Fuming! LONG

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by AllStressedOut, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Okay, so my youngest difficult child already has a 504 status from his old school. The 504 was mostly for his diet, because his behavior changes so much when he eats things off the diet. Well, this summer, we allowed him to have foods off his diet on his birthday, during his birthday party and he snuck stuff while on vacation. Each time he had an allergic reaction. The first time he had a rash, the next two times his face swelled up like a pumpkin. Well, we transferred our kids to a new school this year, so I was sure to email his teacher before school started. Here is what I wrote her:

    "His 504 status last year was mainly for his diet. He is still on a strict diet because over the summer he had a reaction to something and we haven't figured out what it is yet. On his actual birthday we took him out for ice cream and lunch at Braum's and he had pizza for dinner. He woke up the next day covered in hives from head to toe. We took him to the doctor and they just said to give him benadryl. Then on his birthday weekend, he had his family party and had cake and ice cream. The next day he woke up with a swollen face with slits for eyes. We gave him more benadryl. Over our vacation this summer in Florida he snuck some diet coke, pink lemonade and skittles. When we woke up the next day, his face was swollen again. So right now we are adding one thing a week back into his diet. This week is more wheat products. We will send him two snacks a day to keep his blood sugar even and for the first week I'll send sausage patties. If you can e-mail me after school starts and let me know if you have any peanut allergies in the room, I would really appreciate it. Last year he ate nuts for a protein snack in the morning and afternoon, but I don't want to send those until you know for sure about allergies. I know some kids with the allergy can't even smell the nuts and I'd hate for anything to happen. We will also send (insert name here) his lunch each day. I'm looking forward to him getting to eat sandwiches again, he's been bread free for a year now. If you or the other teachers on duty can watch him a little extra, he is a pro at sneaking others food and for now, I don't want him to eat anything we don't send."

    Would you like to guess what happened today? He has two marks on his behavioral chart, one for talking out of turn and one for being disrespectful. Then I'm looking at him and his face looks rounder, so I ask "What did you eat today that you weren't supposed to eat?" and his reply is "Why, what do you see?" and I say, "Thats not the answer to my question, what did you eat that you weren't supposed to today?" and he tells me "A cupcake." and I ask, "When did you eat a cupcake?" and he says "During class while we were watching something. So and So gave it to me and everyone else." So today, they must have celebrated a birthday and she let him have a cupcake! This is the very type of food most kids eat on birthdays and if you read above, umm, HELLO, he had an allergic reaction to his cake!

    I am sooooo peaved right now! In my old school, this is the very thing I would have fumed into the principals office with. But this is day 3 and a new school. What do I do? What would you do? I'd bet money that he is going to be swollen tomorrow. The peaved side of me thinks I should take him in tomorrow morning and march him to the nurse or principal and say "This is what happens when teachers decide they can go above parents heads and do as they wish" then the more rational me thinks I should just take him to this teacher with a school picture from last year and say "This is him without food hes allergic to, then show her his face now and say, this is him with food hes allergic to, any questions?" GEEEEEEEEEZ!
     
  2. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I would go fuming into the pricipals office. No, I think it's better to be stern and diplomatic. I would then go into the nurse's office and tell her what happened. The teacher was given instructions that she didn't follow them. She is responsible. The school is responsible. They should get any Dr. bills. Food allergies are very serious. Find out what they will do to make sure this doesn't happen again. Maybe they need a lunchroom moniter just for your son, and then ask what they will do now. You already gave the teacher instructions. Let them deal with the teacher.I think they will take you very seriously at this point.Good luck tommorow.-Alyssa
     
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I'd be pretty mad too. What you want to do is make a copy of the e-mail, take him into the principal and calmly explain that if this was a peanut allergy, he'd be in an ICU if not a morgue. Don't get mad, don't get upset. The best offense is being purely rational and matter of fact.

    Talk to you later!

    Beth
     
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    If he swells up or gets hives tomorrow, I would let the teacher see the swelling (take a picture before he gets the Benadryl) so that she understands you are not making this up or being an overly protective mother. I'd also give the teacher some special treats for your son for her to give him so that he's not totally left out on b'days. I wouldn't hit the principal with this this time. However, if it happened again, I most certainly would be seeing the principal.

    I agree that going in with guns blazing is not the right way. Just a simple, "I understand X had a b'day celebration yesterday and gave my son a cupcake. I don't want you to think I'm mad, but I did want you to understand how serious this is. Here's a picture of what he looked this morning." Sometimes a picture truly does speak 1,000 words.
     
  5. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Okay, more info! GRRR, now I'm even more peeved. Found out that Boy X handed out the cupcakes while Teacher handed out capri suns. Her and I spoke via email LASTNIGHT about his 504 status and diet and that we wanted to meet about the 504 asap. With all this in mind, how does she just go ahead and give my kids this food?
     
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    While the teacher didn't follow your instructions, this is serious enough that it merits going through the proper channels to ensure your difficult child is protected. Have you had a 504 meeting and presented his old 504 plan to the new school? My daughter (easy child/difficult child 3) has a 504 plan, mostly about eating (to address her eating disorder), and I needed to have a meeting to ensure that the principal, nurse, teachers and counselor were all on the same page. It has worked very well. I think you need to request a 504 meeting at the new school.
     
