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Author Topic: Need advice - Only Allergy in Class: 2nd Grade  (Read 1377 times)

Description: ** sitting alone at lunch, isolation

Offline AdminCM

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Need advice - Only Allergy in Class: 2nd Grade
« on: September 14, 2011, 12:45:36 PM »
Posted: 08.26.2009 at 10:11:45     

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I'm just so sad.  I just spoke with the nurse at my son's new school and found out he's the only one with food allergies in his class.

Alittle background - our school district has a primary school for K & 1, where all students in the district attend. Then, they split off to two different elementary schools for 2-5. In K & 1, he was in a nut-free class. In 2nd, they have allergy sensitive classes which don't allow nut products in the class but they can bring them to lunch. Each class has a peanut/nut-free table at lunch where the children with allergies sit.

Because my ds was diagnosed with central auditory processing, he's been put in an "inclusion" class where 1/3 of the class has minor learning disabilities and 2/3 is regular education. For us, this overruled his allergy requirements.

I figured odds were pretty good that a least one other child with allergies would be in his class (5 2nd grade classes total). It sounded like the nurse was surprised as well. I do not want my son sitting at a nut-free lunch table alone and I'm quite upset about it. I'll be dropping off his meds tomorrow and need to have a plan for how I think this should be handled.

Should I have him seated at the end of the regular table? Should I request he sit with another classes nut-free table?

I figured once he makes friends, he can ask them not to bring in peanut butter. But the last thing I want is for the teacher to outright ask who doesn't have PB in their lunch that can sit next to him. I don't want him to look like a charity case. 

He already feels different with his learning disability. I don't want him singled out! Help! Any suggestions?? 
 

Posted: 08.26.2009 at 10:13:14       

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Is he contact reactive? Could he sit at the end of the regular table for lunch in a designated seat? That's what we do, and D's friends with pb sit across from him, just never next to him. 
 
 

He's been so protected from pn/n that we don't know if he's contact sensitive. Crazy, but true. But, I think that's probably my best option. I have to hope (and pray) that he's old enough now to handle this situation responsibly.


Posted: 08.26.2009 at 11:10:43       

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Do they offer peanut free hot lunches? Would he be able to sit with the hot lunch folks if that is the case?

I am sad that DS is the only "allergy kid" in his class but am almost glad as there is another class with several peanut allergies that is a peanut free zone (including "may contains") which would be difficult with his gluten allergies. 
 

Posted: 08.26.2009 at 11:12:54       

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Has he seen "Uncrustables"? Does he know that peanut butter looks similar to sunbutter/soy nut butter/golden pea butter?

Have you had the "What if Johnny wants to trade lunches or share his dessert" role play?

Is he comfortable speaking up for himself? 
 

Posted: 08.26.2009 at 12:23:37       

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My kids have always been the only ones with FA in their school building, other than two kids in DS's grade who have peanut and milk allergies but NO EPIS. So of course, we look like the crazy ones. In my experience, after I go in and talk with the classes about FA, show video, read a book, serve an allergy-free snack, kids tend not to tease and tend to be a lot more understanding.

My son sits at the end of the cafeteria table with a buffer zone -- the kid next to him and the kid across from him with no peanut products. So the seating arrangement can change daily depending on who is eating peanut stuff. And when it is peanut butter day, DS says he goes off to another table -- his choice -- I've never told him to do it. He just feels more comfortable doing that, I guess. My daughter always went to the office on PB day, with a friend, to eat. Again, that was her idea and her choice. She just did not want to be in the same room as PB.

My kids seems not to be contact- or inhalant-reactive. Just ingestion.

 
 

Posted: 08.26.2009 at 12:59:50       

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Ree, it is against the law for them to make him sit alone, even if he has a nut free table. I am positive about this. It is just as illegal to segregate the pa kids as it is to have the African American kids sit at a separate table, the Jewish kids, etc. Even if there were other pa kids in his class, it is illegal to have that table be only pa kids. This came up for us in elementary school. (Dd is now 14.) They need to let a couple of other kids sit with your ds. This would, of course, be kids who don`t have peanuts in their lunches. When dd was in elementary school, they had several pa kids, but I still objected to having the table be only pa kids and the nurse confirmed that it is illegal. The school found it easier to make the table only pa kids, but I felt that their laziness and not wanting to take a minute to eyeball a couple of lunches was not a reason to segregate my pa child. As the school year went on, the peanut free table actually became the cool place to eat, because it was a table where kids could eat with their friends who were in other classes.

If your ds needs a peanut free table (my dd did), I would just explain to the school that it is their responsibility not to segregate your child and they must allow __ amount (for us it was 2) kids who don`t have peanuts in their lunch to eat with him.

 
 


 Posted: 08.26.2009 at 07:48:44       

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08.26.2009 at 11:12:54, YouKnowWho wrote:
Quote
Has he seen "Uncrustables"? Does he know that peanut butter looks similar to sunbutter/soy nut butter/golden pea butter?

Have you had the "What if Johnny wants to trade lunches or share his dessert" role play?

Is he comfortable speaking up for himself?
He doesn't know what Uncrustables are, but I'll be sure to point them out next time we're at the store.

He definitely knows not to trade any food.

He's getting more comfortable with speaking up. I think he's terrified of the epi, so he's do whatever it takes not to have it used on him!
 
 

Posted: 08.26.2009 at 07:51:44       

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08.26.2009 at 12:23:37, GingerPye wrote:

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My son sits at the end of the cafeteria table with a buffer zone -- the kid next to him and the kid across from him with no peanut products. So the seating arrangement can change daily depending on who is eating peanut stuff.

How do they decide this? Do they ask the kids who wants to sit there, or do they shuffle them around as they pull out their lunches? I'm just concerned someone will get mad they have to be moved next to my ds. He's a nice kid, but maybe they'd prefer to sit next to their friend and it'll hurt my ds' feelings.  Maybe I shouldn't care about that part, but I do.. 
 

Posted: 08.26.2009 at 07:53:26       

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Carefulmom - I had no idea it was illegal! Thanks so much for pointing this out. Actually, after reading your post, it seems pretty obvious that it would be. 
 

Posted: 08.26.2009 at 10:06:19       

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Do they serve PB in the school lunch? Could they make the PF table available to any classmates eating hot lunch at least on the days they don't serve anything peanut? Could he get to pick a couple of classmates to sit with him each day? Those are the kinds of solutions we came up with. 
 
 

Posted: 08.26.2009 at 11:19:36       

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Does he have one particular close friend or circle of close friends who would all agree to rotate in to sit by him when they are peanut free?

My son had his 'no milk' table at lunch. His best friend was on the reduced hot lunch program and, at the time, hot lunch did not have a juice option (they do now) - it was milk or nothing. His buddy asked his mom if he could bring juice from home, so that he could sit by my son.

Sweet kid :-)

Could you talk to his friends' parents & see if any of them were willing to make the leap to label-reading peanut-avoiding when packing lunches? 
 
 

Posted: 08.27.2009 at 06:23:23       

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We don't know yet if any kids from his class last year will be in his class this year. I think it means getting through the first week or two until he makes friends. 

I'll talk to the nurse about the hot lunch option. I figured PB&J was a daily thing, no? I've never looked at the lunch menu.

 
 
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 07:38:12 PM by AdminCM »