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Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 4:51am
gvmom's picture
Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

[b]My superintendent offerred it to us.[/b]
Is that based solely on your child(s) FA's?

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 5:22am
PinkPoodle's picture
Joined: 06/12/2007 - 09:00

I think my DD qualifies for an IEP based on her life-threatening food allergies and asthma. She will have a 1:1 aide this year during lunch and recess. Her classroom environment needs to be altered (peanut-free) in order for her to attend school (per her doctors). The school offered us the 504 before she even started there. Now a year plus later I'm wondering if we sought the wrong designation. I can only think the reason they do not want her to have an IEP (& funds associated) is because it also requires them to do so much more in terms of compliance, meetings, etc..
DD missed about 10 days (going from memory) last year due to her asthma. If this happens again this year, we'll have to read up and pursue the IEP. The educational advocate I spoke with multiple times also suggested that we look into IEP. She was under the impression it offers more protection to the student and said if my DD doesn't qualify for an IEP for OHI, she doesn't know who would.
I don't have a good answer for why we are not pursuing it right now---I guess I feel like we're on such a rocky boat that one more rock and we'll fall off [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
CorvallisMom-I think the important thing to remember is that your DD is at home rather than the B&M school due to her disability---that is a significant alteration to her learning environment. She absolutely would be qualified under IDEA law. I'm not sure you 'need' that vs. 504 right now, but I think your DD qualifies (not that I hold much weight in the educational systems [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] ). While you might only need the accomodation of new supplies/books right now...add that to the need for her to be educated in your egg-free, peanut-free, etc.. home.
#1 Mouser can add her thoughts as she is much better educated about IEP vs. 504 than I am.
Alternative to Mainstream-I read your resurfaced posts about what you had to do for your son. It made me sick reading about the treatment he (and you) experienced. You should be really proud of how far you came!

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 5:59am
notnutty's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

Mouser...you are fortunate...most schools do not [b]offer[/b] anything. I have had to fight for every accommodation (for LDs not PA) my son has. Fight, fight, fight for [b]everything[/b].
I don't want to turn this into an IEP v. 504 thread...that is not how it started (sorry gvmom for the sideline). There are many threads regarding the details of 504 v. IEP. However, I just wanted to clarify that most of us have to fight for IEPs and the administartion does not offer much (unless it is for profit as in the unhealthy lunches and snacks that are served on a daily basis.)
Sorry for the ramble...too many ideas in my head at one time....whew.
ETA: One more thing. I too believe that a 504 is special education. It does not bother me in the least. He is designated special education (IEP for speech) regardless of his PA.
[This message has been edited by notnutty (edited August 17, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 7:00am
gvmom's picture
Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

[b](sorry gvmom for the sideline). [/b]
That's okay. I just think as I read all of this, as we in our own community debate IDEA/IEP vs 504, and fight with schools over designations & accommodations, we still have to do something in the meantime.
While DH and I fight with the school, make complaints, write letters, etc., we still have to do something... right now.... with our boys.
Sure, it involves at the moment not sending them to school possibly.
But even if the school agrees, and what if out of nowhere they offered an IEP, what would we do on any single given day when that is violated?
Do you still send in a safe snack box with and IEP? Should you send in a safe snack box with an IEP? Does it undermine the IEP if you give them an "out"? Does it undermine your position that is one mandating an IEP if you do send in a treat box.... recognizing that there is an out if they violate it? "Well, it turned out okay anyway.... your son was safe.... he had one of those treats you sent in."
Do you still hold yourself to the same Standard of Care that you hold the school to if you have an IEP?
We can list reasons up one side and down why FA's should be IEP or not, or if they should be 504 or not.
When it comes down to it, what are YOU going to do for the day to day management of occurences when a parent or teacher either knowingly, or by mistake, does something that doesn't go according to your plan?
I mean, really? My son is designated. He has accommodations. Unless I stood at the door of the classroom all day long, everyday, food got in. It was dispensed. In conflict with the rules for food in the classroom. In violation of his 504.
No treat box was opened or given to my son when that happened.
I wasn't notified in advance.... even two minutes before.... of most of the food that violated his 504. And the notifications that we got was by happenstance. By accident really. Nothing directly from the teacher.
The teacher flat out said to DH and I that she would have no problem turning away food. But she didn't.
I spent lots of last year writing letters of understanding. Lots of phone calls. Discussions & meetings with the principal went on.
In the moment though, what will your stance be?
Bear with me for a minute and imagine if you will:
Big gooey cupcakes are getting into your child's classroom today. The parent doesn't even think about the ingredients. Drops them off at lunchtime on the teachers desk so the kids can have them during the last period of the day. The teacher thinks they are so great. It'll be great too, she can give the cupcakes during the last 20 minutes of class and not have to deal with teaching. She'll get a break.... doesn't think that day about your kids FA's. The principal is at a conference. And all your district contacts aren't in the building, they are in their offices, scattered around the city, looking at emails and wondering how to deal with your last complaint.
What then?
How much pause will that teacher have if she goes to pass out the cupcakes and has that "stop in your tracks" moment, realizing that your child can't have the stuff.
If you send in a safe treat box... as part of an IEP or 504..... is that teacher more likely to think, "Darn... he has allergies... I can't pass these out... oh, wait... I can just give him one of those treats from that box in the cupboard."
Wouldn't you rather they think, and probably likely, "Darn.... he has allergies. I can't pass these out. Now what? *looking at your kid* Maybe I can just pass them out as the kids leave the class for the day." .... and even better still.... "Darn, I can't pass these out because of that kid's FA's. Guess I'll have to just leave them and give them back to that parent." ... ideally.... "Darn. I wish these parents would stop sending in junk food. Why can't they send in something that has nothing to do with food. Then it would keep these FA kids safe, help prevent obesity, and just be healthier overall. I'm so sick of these Cupcake Queens. That woman will just have to take these da&^ cupcakes back home with her when she comes to pick up her kid.... who really doesn't need a cupcake anyway. Spoiled brat."

