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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:25 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Hi guys -

Has anyone ever been able to snag an educational assistant (EA) to help their child with severe multiple food allergies cope at school? Does anyone know how to go about applying for an EA? It is foreign territory to me.

I am asking on behalf of one of my support group members, who has a child in SK that is having a lot of difficulties.



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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PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:02 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 692
Location: Cobourg, ON
It would be very difficult. In our board and the local public board EA time is so restricted. Even children with severe learning problems are not guaranteed enough EA time.
But it's worth a try. Here are a few suggestions:

- lots of documentation - a diagnosis from the doctor and a letter stating the child's medical needs, supporting information from the classroom teacher on specific needs of the child in the classroom, history of any reactions at school
- an official identification of the child as being exceptional by the school's special ed team. A child with MFA would be identified with medical needs. This might be difficult to get since special ed staff are limited in most boards (ours for sure).
- lots of conversations with the principal and the school board (squeaky wheel)

I don't know the situation but hopefully the school and teacher are cooperating. Consideration should be given to the age of the child as well and the nature of the classroom (i.e. large class, behaviour of the class etc)

Good luck.

13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:48 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 1:30 pm
Posts: 134
I am in Alberta and have just received funding for my son's class to have an extra aid in for one hour per day to help with snack. He is in a Junior K. I received funding through a provincial program.

myself -Shell Fish, asthma, environmental allergies
Husband - Environmental allergies
7 year old- peanut, environmental
5 year old- eggs, nuts, fish, peas, environmental, and asthma.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:48 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
I know of 3 cases in BC where the child has a full-time aide. One has a milk allergy, one has many allergies including sunflower - which would be very difficult to avoid - and one I am not sure of.

I do not know the details, it may be that the aide is supporting another child in the class, and the child with allergies is being "piggy-backed". That worked well for me when my boy was in kindergarten - the aide was there to work with a child with down's syndrome, and she was great and looked out for my boy at recess and was very helpful, but it was an informal arrangement, more like a favor or a kindness, and not part of her designated duties.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:48 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
Hi Karen,

We're going through the process of applying for EAs for both our boys right now. In our school the resource teacher is the go to person for this application process. So lots of meetings and talks with resource, documentation from doctors re: diagnoses and as much specific info as possible on how day to day school life is effected are needed (document specific incidents). We were forewarned that applying is a very negative process, because of the intense focus on what your child can't do, challenges etc., but that it's necessary to word descriptions etc. in the application as strongly as possible for the best chance of obtaining funding.

We have been told "not to hold our breath" and that funding for EAs is increasingly hard to come by in our school district. Our sons have several diagnoses effecting learning and behaviour, in addition to MFAs. I have not heard of anyone obtaining funding for MFAs alone, but what a godsend that would be in the early years! Best of luck to your friend in her application.

1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema

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