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Author Topic: School not willing to accommadate for allergys  (Read 1587 times)

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Kay

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School not willing to accommadate for allergys
« on: January 13, 2016, 01:54:48 PM »
Hi. My son is in Kindergarten this year and has severe life threatening allergies to dairy, egg, peanuts and tree nuts. We have had 3 meetings with the principal and the disabilities coordinator and 1 meeting with the superintendent of the school to try and come up with a 504 plan that we can agree on. We have asked that the school provide an alternative lunch menu for my son because the current menu there was nothing he could eat, we also asked that they provide an ingredients list for us for his menu only. They have finally after 3 months got a alternative menu for him but still no ingredients list that we have asked for so that would could check everything that our son would be eating. We have asked that any foods brought into the classroom to be shared be dairy, egg, peanut and tree nut free the school is refusing to do this, we have been told many things that we are trying to violate the rights of the other kids and parents in doing this which I think is absolutely ridiculous. We have asked that only store bought foods with ingredients list be aloud in the classroom since there is no way of knowing what is in homemade foods per the principal and superintendent, and we was told no. We have also asked that his Epipen been kept in the nurses office as well as in his classroom and even this was a problem, we was told that they wouldn't keep an Epipen in the classroom that it would only be able to be kept in the nurses office. His teacher on multiple occasions have has brought foods into the classroom with his allergens in them and knowing he would not have them. There have been many times the school and parents have brought in foods that my son could not have and he would be left out of whatever was going on in the classroom, many times there was no alternative offered to him and he would have to just sit by and watch. We received a draft yesterday of a 504 the school has come up with which is not what we have asked for in any way and they even left out one of the things he is allergic to!!! I just don't know what to do anymore! Does anyone have any advice or been in this situation before? Can they do this?!?! Thanks!!!

Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: School not willing to accommadate for allergys
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2016, 02:21:54 PM »
Yup, they can do this.  They can stonewall and refuse all kinds of accommodations . . . you just have to keep hammering away.

First, welcome and glad you found us! 

Second, do you have a strong letter from the child's allergist . . . hopefully with lists of the accommodations you've outlined?  (Or is your allergist pretty hands off, as some can be?)

Does your school district have any published "How to manage" food allergy policies that might be helpful as you try to work with the school?

~ ~ ~

The FIRST thing I would be doing is, in writing, have them IMMEDIATELY correct the 504 to include all known allergens.  I would also attach the copy of signed MEDICAL school forms that you likely originally had to turn in to register child.  Be polite and respectful, but firm that they must make this change to the 504 ASAP.

Next, I'd familiarize myself with how to document -- this is great website if you've never seen:
http://www.dphilpotlaw.com/html/record_keeping.html  (Lots to explore there, besides this section linked to.)

THEN I would take the list of accommodations you believe are necessary and appropriate, given this child's needs and disability and I'd prioritize so you can work on them bit by bit.

Do you have this USDA form on file which would help so far as school lunches?  (It requires doc help . . . )
Look here for that form link & detail as to page #s:
The USDA Form




Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

**(&%@@&%$^%$#^%$#$*&      LOL!!   

Offline ajasfolks2

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Re: School not willing to accommadate for allergys
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2016, 02:24:05 PM »
And last . . .

 :grouphug:  hang in there . . .

we know this is hard and it is a long road sometimes.

Is this where I blame iPhone and cuss like an old fighter pilot's wife?

**(&%@@&%$^%$#^%$#$*&      LOL!!   

Kay

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Re: School not willing to accommadate for allergys
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2016, 02:39:40 PM »
Thanks for replying and yes my sons allergist has wrote 4 letters to the school in the last 3 months. We have made outlines in response to their 504 plan 3 times and they are not wanting to to work with us at all it seems when it comes to the classroom. I feel like we just keep saying the same thing over and over to them with no different out come :-/

Offline PurpleCat

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Re: School not willing to accommadate for allergys
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2016, 05:48:44 PM »
Hi Kay!  Welcome and sorry you are going through such difficulties.

Is the school a public school?  Does your school district have an school allergy policy?  Does your state have an school allergy policy?  Is the school nurse in agreement with what the administrators and teacher want?  Do you have another adult going to these meetings with you and supporting you so they can not bully you?