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 7:08am
gvmom's picture
Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

I just re-read that last part and realized I forgot the last point of my fantasy.... it was really good wasn't it? You know, the last option?
Anyway, point is..... do you want them to stop... give pause... and not have an option that lets them off the hook?
Is there anything in these people, and, *rolling my eyes*, they are human.... that would recognize at least the simplest of math:
1(the kid has FA's and can't eat a cupcake) + 1 (if I pass these out, he can't have one and will be the only one without one) = 2 (maybe I shouldn't pass them out)
I do realize this does require math competence, but, I'm assuming as part of standardized requirements for a teaching license, most teachers have to at least know how to do single digit math. No fractions, multiplication, or division in that equation either.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 7:22am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

No, *some* of these teachers have advanced math and critical thinking skills:
[b] 1 [/b] Mommy-Queen has brought in [b] 20 [/b] cupcakes,
+ [b] 1 [/b] FA child cannot eat this, so he must DO WITHOUT, for safety's sake, SO
= [b] 2 [/b] cupcakes for teacher (me, ME, ME!!) to eat while all the kids pig out & I shall be so busy stuffing my face that I cannot possibly even see the FA kid.
So who cares. The End.
[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 17, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 7:33am
gvmom's picture
Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

Okay. I actually laughed at the same time that I knew that is true too.
But... do they take you more seriously when you stand there mad at them when your kid ended up eating something safe you sent, or do they take you more seriously if you stand there mad at them with FA's and complete exclusion?
We've debated "separate but equal" right? To me it is illegal. But that is what snack boxes do.
But, isn't plain out "separate" wrong?
Isn't blatant exclusion even easier for people to understand?
Aside from my previous points, I think having a snack box confuses people. They just see that you sent in a safe food for them to give your kid when something they can't have comes in. Registering the point is too much brain work for them.
I think even the dimmest of bulbs could get -- when a parent is telling them of course -- that a child can't be excluded.
Plus, wouldn't you have a complaint for the OCR just based on exclusion based on disability, in addition to the many ways it would violate a 504?

