Monday, February 12, 2007

I'm so upset at Andy's school right now!

Overall, I have been pretty pleased with Andy's school. But we keep having diet issues. Keep in mind that Andy is diagnosed with celiac and we have medical documentation for the diet.

I just don't know how to keep him safe any more. In the beginning of the school year his aide gave him a regular muffin. And then we just keep having food activity after food activity - with no advance notice.

Today I come home from work late after a very stressful day at work and Andy hands me a baggie with a very sad face. "Mama, I have to take 100 of something into school for the other kids to eat, but I don't get to eat it". I'm sure my kid has this mixed up - but I read the newsletter and it is very clear -

100th Day Friendship Mix

In celebration of the 100th day of school on Wednesday we will be mixing up a "friendship mix" for snack. With your help, this mix will consist of 100 edible pieces of something from each student in the class. Please count out 100 of something edible with your child and return it to school tomorrow if possible. We will mix it all together on Wednesday morning and share it as our morning snack. I've attached a baggie for your convenience. Feel free to use it or not. Ideas include: 100 pretzels, 100 kernels of popcorn, 100 chocolate chips, 100 gummies, 100 raisins, +++ (no peanuts please)

Well, excuse me - the peanut allergy kid gets to be safe but my kid doesn't???? My first response was to send in 100 peanuts, but I would never, ever do that to a child. There are so many 100 day activities that could be done, they do not need to pick one with food. And what kind of a friendship mix is it if one friend is left out?

I have tears rolling down my face right now as I type this - how dare they leave my child out? What good is the IEP when they constantly do food activities that my child can't do?


Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy!
I'm so sorry, that must be really frustrating!
I am a Montessori preschool teacher, and my 4 yr. old son is autistic and on the gfcf diet.
I'm his teacher, so of course I can watch out for him, but I do get scared for the day he enters the public school system..for many reasons, including his special diet.

It cannot always be avoided, but I'd think (as a teacher and a mom) that 100 day does not need to be revolved around food, especially if you have allergy kids in your class.

In the past (before the diet) I had some kids with serious allergies in my, and for parties I'd always ask those moms to get involved to help figure out what foods would be safe, and they always seemed happy (and thankful) to do it!

I've even changed our snack routine multiple times so keep everyone safe.

I hear you, and hang in there!!
I just found your website, and am excited about new ideas and recipes!!
Thank you for doing what you do!


NoPeanuts said...

That is a bizzare activity for children given the prevalence of food allergy in general, not just peanut. I am the parent of a daughter with anaphylaxis to peanuts so while I would be happy to see peanuts excluded, I also empathize with you in your frustration.

It Takes A Village To Manage An Allergy

Anonymous said...

Suggesting kids to bring in sweets seems irresponsible for a start. Suggesting they bring in lots of tiny little items is a choking hazard (though I'm not sure how old your son is). But suggesting they bring in the food for other children is absolutely ridiculous when plenty of children have allergies, special diets - not to mention vegetarians, vegans, certain religious denominations, and others who can't eat certain things. Who ever thought this is up has been very thoughtless. Please don't feel too sad, thinking your son has been left out of people's thoughts. The thoughtless people have overlooked many children here. Kids who probably went home feeling worried and overlooked.

Anonymous said...

Assuming you have been around and around with your teacher, and GFCF is strictly worded in the IEP, go first (in writing) to your child's principal. Then, go straight to the Superintendent and if that does not work, the School Committee.

Tell the SC if they do not rectify the food problems at school, you will file a non-compliance suit with your state Department of Education. Common courtesy of your child's teacher organizing activities to include all children, not exclude your son aside, if it is written into the IEP, your school is non-compliant and they can be taken to task in a hardcore way for that.

Our schools do non-food 100 item days - stickers, pencils, etc. - but NO food. Good luck, and stand your ground when it comes to food issues at school.