Talking Allergies

Spoke to teacher...not sure how I to respond
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Author:  _Susan_ [ Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:17 am ]
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The other thing was about celebrations:

We agreed to a buffet of foods to be served at Halloween provided the foods be fruits and vegetables that the parents send in whole/unpeeled. I will volunteer that day to wash, peel and cut the food. We will supply 2 veggie dips and 2 fruit dips for which the school will reimburse us. The one junk food will be Lay's plain potato chips (Lay's is free of her allergens and unlike some brands lables more than just "vegetable" oil-another pet peeve of mine).

In this way the teacher can have all students participate in bringing healthy foods and she can discuss manners etc.

The Christmas celebration will focus on sights and sounds of food.

We will discuss Valentines at a later date.

Author:  _Susan_ [ Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:14 pm ]
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Oh poop! :shock: (can I say that-I guess so, I'm the moderator)

Most recent letter to Principa (practicing pat them, poke them, pat them)l:
I'm so glad we had the opportunity to sit down with both you and Mrs H. I really appreciate the way all the staff at --- Elementary School are receptive to working with L and I to find solutions that allow Rl to feel both safe and included in all aspects of school life. I know that isn't the situation with other parents dealing with other schools. I think it says a lot about your leadership.

I spoke to R about implementing what we came up with at Monday's meeting. She is thrilled to be able to invite a classmate to sit with her. I am sending plenty of wipes so it shouldn't be a problem for her to wipe down the reading desk. She understands that it may have traces of allergens as many people use it and who knows what they eat at home.

When I asked her if she felt comfortable self-advocating in relationship to her classmates she didn't think she really could, so she's relieved to know that her moving is pre-approved. During this discussion, R told me that B, who sits beside her, ate nuts on Friday September 11Th during the first snack of the day. She's fairly certain it was cashews but she's not 100% sure. (We do work with her to recognise her allergens)

She states her teacher was present but isn't sure if Mrs. H noticed. I emphazied that she is able to move to the reading table during any meal (snack or lunch) if she feels uncomfortable. I asked her to please let the teacher be aware as well (so that she can reinforce the policies, ensure the desks are wiped down and keep an eye out for potential reactions).

I want to let you be aware of this, I think it just reinforces how important Monday's meeting was.

Thanks again,

Just trying to breathe over here. :(

Author:  BC2007 [ Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:41 pm ]
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How did eating at her desk work out the past couple days?

Author:  _Susan_ [ Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:12 pm ]
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She ate at her desk yesterday, poor kid...she was looking forward to inviting her friend to the other table.

She told the other kids and they couldn't believe that she has 'special privleges" :roll: . Trust my kid will find a way to work the system!

Author:  _Susan_ [ Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:14 pm ]
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So today the teacher asked her to tidy up her classmates desk (he was away and she'd finished tidying hers. She puts his pencils away, writes in one of his books and finds a bunch of garbage in his desk including sandwhich wrappers. If she's not to pick up garbage from the school yard, she's not to pick up garbage from the other students' desks. :roll:

Clearly, I need to have yet another discussion with the teacher.

Author:  BC2007 [ Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:35 am ]
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One step forward, two steps back, one step forward two steps back!!!

Author:  gwentheeditor [ Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:52 pm ]
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Hang in there, Ms. Susan, doing a great job.

But anybody who thinks once you have school ana. legislation, you get to put your feet up should read this thread.

Anybody with a child with dairy allergy - make sure to read Susan's article in the new Fall issue of AL. Her advice is outstanding. As you can tell, it comes from experience. :wink:

Author:  _Susan_ [ Sat Sep 19, 2009 5:56 pm ]
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What amazes me is that I am sure there is a note on my daughters file about how agressive I can be...see the following thread ... ight=#2759

Author:  _Susan_ [ Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Spoke to teacher...not sure how I to respond

Letter sent to the principal This past Monday :roll: :
"I wish to bring to your attention a lesson plan, created by the University of Ottawa and brought in by the student teacher that was in R--'s class. The discussion regarding its potential use may have caused some friction between Mrs. H, 'hubby' and me.

Last Monday, May 4TH, 'hubby' and I received an outline of the lesson plan. It proposed digging in chocolate chip cookies for the chocolate chips as an example of mining. We received the papers in R--'s agenda Monday evening with a note asking for feedback as this was a lesson plan that the teacher would like to use.

