is answered. (For example you said that field trips were already covered in your documentation, just say that and give the page #). Don't answer it again and don't say anything different that might come back to haunt you if they say they cannot follow your requests because you are inconsistent.
If the question is "new" such as the request for an allergist's tests etc... I would ask a question back to them "Since Dr. XX's letter covered that subject and since allergies are his special area of expertise and he has treated dd for X years, what additional info are you hoping that the allergist report will provide you with?" It may be as simple as they have to have an allergist statement due to some policy and this is not a request specifically aimed at your child's situation. I know that that is dumb, but schools sometimes have cumbersome policies that have developed over time. And if you do end up having to go to an allergist, you will then have in writing exactly what they require from that report, so it would be more difficult for them to add additional hoops for you all to go through. Also phrasing this as sort of a "so I can get the correct info for you" is a very cooperative postition. If they come back with something like "we don't think these changes are really necessary" or "we require test numbers to judge how accomadating we need to be" then you have another issue.
I agree that this last minute stuff must be frustrating. Hopefully if you get thru all this this year in the future everything will be set up for you.

Posted on: Sat, 08/07/2004 - 6:12am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

I can't remember if you've ever posted about it, but for some reason, I am wondering if you are in IL? (If you don't want to answer, completely understand, if you want to answer per email, my email is in my profile).

Posted on: Sat, 08/07/2004 - 7:40am
meadow's picture
Joined: 10/21/2003 - 09:00

No I don't think your were accusing me of lying at all!!!
I appreciate any input!!!


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