A school, is a school, is a school…..or so I thought! After all our searching we have found a school that has made us feel comfortable. The responses that we received from the numerous schools we interviewed, were varied. However, with dairy being our poison to contend with, there was a general consensus on a few points: that there will be no food restrictions, playtime will be a mine field, and that we need to have good communication with his teacher. All schools were happy to have the kids wash their hands as they entered the classrooms after lunch breaks, some classrooms were better equipped than others for this. The objective is to keep the classroom as uncontaminated as possible.
The school we have chosen have not had anaphylaxis experience before, so they are willing to do what we all agree is necessary to reduce the risk of a reaction. Currently the grade 1 class all sit together at food times. Next year they will continue this, and then have the kids wash their hands before they go off to play. So hopefully, Declan will have kids he can play with who will not be contaminated with dairy, eggs or peanuts. There is of course the issue of the kids buying any of the foods from the tuckshop after they have already washed their hands….nothing for us is foolproof. It’s only early days of the management program development.
Another great advantage of this particular school, is that the teachers on playground duty carry with them walkie/talkies. We feel this provides a great opportunity for fast contact with the office to call for an ambulance, or get the medicine down to where it is needed, rather than send a student up to the office to report an incident in the playground. This gives us a level of comfort we did not know would exist. Why don’t staff in all schools have a communication device during playground duty? With the level of violence in schools increasing, kids breaking limbs, students having diabetic episodes, an increase in attempted child abductions outside schools….the list goes on and on…..teachers should be able to report to the office in an instant what is happening in the school grounds. This is on top of the fact that all schools should have their own full-time nurse!
We are still waiting to hear from one school who have never bothered to return our calls!! This is a public school. Don’t they HAVE to accept all students! They have achieved what they set out to achieve – to prove themselves too incompetent to look after our boy the necessary way. We have decided on a school that has shown compassion for our needs and have shown abhorrence for those schools and teachers who have said that they would not want children like our son in their class. They have shown an understanding of the seriousness and consequences of a reaction and have endeavored to develop and maintain management strategies to reduce the risk of exposure.
After all this, I would still love to home school Declan!!