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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 923
Location: Oakville, Ontario
The principal at my son's Montessori school has asked if I could make a presentation to the parents at the "Parent Information" evening this September 2006. I'm assuming they would like me to speak for just a couple of minutes, so I really want to make a big impact with the parents in just a few short minutes. I really want to try and reach as many people as possible, and to help them "get it". I'm sure others on the forum have made similar presentations, and I would really like to hear any suggestions you might have. Thank you in advance!

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:10 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Clarington
As you have a time limit(find out exactly how long you have) you might want to make sure you have a handout to give parents to cover anything you didn't have time for or needs to be reiterated. Also extra copies for the principal to hand out to parents who are not able to attend will help extend your reach.

One thing I found useful when talking to parents is to describe the sequence of symptoms and events during my son's reaction and include any intervention at hospital. Eyes go wide with astonishment. Most people do not know what happens during a reaction, teach them. Then follow with the importance of avoidance strategies and why their help in this matter is vital and appreciated.

I also might include a copy of Isabel Grant's article, "Life, Liberty & Peanut Butter?" (which I will find the link and post shortly). I know your son's list of allergies is beyond pb and not sure how you and your school is handling this but I think the concept of community and social responsibility should strike a cord in the Montessori philosophy and will hopefully resonate with parents.

Although this final recommendation is not related to your presentation I found it helpful. At the end of the year, I sent a handwritten note to each child and their family thanking them for their efforts in keeping my child safe. And of course I sent one to all staff.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:10 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Clarington
Here's the link I hope

http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/Articles/E ... iberty.pdf


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
I think it's fantastic that your principal is asking you to do this! Who better than a parent to talk about this subject!

Kudos to your school.

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 1:02 am
Posts: 164
Location: Winnipeg
Maybe you'd want to point out that "just a little bit" of an allergen is NOT okay. I'm really finding that to be one of the bigger barriers in helping family and friends to understand Alexander's allergies. I think it's a common misconception, especially when people frequently confuse food allergies with intolerances.

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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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
I haven't yet encountered this as my son hasn't yet started school but from other experiences, I'd just suggest that if you can get the important factual info out but try to present it in a way that includes the other parents, I think you'll make more of an impact. Sometimes I think our need (and sense of urgency) for others to understand how important it is that they "get it" can isolate people. If it's more about how we can all work together to make the environment safe for allergic kids, I think people will respond more positively (just as Andrea has talked about). I believe that all people really do want to help -- but it takes including them in the process and offering specifics on what they can do to help. Perhaps a handout (simply put together, maybe in point form) of the important facts that you want parents to remember so that they have something to take with them to refer to periodically throughout the year. Try to keep it to one page so that they don't feel bogged down with reading material and be inclinded to push it aside. Perhaps include websites to important allergy related sites so that they can get more info if they wish.
Quote:
At the end of the year, I sent a handwritten note to each child and their family thanking them for their efforts in keeping my child safe.

I think your note giving at the end of the year is a fantastic idea and a great gesture Andrea -- I think the "thank you's" are just as important as the "please's". I read somewhere else in the forum that someone handed out "SAFE - support allergic friends everywhere" red bracelets to the kids in their child's class at the end of the year as a thank you - another great idea!
Speak from the heart - parent to parent - I think they'll respond to your requests for help and compassion in keeping your child safe.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 923
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Thanks so much for some great ideas! I will definitely incorporate these into the presentation. If anyone has any other tips, please feel free to add them to the list.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Julie - if you're looking for good info, you could take a look at the Allergy Safe Communities website. It's based on the new national anaphylaxis guidelines, and is aimed at the lay community (i.e. non-medical professionals).

http://www.allergysafecommunities.ca

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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