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 Post subject: Can you believe?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 237
Location: Thornhill
While I am trying to be optimistic, my daughter will be starting SK in the fall. I had hoped to send her to an independent school however unless my husband gets a job there next year we have significant challenges ($, pick up etc)
So... I did what I have been dreading and enrolled her at the school literally a 2 minute walk from my house.

FEAR

Walking into the admin offices, there staring me in the face were the BIG BLUE "MILK" binders. Gulp. So not surprisingly, they have a milk program (go dairy farmers, major influencer in our Canada food guide). Is it just me, or would you consider this next bit unacceptable?.... So, I raised the allergy issue and asked how they deal with allergic / anaphylactic kids presently (this is the school's first year in operation). They said she'd have to eat her lunch, isolated, outside the principal's office! and not be allowed to return until the custodian cleaned and escorted her back!!! WHAT?!?

Unfortunately, we are not in a position where home schooling can even be considered so we have to find an alternate solution. With her level of sensitivity I am terrified no matter what we settle on by right now that school either feels like Everest (in terms of influencing change and establishing the requisite amount of education, understanding and trust) or ... the Titanic.

Am I dreaming? Can they be serious?

_________________
renie
daughter: ana for egg, sesame, dairy, pistachio/cashew/hazelnut. on contact. allergic+ to soy protein isolate, environmental allergies (e.g. dogs, dust mites). asthma. eczema.
son: peanuts, tree-nuts, OAS, environmental allergies. asthma.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:02 am
Posts: 164
Location: Winnipeg
No, it's not just you... that's terrible! Ridiculous. How can they suggest something so mean for a kid! Are they actually forcing students to do this already?

I'm not sure of the hierarchy for your school division, but you might have to pursue things at a higher level.

Just my two cents worth of indignation...

Marla

_________________
*Son, 5 years old: Asperger's, allergic to eggs, peanuts, and mustard seed (outgrew dairy and soy)
*Son, 23 months old
*Hubby: allergic to cats and trees (non-specified types)
*Self: allergic to penicillin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 684
Location: Cobourg, ON
My daughter is in a school with a milk program. The staff is very knowledgeable of anaphylaxis and we have a good relationship with admin. In JK/SK she sat a a table with a small number of children. All of the children washed hands after eating and the tables were cleaned also. The milk was served with straws in the cartons and the cartons were closed up again with the straws inside to reduce the chance of spills. Older students were assigned to the class to help with this task and to monitor hand washing and help with cleaning.

I think it is a good learning experience for the students to learn how to consume milk safely around my daughter and for her to learn that she can be around it when safety measures are in place. These measures have worked well over the past 3 years. She is lucky to be in a class of very well behaved children also - they all cooperate and sit in their seats for meals. In a different class it might be a different matter maybe. We hope that if her friends are so familiar with the safety routines at such a young age then when they are teens it will be natural to continue the same measures even out of the classroom setting. This is our hope!

We met with the JK/SK teacher in June prior to our daughter starting in September. We were able to discuss preventative measures in advance and the teacher was able to prepare for the beginning of the year.
Good luck.
Kate

_________________
11 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, eggs and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
9 year old son - no allergies


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:48 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Renie, is this a publicly funded school (public or Catholic) or a private school?

You say that this is the school's first year in operation. So they are feeling their way along.

They have told you their plan at this point. This is not carved in stone.

Sometimes I had to point out to our principal that the school education is all day long and not just when the teacher is at the blackboard.

Prepare a list of what you would like to see happen in the school and start the negotiations.

I'm pretty sure that isolation is not inkeping with the schools mission statements.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
This would tick me off too.

Hopefully this will not be an issue in SK since she will not be there for lunch. Maybe this would give the school a year to understand their role and responsibilty in providing a safe ( but not isolating!) environment for your daughter.

Also keep in mind that not all kids will be having milk. In my experience it is usually only a handful of kids in each class.

Maybe she would be allowed to bring a couple of friends (whose families are aware and supportive of her allergies) with her to the office for lunch.

_________________
daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:29 pm
Posts: 218
Location: Ontario
Yikes!
My DD is at a fairly new school too. This is only it's 2nd year in operation.
A few questions - was it the admin person that told you this? Meet with the Principal as soon as you can. Does the SK class get milk? At our school it's only given to those who are there all day - Gr 1 and up.

