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AIBU wrt to my DC missing out because of his allergies?

(127 Posts)
WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 13:03:03

I have a toddler with many many allergies. Mostly quite serious.

We attend a brilliant music group which he loves, the woman who runs it is absolutely brilliant. Its one of the few toddler things-to-do that I actually quite enjoy and not cringe my way through.

Since starting last summer, my son has changed from a very shy, frightened child who'd cry if another child or stranger tried to engage with him - to a happy, confident, outgoing toddler. Ive no doubt regularly going to this class has helped (theres a lot we cant go to because they have children walking round with food).

2-3 times a term, the lady uses feathers in the class for 3-4 minutes. If my DC goes anywhere near feathers he breaks out in hives, let alone handles them.

We used to leave the room during this time. But now he gets upset, he doesnt understand why Im dragging him away from all the noise and fun.

So Ive asked her to let me know the week before she uses feathers and we'll not come that week. She agreed and said she email me.

Except I was secretly hoping she'd say she'd just not use them. Theres so few groups we can go to, now 2-3 times a term we cant attend this one.

I dont want to drag my son out the class, its making him feel excluded. I hate that. I hate that fucking, bastard, bastard allergies means my lovely son see's and feels excluded from things.

AIBU to wanted, slightly expected, her to just say she'd not use them?

I really need to know if AIBU because this is just the start of situations like this, I know. sad

ENormaSnob Thu 07-Mar-13 23:46:48

If you don't want to ask about not using feathers or using fake ones could you not just remove him for a few minutes and distract him?

At least he doesn't have to miss the whole session, only a few minutes.

Disappearing Thu 07-Mar-13 23:18:16

Could you buy and gift her some fake feathers, or equivalent, craft feathers or something, for her to use, that your son could tolerate? It might cost you 20 quid or so.

megandraper Thu 07-Mar-13 23:11:43

yes, ask her not to use the feathers. she doesn't need to. it is not an unreasonable request at all.

tempnameswap Thu 07-Mar-13 21:17:15

YANBU but you probably need to accept that most people haven't a clue how hard it is to manage multiple allergies. I am often disappointed at how unwilling even family members are to adapt to my dd's allergies. We don't have nuts or dairy or sesame in our house ever and just live with it. Is it too much to ask not to put out a bowl of cashew nuts when she is around??

The music teacher probably doesn't realise how wonderful it is when you find a safe haven for an allergic toddler. Maybe she thinks you have a whole series of classes he safely enjoys. Over the years I have stopped expecting people to understand and spelled it out a bit more - pleasantly.

And btw OP the toddler years are really stressful when you are dealing with allergies - IMO it gets loads easier as they get older. Good luck!

MammaMedusa Thu 07-Mar-13 20:24:01

I ran a group like this and I think you need to discuss it with the organiser.

We had a way of doing Old McDonald one way which was upsetting one child. If it had been many of the other songs, we could have just dropped it, but Old McDonald - oh boy, it was the weekly staple and we would have had toddler uproar if we didn't do it! We found a way to eliminate the problem though by chatting it through.

I think, unfortunately, you have been less than clear about your wishes and muddied the waters somewhat. But there is no harm having another conversation.

Would scarves like these prove a good alternative for how she is using the feathers?

We used them in lots of our songs and they were lovely. I personally wouldn't have used feathers with toddlers due to the pointy ends - though that may make me paranoid!

eragon Thu 07-Mar-13 20:09:58

wonder if this thread could move to allergy section? as parents there have quite a lot of experience in this sort of thing!

p.s ask her to remove the feathers. and consider dustmite allergy and other environmental allergies, as my son has them all and regular hive ups etc, on these types of occasions was his norm for years!

sensesworkingovertime Thu 07-Mar-13 20:01:20

I take your point too teacherandguide, everything has to be weighed up as to how it effects everyone and to try and find solutions.

sensesworkingovertime Thu 07-Mar-13 19:59:01

YANBU. I don't see why the feathers are essential in a music classs, surely she could find something else?

If it were a cookery class and you were complaining about her using milk or flour or whatever that would be a bit different but feathers? Music?

Bottom line is live and let live but consider others whilst your living in my book.

crunchbag Thu 07-Mar-13 18:46:44

I am with seeker

Ask the organiser to please not use feathers!

teacherandguideleader Thu 07-Mar-13 18:31:58

I haven't read the whole thread so apologies if someone else has said this.

I run a group for children, several of whom have allergies. It is very difficult to stop doing things that are associated with allergies as you end up not being able to do anything.

