Posts Tagged ‘kindergarten’

Section 504

Oh, time to blog again.  I am stressed.

I have been trying to get a 504 plan in place for Wesley for over a month.  Because of his life threatening allergy to milk, he is eligible to have this plan written out so that the school staff will have a guide of what is acceptable and what is not so that his life is not in danger and so that he can fully participate in school activities.  I can include things like sitting at a lunch table with other kids as long as they don’t have milk, and cleaning off the table with clean soap and hot water before he sits down.  Also, not using his allergen in the classroom as a teaching tool, washing hands after eating and things like that.  If they don’t abide by the plan, their government funding could be cut.

I am sure I am already starting out to be a major pain before the first day of school is even here, but I told the guidance counselor, Mrs. Powell, what needed to be done back in the spring when I preregistered Wesley for Kindergarten.   This summer, I called the special education coordinator because she is who would help me to get this going.  It was her last day so she couldn’t help me.  She resigned!  They have yet to hire a replacement.  I have called back to the board of education twice a week since then and they still have no one.

Yesterday was Wesley’s kindergarten screening.  I have been pretty calm up until then.  I talked to his guidance counselor while he was being tested, and she informed me that the school is under construction, people are on vacation, and she wasn’t going to tell me who Wesley’s teacher will be until the Friday before school starts.  (It starts the following Wednesday.)  Then, on top of that, she told me that they were not having an open house this year, and there would be no way for me to talk to his teacher until the first day of school!

What the crap?!?

She said she would tell the school nurse.  I do want the school nurse to know, but she isn’t the one who will be with my child all day.  I just never imagined that it would be this difficult to get some cooperation with such a serious issue.

So, not only is our 504 plan not even started, but she wanted me to send him to school without educating his teacher about his allergies.  Yesterday, my day was ruined after that.  It was miserable.  I didn’t know really what to do.  I did as much research as I could and I was intending to talk to the superintendent today, but in all my furor, I woke up this morning at 4:00.  I decided to email the guidance counselor and explain my situation.

I don’t want to be a pain in the butt.  I want to be a HUGE part of Wesley’s education.  I want to help out at school and I want his teachers to like me.  I don’t want to start out on the wrong foot, but what am I to do?  I am not going to risk his life!   I really didn’t want Wes to miss his first day or week of school.  It would be such an injustice.

I know that some people whose children have never had allergies really just don’t understand why I would not send Wes to school until things are fixed.  But Wesley’s life is more important to me than anything.  I absolutely refuse to risk it.  I can’t send him in there with a lunch room full of milk cartons and kindergartners without first explaining some things to the people taking care of him.

Today, I feel a lot better, but still freaking out.  Mrs. Powell emailed me back and said that she would arrange for the 504 meeting the day before school starts.  That is much later than I would like it to be, but atleast it is getting done.

I have all my stuff printed out.  I just need to get his doctor to sign.  I’m hoping that was the worst of it.

Whew, feeling better already!

My First Kid

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Long before Wesley was born my best friend, Brenda, had a little boy.  I was single and free and had plenty of time on my hands.  I have always loved kids, so I jumped at any chance to be around this new baby in my life.

Kaiden became ‘my first kid’.  I starting babysitting him on my day off from work.  I took him everywhere I went.  I loved that little guy so much.  He was my main sidekick,  When he was about two years old, his mommy and daddy moved to Texas, and they did the unthinkable.  They took him with them!

Eventually, they all missed me and moved back.  I was married then.  I didn’t have nearly as much time to spend with Kaiden as I would have liked to.  I still got to keep him every morning because his mom went into work way early.  I dropped him off everyday at daycare before I went to my job.  He was still my little buddy.

Then, one day, something terrible happened.  He started school!  I didn’t get to see him much anymore and it made me so sad.  But, then about the same time, I discovered that I was going to get my own kid.  One who belonged exclusively to me!  It helped to balance things out a bit.

Wesley and Kaiden are about 5 years apart.  They are surprisingly very good friends.  Wesley loves Kaiden.  I think Kaiden tolerates loves Wesley.