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 8:49am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I guess my worry is that a teacher who is already violating the provisions of a 504 in that manner may actually be so thoughtless as to think, "Oh.... what nice cupcakes! How awesome of that mom to think of us. I'll pass them out during that last class period."
With [b] NO thought for the food allergy. NONE.[/b]
With some kids, this might have a happy ending, but I honestly wonder how many K-2 kids (even the most responsible among them) would really [i]always[/i] say "No." All it would take is [i]once.[/i]
Oh, sure, I'd sue the pants off the teacher, the parent (assuming notice had been given to the other parents in the class at some point) and the district too.... SURE it would be negligence. SURE it would be a 504 violation. No question how it would turn out, either.
But it wouldn't bring my kid back.
And anything [i]less[/i] than that type of scenario is probably going to get shrugged off with some explanation of how it is "okay" because "{child} knows s/he can't have that and reminded me," or even "{child} knew just what to do during an allergic reaction." [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]
What will the teacher do if she's passed out HALF of the cupcakes before she remembers that "Doh! The allergy kid. RIGHT." She'll say "OOOOOPSIE.... I'll, umm, get you a sticker. Or something. Later." And then she'll keep passing them out. Little choice at that point, KWIM?
Maybe it's just me. There [i]is[/i] after all, another scenario. [i]"Ohhhh.... [b]CR@P.[/b] Another set of flippin cupcakes. GREAT. Like I have the freakin time for THIS today...I'm supposed to be doing test prep this afternoon.... Well, they'll be back from music in ten minutes, or I could do it after lunch. Oh, no-- then the special ed kids go to the resource room for language arts until test prep at 1:30. Might as well pass them out sooner rather than later since they're already amped up anyway after music. Maybe they'll settle down later on if I just get it over with so that they aren't sitting here. GOOD GRIEF I wish parents would quit doing this."[/i]
(As the daughter of one of this variety. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )
Perspective-- that's all. That classroom teacher we are relying on to do this is ALSO thinking about a lot of other things. A LOT. Like it or not, 'inclusion' of our kids (or anyone else's) isn't always going to be at the top of that list.
What gvmom is saying, though, I get. And agree with, at least in theory. When the teacher gets to my child's theoretical desk and starts to put a cupcake on a paper towel in front of her.... THEN that teacher will think about exclusion. BUT-- two things are wrong with that. 1. Obviously, what if-- at that moment-- the person handing out those cupcakes simply doesn't recognize that my child [i]must NOT[/i] have one? And what if my child decides-- in that moment-- that NOTHING is worse than not licking the frosting off of that cupcake right along with her classmates?
2. Even if the teacher remembers, the rest of the class' cupcakes are out already, right? The exclusion is a reality at that point. A done deal. She will sit there with [i]nothing.[/i] (Or the promised "uhh, sticker.")
Just thinking out here... free association, if you will.

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 9:11am
ceross's picture
Joined: 01/27/2004 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Corvallis Mom:
With some kids, this might have a happy ending, but I honestly wonder how many K-2 kids (even the most responsible among them) would really [i]always[/i] say "No." All it would take is [i]once.[/i]
This happened with my DD last year. Her kindergarten teacher gave each student a candy cane and told them not to eat them until they got home. According to DD, the teacher read the label and said there were no nuts in them (she's also egg allergic, though). Thankfully, DD did not eat it but I had to be the bad guy and take it away when she got home. When I emailed the teacher about it, she said she didn't want DD to be left out. We'd noted on DD's allergy plan that she's not to be fed anything not provided by us.
Cupcakes arriving at school unannounced are pretty common. That's why I leave a box of safe snacks at school (mini Oreos, etc.) for DD so that she can at least have some treat. I guess I don't look at this as an inclusion issue with her. I mean she already has different treats when she goes to parties, so this is just part of her life.
Is it fair? Of course not. But it's hardly fair that she has these allergies to begin with but it's not something she can change.
As for feeling excluded because she's different from her peers, there are so many means that kids can find to exclude other children: you don't wear the right clothes, you're fat, you wear glasses, etc. Exclusion is a lesson she'll learn anyway even though she's sunny, sweet, and young. For me, it's more productive to teach her how to handle that gracefully and that it's is not reflective of her value as a person. Also, I should model the behavior of grace for her if I expect her to learn it and that entails being gracious about these issues in the classroom. I'm not saying be a doormat but you don't need to go to the mattresses to make a point and thereby exclude and single-out your child even more.
Our school has nut-free classrooms for those students with allergies. Some items that are may contains did make their way into the classroom during the holiday parties (strangely despite the class mom having kids with severe food allergies) but those posed less of a risk to DD. Birthday cupcakes were handed out during snack, which was held in the cafeteria.
We also have a very simple rule for DD (who is 6): You don't eat anything not provided or checked by mommy/daddy. So forcing parents to bring in a celebratory snack free of all her allergens that she wouldn't be allowed to eat anyway wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be fair to the other 24 kids in her class who do not have allergies. My daughter is one person and the world does not revolve around her even despite her allergies. Certainly, safeguards should be in place and if those are violated, I'll deal with them but asking for protections that would serve no purpose would only serve to make other families resent us.
[This message has been edited by ceross (edited August 17, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2007 - 9:23am
gvmom's picture
Joined: 08/24/2005 - 09:00