Get involved. Join parent council. It's all about educating everyone! Teachers, Admin, Principals, your child and classmates. And know that changes won't happen overnight (unfortunately)

Good luck!

_________________
4ye old DD allergic to sesame, peanut, raw egg , and mulitple environmental & seasonal allergies

2 yr old DS -no known allergies!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:05 am
Posts: 8
Just hearing that hurts me.

When I was a bit younger, I used to eat at the far end of the classroom on a small desk at lunch time, and my friends weren't allowed to sit there. I'd watch them laugh and share jokes, and I just felt so alone at that desk.

I would hate for anyone else to go through something like that. :(

_________________
^Allergy to peanuts. Apparently not allergic to nuts anymore, avoiding anyway.^


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:36 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Shikamaru, that is the sort of thing I fear happening.

Our children have enough to deal with. They are expected to be very responsible (more responsible than the adults around them) at a very young age. They have to question authority, stand up to peer pressure and delay gratification. There is not reason that they cannot be a part of the class during the snack/lunch if measures are taken to reduce the risk of exposure to their allergens.

School is more than learning the 3 R's, it is a preparation for the world. Children learn as much about how to relate to others, take turns, resolve conflict etc.

Setting the child apart because of their medical condition is exclusionary and not acceptable. They need to ask, if this child was in a wheelchair, would we treat them like this? I think the wheelchair analogy works because a person in a wheelchair can be completely normal in every aspect and yet there is a physical limitation which requires the school to make some changes.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 237
Location: Thornhill
Shikamaru - thank you for sharing - that was exactly what I DON'T want my daughter to feel.
Susan - I agree on the analogy and am certain I am going to put that one to work for me in the future :)

While I know we have rights and it takes work and education, I was just so dismayed with the school to have even opened with that as a starting point, one they felt was acceptable. Some days I felt up to the challenge but many I did not and frankly felt that it was the last type of attitude I'd want in administration if I had to deal with difficult families as well

Our personal BIG update - we are no longer worrying about it - we actually going to move to BC this summer. My husband has gotten a job teaching at a great school in Vancouver and Noa has a placement confirmed (it's independent). Sigh of relief - the $ will be worth knowing that he is in the same building...

_________________
renie
daughter: ana for egg, sesame, dairy, pistachio/cashew/hazelnut. on contact. allergic+ to soy protein isolate, environmental allergies (e.g. dogs, dust mites). asthma. eczema.
son: peanuts, tree-nuts, OAS, environmental allergies. asthma.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:02 pm
Posts: 2
OMG, this is ridiculous!

Quote:

" They said she'd have to eat her lunch, isolated, outside the principal's office! and not be allowed to return until the custodian cleaned and escorted her back!!!"


can't imagine this is a school from CA.

_________________
Van Nuys nursery school since 1982


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 237
Location: Thornhill
That was exactly how we felt... I mean we have to educate at every turn - which we accept. At the time I wrote the email, I was just so fatigued to know that ANY school - public or private, would consider such humiliating, isolating reactions an acceptable solution.
We have been fortunate in that we have set ourselves back and have my husband in the same physical building, a supportive administration and more importantly supportive families in my DD's class. I am able to go to work (and setting mom-guilt aside for needing to work) feeling as relaxed as possible that DD has a broad social world, stimulating environment where every step is taken to be safe. Risk free? Never. Risk acceptable? As much as we could pray for... and I really feel every allergic child (and family) deserves the same

_________________
renie
daughter: ana for egg, sesame, dairy, pistachio/cashew/hazelnut. on contact. allergic+ to soy protein isolate, environmental allergies (e.g. dogs, dust mites). asthma. eczema.
son: peanuts, tree-nuts, OAS, environmental allergies. asthma.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:51 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
I am so glad that your husband was able to accept a job that offered a solution to the lunch problem.

How is that school handeling her lunch time? You are right in that we can never remove the risk 100% but we can make it manageable.

I really feel that our children and their peers will learn many positive messages through their experience with food allergies. (delaying gratification, understanding where foods come from, appreciating how everything is interconnected, planning and developing strategies as well as thinking about each other and practicing empathy)

My daughter sits in her class but at a separate table during the lunch time. I hate this but she finds it comforting. I have to learn to not project my feelings on her as it is her reality and not mine.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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