Since Monday happens to be a busy night for us, we planned to discuss this Tuesday evening and respond Wednesday morning. I arrived home Tuesday evening to find that 'hubby' had spoken to Mrs. H. It had not gone well and that she was calling me back shortly. The lesson was planned for the following day.

I was disappointed to see food in the lesson plan again. During the discussion, I made some suggestions such as of having the children dig beads out of Plaster of Paris and she simply stated that they would not do the lesson plan. I was frustrated that Mrs. H was not willing to consider using a different item in the plan. I was dismayed that the university was still encouraging food in lesson plans.

Then, I was outraged that she involved R-- in this discussion. Just prior to the call, 'hubby' told me that Mrs. H had asked R-- about safe granola bars. I told Mrs. H that I felt it was wrong to speak to R-- directly, about this lesson plan and asked her about granola bars. Mrs. H explained that she was helping R- to problem solve. This is similar to the incident last year when R-- was repeatedly hit on the wrist by another student so much that her wrist was beet red, three hours later. When asked about that, Mrs. H stated that she was trying to encourage R-- to self advocate. I feel that Mrs. H tries to somehow make the child responsible. I find this unacceptable when it comes to issues of safety, the teacher must take responsibility.

I know that I came across to Mrs. H as annoyed. I was. A nine year old does not need to work out the teacher’s lesson plans for her. Self advocating and problem solving are not difficult for R-- when it comes to the issues that most nine year olds face. We refuse to ask her to be responsible for issues involving her medical condition as it is life threatening. We have a plan to involve her in middle school and have her take on more responsibility in high school. Right now, she's just a little girl and she has the right to be a child.

I mentioned all of this to Mrs. H and I don't know if she took any of this to heart. I want to have a good relationship with R--'s teachers and I feel that I have in the past with other teachers, but when it comes to Mrs. H, she does not seem to hear me. She has never taken responsibility and seems very defensive. I don't feel that Mrs. H fully understands the seriousness of R--'s allergies or that, to R--, a peanut, tree nut, egg, dairy or most legumes- all are equally deadly since they will all equally produce an anaphylaxis reaction

Had I known that during her conversation with 'hubby', Mrs. H had appealed to 'hubby' to "Think of the other children", I would have been livid. I suspect this is where their conversation began to go badly.

We think of the other children often; every time we scour store shelves looking for items that are safe for R--. Does Mrs. H know that there is not one chocolate Easter item that is safe for R-- on store shelves? That the granola bars which R-- mentioned have to be mail ordered? I do not feel sorry for the other children that they can't dig in cookie during class time. I think it is insulting for her to try such a manipulative ploy as that. I honestly feel that Mrs. H tries to hard to be the students’ friend and not hard enough trying to be a guiding force in their lives. A job well done is its own reward. We don't need to add candy and treats to the lesson plans.

Please consider providing Mrs. H with a refresher course on anaphylaxis. I do not feel that she understands the gravity of the situation. I am sorry to say this as earlier this school year, 'hubby' and I met with her for 45 minutes and tried to empress this upon her.

I am sure that there is something in R--'s Individual Anaphylaxis Plan about avoiding food in lesson plans whenever possible. How aware of the lesson plans are you? Must the teachers have them approved by you? I imagine that lesson plans are recycled from one year to another. With the rapid increase in severe food allergies in children, it might be an idea to look at this and make adjustments proactively.

We want R--’s teachers to feel that they can speak to 'hubby' or I about lesson plans and we are happy to help them find a way to make the lesson safe for all the students. We expect R--'s class to be inclusive at all times. You may not be aware but, when food was integral to the Grade 2 lesson plan on communion, we were happy to make the bread and purchase sulphite-free grape juice. However, when there is no need for food to be in the classroom, I will try to encourage alternatives when ever possible.

My personal opinion is that it is wrong on several levels to use food as a medium in lesson plans. There are so many people in the world who go without food. I think it is wrong to encourage treats and chocolate during Lent as it puts the children who have given them up in conflict. It does not make sense from a funding stand point to purposely choose items for lesson plans that cause an extra mess for the custodian. Food must be purchased each year; it would be preferable to use something like coloured beads as these can be re-purposed into several lesson plans.

