21 March 2011

Allergies At School

The school nurse at Woodjie's preschool sent home a detailed instruction sheet for his doctor to fill out. On the envelope, the nurse wrote, "Do we need an epi-pen/benadryl here?"

Which is really sweet. Really. But I only told the school that he is allergic to milk and eggs so that they wouldn't serve them to him. He will live if he has a swig of someone's milk or a bite of egg. Probably not very sanitary to eat other people's food, but not (usually!) deadly.

I feel kinda bad for having told them. Now the entire classroom is milk and egg FREE. They reallly don't have to do that, I told them. Just try not to give the kid a milk carton, yk? The classroom is already peanut FREE for another child. And shellfish FREE for another. So when it's time to pack a snack, I'm left with trying to choose things that 1) I know Woodjie will eat; and 2) don't have those ingredients.

He eats Pop-Tarts, Oreos, lemon pudding, popcorn or chips usually. They must think I stuff the kid with candy all day. Oh, well. His fave snack is cashews, and I can't do that. Granola bars? Nope. PB sandwiches? Nope. You get the picture.

I have no doubt (because this is the special autism classroom) that Woodjie and these other students will be together all through their schooling years unless they withdraw or move or Jenny McCarthy cures 'em. It isn't like there are 50 different classes for these kids. So... he will be eating Oreos for snacks, PopTarts for the main course, and pudding as a "fruit" for his entire school career, I guess.

I don't specially want to see another kid die for my child's food preferences, but we're going to need some help later broadening the choices. I feel bad that the other kids can't have milk with their lunches, but apparently this is a standard procedure when dealing with allergies. *shrug*

How much trouble should other children have to go through to accomodate another child's allergies? I like Darren well enough, but some of the commenters on this post are either into eugenics or have badly represented their own thoughts. What is sad is that Darren is a teacher, and his audience? Mostly teachers.

Just let those kids die. Can you imagine?

Well, as an aside, according to this article bullying children with allergies is quite common. And the bullying happens at the hands of SCHOOL PERSONNEL quite frequently. And how best to bully and torment these kids? Wave the allergen at them and/or brush it against them or put it in their food. Nothing like a little difficulty breathing to give those other kids a hearty laugh! That's fun!

I'm realllly glad my children are not deathly allergic to foods. But neither would I appreciate milk or egg added to their food or rubbed on them for fun. In severely allergic children, it's beyond bullying. It's getting these kids in fear for their lives and sometimes? It's attempted murder if it goes too far in my opinion. I don't know if the law backs me up on that one, but trying to kill someone and attempted murder sorta sound the same to me...

I am going to write a thank you letter to this school nurse. My child's allergies are not severe at all. I am not worried in the least about him. But the preschool is to be commended for making the school a place every child can learn and play and eat their snacks in safety. :)

11 comments:

  1. OH C...your comment on my blog just now made me laugh out loud... you are too funny!
    And nope, the body has not gone into shock YET.... lol!

    I'm glad wee Woodjie is not dreadfully allergic! I hope you sort it out so the class can have milk and egg products again.

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  2. oh the old allergy dance!
    Our school doesn't give a rip if there is an allergic child in it!

    My son is gluten intolerant (though not an actual celiac) but they keep "forgetting" and giving him birthday cupcakes when another parents brings them in or lollies (candy) as rewards etc etc.. *sigh*

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  3. Are you serious? Others, including teachers, actually torment allergic kids in this manner?
    What the heck is wrong with them????
    I bet they'd do a quick backflip if one of their own kids was allergic to something.

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  4. I keep saying to myself that the whole world has gone mad

    there is so little thought
    and almost no moderation

    I'm glad the school responds to allergies and I suppose safe is better than sorry but it seems that some allergies, like the non deadly ones, could be handled better with just a little more effort

    of course part of the problem is that everyone sues for every little thing
    a neighbor wants to sue the school because her daughter fell in the play area!!

    there was a news report on CNN about how adults ignore and in some cases instigate bullying
    it made me so sad

    Hope sends hugs

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  5. I just wrote a comment that went into the virtual trash!

    Let's see...

    Oh.my.gosh!

    I said I wish I found it hard to believe the research study you linked to. But, I don't.

    When I first adopted my oldest daughter, a woman gave me a video on a person who is WIDELY accepted as an expert in attachment therapy. She had videotaped herself refusing to give a young boy the inhaler he used for asthma until after he finished cleaning his room to her standard. He was sobbing. When he finished the room, he was required to sit silently in the center of the floor until she came to inspect it. She would not enter the room until she no longer heard any cries. I could not believe what I had seen. I thought she should have been arrested and had her foster license removed instead of paid to teach other people how to parent. (I have a confession. I didn't return the tape. I threw it out. I really thought it was garbage.)

    Anyway, I am glad Woodjie's teachers are taking his allergies seriously. I suspect there are other kids in the class who are on gluten-free and casein free diets and don't tolerate milk well.

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  6. I'm sure that does make for a tricky dynamic in the classroom, but I'm with you- I'm glad to see they take it seriously and make it safe for everyone...no matter how allergic they are.

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  7. If my kid couldn't have milk at school then I would just give it to him at breakfast and dinner time.

    It's funny because Chaz is into eating healthy right now. When he goes through the lunch line he chooses regular milk over chocolate milk. He cracks me up. AND convicts me.

    That class for Autistic kids sounds amazing!

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  8. This was totally not your point, but it just sort of jumped out at me and you know by now that I'm a little random at times.....

    A shellfish free classroom? Seriously? Is it common for parents in the midwest to send their kids shrimp cocktail to share with the class when it's their turn for snack? Field trip to Red Lobster? It just seems a little overkill to declare a shellfish free classroom. Peanuts, I understand. PB&J is standard kid food and peanuts are in a lot of things. The shellfish thing did make me laugh a little.

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  9. "unless Jenny McCarthy cures em". Not going to happen in the short term.

    My daughter does carry an epi pen. She allergic to fire ants and bees and she has stepped in an ant hill at her homeschool program before. If someone were to chase her with an ant, I can't imagine what I would do.

    You might want to spend the summer testing out different snack foods to pack. Perhaps purchase an allergin free cookbook?

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  10. I'm impressed that at least they READ the health form after you sent it back. There are some schools that collect the forms and put them in files, but no one ever READS them first!

    --Lynne Diligent
    Dilemmas of an Expat Tutor
    expattutor.wordpress.com

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)