Today, my Kaiden came over to visit us.  Kaiden started home school this year.  We made it a school day today.  Kaiden did his work while Wesley did his.  It was a bit challenging for me to go back and forth and keep them both interested.  Kaiden kept wanting to do Wesley’s work (because it wasn’t an essay).  Then when I worked with Kaiden, Wesley wanted to run off (because he wanted undivided attention).  We finally made it through the day and I think they both learned at least one new thing each.  Maybe if we do it again, I will be more prepared!

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(Notice who is wearing clothes and who isn’t)  I should really work on that!

First Day of School

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When Wesley was almost a year old, he was diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies to milk, soy and egg.  We found out the hard way when he ate some pizza and had an anaphylactic reaction.  These food allergies, like nephrotic syndrome, are the result of a confused immune system.  The allergy doctor told me that 90% of children with food allergies outgrow them by the time they are four or five years old.  It has become obvious to us that this is not the case with our child and his stubborn immune system.

It has always been hard nearly impossible for me to trust others with caring for Wesley.  First, he was born at 29 weeks gestation which caused me to have some serious anxiety about how my child was taken care of and who was taking care of him.  Wesley was in the NICU for 8 weeks.  It was so hard to leave the hospital every day and let strangers that I barely knew take care of my new baby.  In the pregnancy books, I always skipped over the “premature baby” parts because I never thought it would happen to me.  Welp, I should have read those chapters because I was completely in the dark about what was going on.  In the NICU, I could only hold him at certain scheduled times of the day.  Some of the nurses would let me hold him when I wanted to, then others acted like he belonged to them and wouldn’t even let me touch him.  We brawled!  I was always unsure if my instinct was right or if the nurses were right.  They all had their own standards on what they thought was the right thing to do… By the time I left the hospital, I learned to trust my own instinct, and to this day I am positive that even if you are a first time mommy, you know what is best for your baby.  No one else does.  Ask questions when you are unsure, but you know what is best.

So, when we came home from the hospital, I was a mean mamma lion.  I was very protective of my little man.  He still had a very low immune system since he was born so early.  The doctors emphasized that he shouldn’t be out in public for several months, that he shouldn’t be around anyone who was sick including myself or my husband.  It could kill him if he caught a cold because his lungs were still developing.  RSV was a huge concern.  I wouldn’t even let his grandparents come see him for weeks after he came home.  I was so scared that my baby could get sick and die.

Just when I started getting comfortable that he was old enough to get sick was when we discovered his food allergies.  That was when I decided that he probably wouldn’t go to public school.  Just about every week I read an experience where someone at school gave a food allergic kid something that seemed fine and the child ate it and died.  I decided that I would either home school him or be a full time volunteer at his school.  How could I yet again trust a person that I don’t know to care for my child along with 20 other children and make sure he didn’t get something with milk, soy or egg in it?  Even I have made mistakes.  One of my mistakes caused me to have to pull out the Epi Pen and use it.  Brad has made mistakes.  Other family members have made mistakes.  And we all well know what can happen if we make a mistake.  What about someone who doesn’t love Wesley the way we do?

Then, along came nephrotic syndrome.  As I said in an earlier post, my child is just not allowed to get sick.  No little colds that are no big deal to the common kid.  No mosquito bites.  No allergens.  Nothing that will stimulate his immune system.  Public school is just out of the question for Wesley.

I know that the home school/public school debate is a hot subject for not only parents with healthy children, but also with parents whose children are sick like mine.  Some NS parents choose to send their children to public school and to them, the benefits outweigh the risks.  My husband and I have talked about this for a few years now, and our decision is to home school Wesley.  Atleast for now.

So, here we are, at the end of the first day of school… at home.  How did it go?  It was fun!  We stayed busy all day doing fun stuff that taught Wesley new things. Our curriculum is very specific and easy to use.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of the school year will bring.

For the opening of the school day, I read a bible story to Wesley.  Next, we did math, then music.  We did some reading and writing.  For writing, tears were shed.  It had been a long day and the boy has been writing the letter “A” for months.  He just really didn’t want to write it multiple times.  But ya know, practice makes perfect!  Wesley learned to sort things in different ways.  He sorted by colors, by shapes, by sizes and everything else you can think of!  He is an excellent little sorter!

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I even cooked supper!  What a day!

How was your child’s first day of school?  What was the most challenging?  Hope everyone had a great day!