Thank you for your attention in matter, we confidently await your reply."
Sent the e-mail Monday at noon and hapened to run into the principal Tuesday morning while dropping dd off. 8) She was appropriately conerned and sympathetic to our issue. We met in her office for over 30 minutes. She had a staff meeting later that day and planned to readdress anaphylaxis training. She agreed with us on all counts regarding the use of foods in lesson plans. She offered to write a letter to the University of Ottawa but I said that I'd write one. "I have no trouble witing letters" :rofl

I also told her that I did mention to the teacher that I felt food in lesson plans goes againts Bill 3 (AKA Sabrina's Law) "plans to reduce of risk of exposure to allergens" as well, that the Ontario Ministry of Education states in under safe schools, that "The Ontario government is committed to a safe and inclusive school environment because we believe that safe schools are needed for student success and academic achievement. We are committed to providing all students with the supports they need to learn, grow and achieve."


Author:  BC2007 [ Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Spoke to teacher...not sure how I to respond

Did you receive any response yet...from anyone??

Author:  alberta advocate [ Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

gwentheeditor wrote:
But anybody who thinks once you have school ana. legislation, you get to put your feet up should read this thread.

grrrr......I just read the first two......only 2 ....posts on that thread viewtopic.php?p=2759&highlight=#2759 and think we should start there.....but I am really :verymad right now .....

Author:  _Susan_ [ Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Spoke to teacher...not sure how I to respond

But, dd loves her school and classmates! Her classmates are great, they will speak up for her and have never complained about missing anything. She gets invited to lots of parties.

Our principal is level headed and totally supports us.

At the PTA meeting 2 days ago, we were brainstorming fundraisers etc. We wanted to look at lunch options and pizza was dismissed matter of factly.

It's just this teacher. She wants to make the children like her. I find this type of personality the most dangerous.

Author:  alberta advocate [ Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Spoke to teacher...not sure how I to respond

What made me angry is this question "does your daughter usually accept food from adults?" I hate questions like that..viewtopic.php?p=2759&highlight=#2759 ..(I'm hoping the writer has changed her thoughts on that) me it is right up there with...why don't you homeschool your child? I got over my mad by reading the rest of that thread and do have more than a few comments...but will try to limit them :lol: plus, ya know the housework & laundry? still here...and I have to shovel.
I noticed "federal" being mentioned in that same thread a few times regarding the schools....trouble with that is education and health are provincially that is one of the reasons why we have so many different policies. Not only across Canada...(or the United States) but in divisions and schools....there seems to be a great gap somewhere....and no one regulates any of it....the health and safety of our children in schools is left to the individual principal at each school and if that person isn't on board with you, then it is like a huuuge rock and hard place...Susan, you have a way with a pen (as they used to say) but I worry about kids in schools that are not advocated for on an individual basis...just because no one there has had a bad scare....this isn't rocket science.....the people that we entrust our children with should not have any problem at all with learning as they did get into this because they love learning, didn't they? The information has been all there for the most part....but there are no consistancies here in Alberta still and states down south & Alaska are probably going to do the same thing.....that voluntary law. :banghead When dealing with an emergency, that is not the time to be wishing that you had volunteered to learn about how to keep kids safe and what to do now.......

ranting.....whew.... and we're still waiting for our "new School Act" although the Alberta Government seems to think everything here is just fine because the old one says so "safe and caring" :roll:

Author:  alberta advocate [ Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Spoke to teacher...not sure how I to respond

Forgot to mention.....people eat way too much junk......our health $ cannot support all these unhealthy kids let alone the adults....and did I say anything about trying to get school administration on board? What if your superintendent and trustees just don't want to deal with any of this.....a parent has no one to go to for help if they feel their requests are not being complied with.....only if you can afford a lawyer....or if something goes horribly wrong....and then things at least get looked at....

Author:  _Susan_ [ Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Spoke to teacher...not sure how I to respond

Oh the poster in that thread you mentioned! She's great, don't worry. She was a regular poster and has many ana allergies herself. I love that she is willing to ask the hard questions simple to clairify the issues and she passes no judgement. She is actually a member of my local support group so no wories.
I don't want you to read that thread and become so enraged that you are not able to move forward. That thread was started when dd was 3 and started school. That was also the first school year that Sabrina's law came into effect so it was a learning curve for everyone.

I wanted to keep a timeline of our experiences since I'm not very organized. I have gotten better because I had to but then, we'd moved into our home the day before school started and it was still only partially renovated.

So, you see, we've actually come a long way but even with legislation and a supportive principal and administrative staff (who is allergic to latex), we still have our challenges.

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