So many of us have been in similar situations.  They try to wear you down to agree with them so they are not inconvenienced or accountable in anyway.  The fight is worth it when your child goes to school and you still worry but are no longer scared!

Educating them on why a Kindergarten classroom is not safe when food is brought in is paramount.  My main concerns at that age were shared manipulatives and writing tools contaminated in the classroom, kids wiggling their lose teeth and then touching stuff, snack crumbs on carpets and other surfaces, dirty hands from snacks, etc....  Sometimes you think you have it covered and something gets by. 

For example, in first grade, my DD suddenly started going to the nurse for hives - definitely contact with something.  We had a wonderful school nurse who called me daily when she gave DD Benedryl and cleaned her hands....who decided it had to be from the classroom.  So she went and observed the classroom and she figured it out!  Math!  We all sent in specific coins to be shared for math class.  She washed the coins with soap and water and returned them to the teacher the next day and no more mystery hives for the rest of the school year!

I can tell you as my DD got older, her accommodations slowly became less as she grew up, matured, and when she was developmentally ready to self advocate and carry her own meds.  I put that in bold because every child is ready for more responsibility at different ages and grades.  Every year every accommodation should be reviewed and modified to fit the current situation.

Kay

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Re: School not willing to accommadate for allergys
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2016, 07:29:02 PM »
Hello, Yes this is a public elementary school. I haven't actually seen the districts policy for food allergies but according to the school everything we are asking for isn't within school policy :-/ The school nurse hasn't attended any of our meetings I'm beginning to think it might be a good idea to have him there. My husband does attend these meetings with me so I don't go alone which is nice to have someone on my side! I'm glad to hear that things get better down the roads the older the kids get. I just cant believe this resistance we are getting from the school just to keep our child safe!!
Hi Kay!  Welcome and sorry you are going through such difficulties.

Is the school a public school?  Does your school district have an school allergy policy?  Does your state have an school allergy policy?  Is the school nurse in agreement with what the administrators and teacher want?  Do you have another adult going to these meetings with you and supporting you so they can not bully you?

So many of us have been in similar situations.  They try to wear you down to agree with them so they are not inconvenienced or accountable in anyway.  The fight is worth it when your child goes to school and you still worry but are no longer scared!

Educating them on why a Kindergarten classroom is not safe when food is brought in is paramount.  My main concerns at that age were shared manipulatives and writing tools contaminated in the classroom, kids wiggling their lose teeth and then touching stuff, snack crumbs on carpets and other surfaces, dirty hands from snacks, etc....  Sometimes you think you have it covered and something gets by. 

For example, in first grade, my DD suddenly started going to the nurse for hives - definitely contact with something.  We had a wonderful school nurse who called me daily when she gave DD Benedryl and cleaned her hands....who decided it had to be from the classroom.  So she went and observed the classroom and she figured it out!  Math!  We all sent in specific coins to be shared for math class.  She washed the coins with soap and water and returned them to the teacher the next day and no more mystery hives for the rest of the school year!

I can tell you as my DD got older, her accommodations slowly became less as she grew up, matured, and when she was developmentally ready to self advocate and carry her own meds.  I put that in bold because every child is ready for more responsibility at different ages and grades.  Every year every accommodation should be reviewed and modified to fit the current situation.

Offline Macabre

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Re: School not willing to accommadate for allergys
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2016, 11:50:48 PM »
Having epinephrine in the classroom is recommended by the National Association of School Nurses and others.

I would put that as the most important accommodation. Epi needs to be with the child at all times. Really--that a school could deny this one in this day and age is amazing.

Document everything. We have a thread on it. But it's paramount.
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Online hezzier

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Re: School not willing to accommadate for allergys
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2016, 06:59:06 AM »
My intent is not to talk you out of anything you want to fight for, but is there are reason you want to school preparing food for your child to eat?  Is the kitchen staff trained to deal with cross contamination?  Is the kitchen set up in a way to prepare safe food?  What happens if there is a last minute substitution because they couldn't get a particular brand?  How will they notify you?  From talking to people, our elementary school kitchen is very allergy aware, but I just still prefer to send lunch from home.

Good luck!
DS (13 yrs) TN
DD (16 yrs) cat, wasps and yellow jackets

NH, USA