That's okay. I guess part of it all is that I have the advantage, if you will, of having gone through those scenarios.
Having a safe snack box -- which never got used. Not because I said,"Don't use it"... but because the teacher and my son didn't think of it at the time it was necessary.
Having the kid that did eat something he knew he wasn't supposed to.
Having the kid that ate something he knew he wasn't supposed to, but remembered to ask if it had nuts.
Having a teacher that believed it was okay for my son to opt out of a math lesson so he wouldn't be using the candy that wasn't supposed to be used AT ALL.
Having a parent think it was okay to feed my son something she made from home, which apparently the teacher had told her to call me about, which she never did, and the teacher never told me about until I was standing in the classroom with food all around, as I asked her what my son ate, to which her answer was "I don't know".
Having a teacher who paid no attention to what foods my son ate in her own classroom, foods which shouldn't have been there in the first place according to his 504, foods she knew were going to be there long before they were, foods she could have said no to, foods that not a single person let us in on that I could smell as I walked in the door of the school (and when I walked in that door, smelled the waft of it... my stomach sank... and I had a whole hall to walk down, to make a left, to walk down to the end of the hall, getting to that classroom door to realize I wasn't wrong about my sinking feeling).
I could really go on, and on, and on....
My point is, I know it will happen once. I don't want it to be so... but reality is, that it will. And I am really not the luckiest of women by most standards, but I know, all joking aside, that I am. Why you ask? Because, my son actually is alive at the end of the year that we had. But, what things make it less likely to happen again... if at all?
I guess I am just thinking that exclusion isn't something that most people don't get.
If you are standing talking to people and try and discuss the subtleties of it all you lose them. Relateable. Easy.
Exclude = Wrong to most people. Exclude = Illegal to many people. It is simple. It is easy. It is easier to say "If you exclude my child you will be in trouble" -- and easier for them to get. "If you end up giving my son a treat from his treat box that I'm giving to you, you are still going to be in trouble for violating his 504" is harder to say, makes no sense to them because for them it is too subtle and is likely to result in repeating.
And if you just sanction food for them in the classroom, in a way that lets them associate food=okay --- without a really big catch word --- besides "death" -- then I think their minds get fuzzy and the idea is lost.
It could just be me, but it is okay. I will try it. I am tired of trying with a safe snack box. IT DOESN'T WORK EITHER AND COMPROMISES THE ENTIRE PRINCIPLE.
In ATM's words, "It is do-able" -- and if it isn't, if everything completely fails, including all the other stuff we are going through right now, well, then we'll deal with it. And maybe I'll get my opportunity to flip them all off as I walk out those dam* doors with my boys.
But I have to look at myself in the mirror. I have to know that I didn't let "separate but equal" be okay for my sons.
In their school, they are entitled to a safe school. They are entitled to have an accessible education.
Edited to add -- And really, I'm feeling frustrated right now, for a multitude of reasons... not just here, but on my side of the computer.... but.... really..... if we don't hold a PUBLIC institution, funded with PUBLIC TAX DOLLARS to the standards that are contained in LAWS because that is just life out in the real world, then we do an enormous disservice to everyone.
Out in the Real World my 5 year old would have a 1:1 ratio. And the adult supervising him would be DH or I.... a trained individual, that follows the accommodations in the 504 plan (out in the REAL WORLD), and wouldn't expect him, 5 year old -- or 7 year old (my other son)for that matter, to take responsibility for his own allergy on a level that would be akin to a child in middle school or high school.
The reality is that you are not dealing with a real life scenario in schools.
Would you ever, in real life, leave your child with someone who was shown how to use the epi-pen once, was told basic symptoms, repeatedly gave your child food they shouldn't eat -- that could kill them, allowed other people to give your child food that could kill them and pay them for doing so?
Honestly, yes, I am testy, but no offense to the poster above, this whole notion that anything applicable in the real world is the way you approach schools is just ludicrous. It has nothing to do with the idea that the world revolves around a single child.
[This message has been edited by gvmom (edited August 17, 2007).]
[This message has been edited by gvmom (edited August 17, 2007).]


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