  7. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    We have requested it, in fact we spoke about it just lastnight. (the teacher and I via email) He was on a 504 plan at the other school and I told both the principal and the teacher this prior to school starting. We had a 504 at the other school and they too allowed him to have food that wasn't provided by us. Now I'm starting think its just our school district. They all stink!
     
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    You need to request the meeting in a letter to the principal sent by certified mail, not by email to the teacher.
     
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    While the squeaky wheel gets the grease, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
    I'm not saying go skipping in there wearing your susie sunshine dress. I'm saying be assertive rather than aggressive. Get your point across but don't point fingers.

    Tape 'em down if you have to!
     
  10. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    My kids are both on very restricted diets so I understand your frustration. However, I think most people just don't really understand how careful our kids need to be about everything that goes in their mouths. I would go in and talk to her again, assuming she just doesn't know how serious this is. Taking a picture is a good idea.

    I agree you should send some treats for your child for when everyone else has one. I make sure my girls always have something they think is a treat so they don't feel as deprived when everyone else has something good.

    I also think your child needs to be responsible for following the diet himself. It is really the only safe way.
     
  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Actually, I think it is not just your school district, but all schools. in my opinion, they are overburdened, and thus apathetic, for the most part. I don't mean to be negative, but I think this is just one of many problems you will have, and you need to pace yourself. Obviously do what needs to be done, and in a professional manner. Meet with the teacher, meet about the 504, but try and conserve your energy for the whole school year. With 3 difficult children you will need it. I did nothing but tear my hair out over one difficult child, and literally made myself sick - please take care of yourself with 3 of them. As parents, we tend to care, a bazillion times more than most teachers will or can, and that is the part that causes so much friction.

    Is there any chance you can explain to your son how serious his allergies are, and somehow help him to take more responsibility in these situations? Maybe give him a "special treat" he could keep in his locker for such celebrations? Could you laminate a card for the teacher to keep on her desk outlining what foods are not allowed? I would venture to guess that this is not a case of the teacher not caring, but rather being careless. Any way you can help her, would benefit your child greatly.

    Hang in there........
     
  12. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Our idea last year was that we would send goodie bags with toy treats that we knew he'd love, like Spiderman things. We planned to do this this year.

    I've tried to explain to him about his allergic reactions, that it is very serious and some people can actually die from eating things they're allergic to. I know, a little dramatic, but I was hoping to put the fear of God in him. I mean he is swelling and having hives and each reaction was worse than the previous one.

    I emailed her earlier to ask about his behavioral problems and when they occurred. I was going to wait for her reply and email her this:

    "difficult child's face looked a little puffy this afternoon so I asked him if he had eaten anything that he wasn't supposed to and he said Sean gave him a cupcake and you gave him a capri sun. I'm puzzled as to how this could happen. I was very specific that he has had allergic reactions to an unknown food, cake was even a food I listed as an example of the possible culprit. We even spoke last night about getting the 504 done quickly. In my email I was also very specific that he only eat foods we send and that he even be watched closely in the lunchroom to avoid him sneaking foods. I guess I'm just baffled, with all of this communication, some just last night, why he was given a cupcake and capri sun during class today. If his behavioral problems were after consuming this food, his blood sugar level could have attributed to it. I'm trying not to get upset over this, but this is partially why we transferred from (previous school name here). They too would give him food that we didn't provide as well as didn't watch him closely and he would sneak food. I honestly feel if this were your child, you would be upset too. This always seems like such a huge battle and all I'm asking is that he not be given anything I don't send and be watched carefully when in the lunchroom. I'm just trying to take care of my son, please understand."

    What do you all think? I'm trying to be as calm and fact based as possible, but I'm still fuming. I was very specific he only eat what we send and she gave him the capri sun herself as she watched the boy give him a cupcake. I even listed cake as one of the things he reacted to. I'm just so frustrated with all of this!
     
  13. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Still fuming and I've changed the email to her. Yes, when it has to do with my kids, I OBSESS! So if you need to, just ignore me for now, because I'm definately obsessing! And I had to take out school names/his name because you never know who is lurking. I'm always worried bio mom is going to find me here and discover the transfer in schools.

    Here is the new version:

    "difficult child's face looked a little puffy this afternoon so I asked him if he had eaten anything that he wasn't supposed to and he said Sean gave him a cupcake and you gave him a capri sun. He also has an upset stomach. I'm puzzled as to how this could happen. I was very specific that he has had allergic reactions to an unknown food, cake was even a food I listed as a possible culprit. I explained he breaks out in hives and his face swells. We even spoke last night about getting the 504 done quickly. In my email I was also very specific that he only eat foods we send and that he even be watched closely in the lunchroom to avoid him sneaking foods. I'm baffled, with all of this communication, some just last night, why he was given a cupcake and capri sun during class today. If his behavioral problems were after consuming this food, his blood sugar level could have attributed to them. While the neuropsychologist may have changed his conduct disorders, the test that showed he is a reactive hypoglycemic is still accurate. I'm trying not to get upset over this, but this is partially why we transferred from (insert old school name here). They too would give him food that we didn't provide as well as didn't watch him closely and he was allowed to sneak food. I honestly feel if this were your child, you would be upset too. This has always seemed to be a huge battle and all I've asked is that he not be given anything I don't send and be watched carefully when in the lunchroom. I have explained to difficult child about his diet and his most recent allergic reactions, but as much as I explain, he would prefer to eat the treat. This is why I was so specific in my email to you. In a previous email from (insert principal name here) she suggested that we not have the 504 meeting this week because of how busy the first week is for the teachers, this is why I suggested dates next week. Until we discover his food allergy and let you know it is okay, please do not give difficult child any food or drink items besides plain water with no flavoring/carbonation. If a goody bag is given, please be sure to check it for candy/gum anything that can be eaten. I will bring you some toy treats to give difficult child for days that others celebrate birthdays with food. If you would prefer for me to make up a goody bag for him, to make it more in line with a birthday celebration, I can do that too. Please understand that I'm just trying to take care of my son and this was such a huge battle at (insert old school name here) that it was upsetting for it to happen at (insert new school name here). If a substitute is present, please be sure they know this about difficult child as well. I just want him to be safe, healthy and happy, when he is with me and at school. Please understand, this is for his health and safety and when he misbehaves he gets into trouble, he really doesn't like being in trouble, so ultimately its for his happiness as well."

    If you made it through, you deserve a metal. :bravo: Any thoughts on the new version?
     
  14. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Bravo! Instead of "insert new school here" I chose to insert expletives and instead of "insert old school here" I chose to insert even better ones! :rofl: At least it "punched it up" a little!

    Great wording, great temper control, awesomely spoken!

    Bravo! :bravo:

    Beth

    PS: Can we rent you out for the September that I'M anticipating? :smile:
     
  15. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I KNOW that it is possible for the schools to keep track. It is not rocket science. In Tink's school, every classroom that has a child with a peanut allergy, has a glow-in-the-dark neon yellow sign plastered to the fron door saying that no peanuts are allowed anywhere near the room.

    They can do that for your child, too.

    I thought your email was very direct and thorough. I tip my bra strap to you.

    :rofl:
     
  16. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Oooh la la BBK. Hot mama! LOL
     
  17. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would suggest that you break the email up into paragraphs with spaces between paragraphs. It was hard to read as a block.

    The first week of school is very hectic. I have just about finally learned the names of my students and we started school on August 13th (of course, in high school, I have approximately 150 students). So I also agree that meeting during the first week of school is not good timing. Teachers are swamped during the first week. In the future, I would suggest meeting the week before school starts during pre-planning.

    Finally, as mad as you may be, there is truth in the saying that you catch more flies with honey. Going in there and pitching a fit might make you feel better but is not in your child's best long-term interest. I'm not saying that the teacher would retaliate against your child but I do think that it would lead to a strained relationship between you and the teacher for the rest of the school year which would not be in the best interest of your child.

    I hope it all works out.

    ~Kathy
     
  18. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Kathy, as a teacher, how would you want me to approach you? Is the email okay besides spacing?
     
  19. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    My oldest is allergic to milk. He had EVERY type of reaction - hives, nausea and vomiting, hyperactivity, acne - EXCEPT shock from injesting even the tiniest amounts.

    I always contacted his teachers in the summer before he got to their classroom. I basically said most of what you did, including sending in specifically "safe" treats.

    But he also knew he could NOT eat anything with milk in it. If he asked and the person was not sure, he would refuse it or offer to bring it home for his brother.

    While I agree that the teacher should not have gone against your prohibitions, somehow you must try and get your son to understand the significance AND harm that eating the "wrong" foods can cause. As you get a better idea of what is causing the problems, you'll need to also reinforce those things he can safetly have. For instance, my son is NOT allergic to peanuts, so he knows that a PNB sandwich on whole wheat bread (which usually does not have milk in it) is a safe bet. Even in the Navy, he still knows to ask the mess hall for a PNB alternative if they are serving something he should not eat.
     
  20. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think that you did a good job but would take out the references to the old school. Just focus on the problem at hand. By bringing up the old school problems it makes you sound like you are just impossible to please and will be a chronic complainer (I know that is not true but remember that no one at this school knows you yet).

    You were calm and stated the situation clearly. I also liked that you stressed you concern about his health and focused on the effect eating the wrong food has on his behavior.

    I would also try to word it as an appeal to make it a team effort to make sure that your difficult child doesn't eat the wrong foods. After all, it is in the teacher's best interest to keep your child focused and on task by keeping him away from foods that might cause a reaction.

    I hope that helps. Do keep in mind that this is the first week of school. It might take a few days to get a routine down. I had a parent email me the second day of school to ask me if her 15 year old son had worn an earring to school the day before. I didn't have a clue who her son was or what period he was in never mind whether he wore an earring or not. :hammer:

    I know that the food allergy is more serious than an earring, though.

    ~Kathy



     
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