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Four-night school trip coming up... aarggh!!

(7 Posts)
Weta Mon 05-Sep-11 10:37:29

DS1 (nearly 8) has a four-night school trip coming up in October. I have an appointment with his new teacher on Wednesday to discuss his allergy and obviously the trip will be a big deal.

I went along on the last one in April, which was to the same centre, and decided then that I thought the food could be managed appropriately through a combination of me sending safe food plus them adapting some meals. They're happy to email me a menu in advance and discuss it, and they have an on-site nurse who will supervise his meals and bring them to him personally, plus the cook seemed very aware of how to handle it.

Problem is that he is on a desensitisation programme and has to have 90 ml of boiled milk a day in two doses (this is after 18 months!). The nurse is happy to organise this for him, but it's crucial that he does no exercise for two hours after each dose (as proven by two hospital admissions in the last three months).

Obviously I'll discuss with the teacher how to handle this, but it seems a big ask for the teacher (who will be very busy) and the parent helper (who I may or may not trust very much, depending who it is), especially as he's not very good at staying still if he's outside and his friends are running around.

I'd really like him to be able to go on his own this time given that we're happy about the food, but is that reasonable to expect the staff to accommodate his needs? any suggestions as to how to achieve it?

Bonsoir Mon 05-Sep-11 10:45:25

I think you have to have a very open conversation in which you have no expectations as to whether the trip will be suitable for your DS1, given his allergy. You need to explain exactly what your DS1's treatment entails and to ask whether it can reasonably be accommodated and you need to be listen carefully to the answer and be prepared to mull it over if it is not an absolutely clear "yes".

I personally think it is quite reasonable for the staff/centre to say that they aren't able to accommodate your DS1 on this trip, however disappointing that may be for your DS1, as inevitably this level of attention to one child might detract from the overall levels of attention to all children on the trip and that may be something the organisation or its insurers are not able to accept. Be aware that the individuals you meet to discuss this with are probably not the decision-makers.

Likeaninjanow Mon 05-Sep-11 10:59:36

How far away is the trip? Would it be possible to agree a fixed time for the 2 doses, and for you to attend at those times onlyl? Or, as the nurse seems to be happy with the extra attention needed, could he stay with her for the 2 hours afterwards, maybe reading or using PC...something stationary!

Weta Mon 05-Sep-11 11:14:34

Bonsoir, yes that is very much the line I am taking, except that I would expect to have priority for being the parent helper if they feel they can't accommodate him without me being there. Last time it worked really well - I was around just in case, but the class was split into two groups and I was always with the other one, and I got on really well with the teacher

I have already mentioned the constraints to the teacher by email and said that I would prefer not to be the helper if possible, so that DS1 can have some independence, but that I realise this may be too difficult to organise. The staff at the centre (in France) are amazing and extremely accommodating - last time I turned up with a three-day supply of food for him but they really encouraged me to let him have some of their food (where it was easy to adapt) and reassured me about how they would manage it and that they were well used to dealing with allergies.

Likeaninjanow - the centre is two hours away so popping in and out is not really an option smile but I think him hanging out with the nurse may be a possibility, if she is happy to do that of course. He loves reading and would probably appreciate a bit of down time by himself anyway...

Bonsoir Wed 07-Sep-11 15:29:31

How did your meeting go, Weta?

Weta Wed 07-Sep-11 19:55:39

Thanks for asking... teacher was fabulous actually. He too thinks DS1 should seize this chance for independence and is happy to do what he can to accommodate him.

I think they will get by on a mix of planning activities around his needs, a bit of him sitting in a corner reading at times, and modifying activities to suit - eg the teacher had the great idea that if they were doing the den-making activity, for example, DS1 couldn't really lift bits of wood etc but he could act as a kind of foreman directing the others in his group.

The centre are very good at accommodating children with allergies - I saw it in April, and this teacher has also had direct experience of it last year.

Bonsoir Thu 08-Sep-11 11:05:15

Sounds great smile

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