Whilst I will not stop doing activities (as I don't think it is fair that those who can take part can't have a go) I think it is important to explore all ways that an activity can be adapted so that they can all take part.

I would really appreciate a parent offering me a solution to their child's allergy (that wasn't to stop doing the activity) - it makes my life a lot easier when trying to adapt what we are doing.

Inevitably there are a couple of things that can never be changed without stopping the activity but I keep these to an absolute minimum, or at least ensure that there is an even balance so it is not one child always missing out.

BaconandEgg Thu 07-Mar-13 17:56:10

Sorry to hear about your DS EyeoftheStorm. I'm in that place (hence the sensitivity). It's still relatively new to me, and I hate it. And I'm still rocked by the realisation that the world is harder and meaner than I knew. One of the few things that makes a real difference is the kindness and understanding of others.

MrsLouisTheroux Thu 07-Mar-13 17:45:54

YABU. You should continue to take him out when the feathers appear. If he gets upset, distract him.

lougle Thu 07-Mar-13 17:40:53

Coming to this late. OP, imagine this was about a different Special Need.

DD1 has a brain condition. We didn't know that when she was younger. However, when she started preschool I said 'oooh you leave that door open and it goes straight out onto a ramp - she could go over that!' The preschool worker said 'we do know how to look after the children!'. That afternoon, she said 'I see what you mean!'

From that moment on, the door was shut. If it wasn't shut, someone stood by it to guard it. Within weeks, DD1 had 1:1 support because anything else was too risky.

Now, if it had been something which was fundamental to the group, I'd say 'you have to deal with this and accept your DS can't go.' Something like....if DD1 had been absolutely unable to cope with group activities, then a group activity such as preschool is not really modifiable.

A feather? Come on.

YABU for expecting the group leader to take the initiative, especially if you've indicated that you are 'happy' to miss it.

YWNBU to ask her to remove a known (optional) allergen from the group.

seeker Thu 07-Mar-13 17:30:15

Ask the organiser to please not use feathers.

I am going to keep posting this til everyone stops being bonkers and accepts that it's the only sensible course.

FireOverBabylon Thu 07-Mar-13 17:25:27

I've had a search for you online. "Fake feathers" turns up nothing; likewise "vegan feathers" (they're aparently used in vegan jewellry where you can't use bird feathers).

A search for "artifical feathers" on eBay found a few pages, mainly fake feather birds, or things that could be either grasses / feathers so not suitable for what you want at all. This seems to be the best option on eBay - maybe you could e-mail them to ask if you could get a larger scale order?

wannaBe Thu 07-Mar-13 17:14:55

ok, so he's only alergic to the feathers if he touches them? well can you then not just make him a replica out of paper or something? something which will look the same as the feathers but won't provoke the alergic reaction? that way it doesn't become a big deal about feathers - if he's too young to understand he can't touch the feathers then he's too young to realise that his feather isn't a feather at all....?

seeker Thu 07-Mar-13 17:13:23

Oh, for goodness sake, OP, just ask her not to use them.

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 17:12:02

Possible Kindlemum, its one to keep in mind thanks!

KindleMum Thu 07-Mar-13 17:07:51

Another thought if you can't get feathers - I attend a probably similar music group and our group uses bits of tissue paper for some songs, would that work? We have huge amounts of tissue paper on the parachute and so on.

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 16:58:37

I have taken on board what you said. I am calm most of the time but the unfairness of it all does overtake but onky occasionally. It comes when Im writing about it, or having to explain it all. It makes me realise how serious, indepth and all encombassing the situation is and it makes me think "I fucking hate allergies."

But day to day its just normal, part of life, being angry or resentful doesnt feature.

It does rear its ugly head though. Not too often and less than this time last year.

EyeoftheStorm Thu 07-Mar-13 16:53:13

Hence the name, you see, a calm still place when the world is going mad around my little boy wink

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 16:50:27

Thanks eyeofthestorm.

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 16:49:22

Doinmecleanin coloured craft feathers is exactly what she uses.

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Thu 07-Mar-13 16:48:15

Thank you BaconandEgg. You have no idea how much I needed to read that, and have things put into perspective.

For those asking, I have to leave the room because he's 21 months. Hes not old enough to understand that he cannot touch the lovely colourful feathers that all the other babies and toddlers are playing with. In theory he wouldnt react if he sat and watched them do it, which would probably be fine if he was 2.5-3 yrs + but hes too little to understand.

He has half a face of hives right now because I just came back from parents evening and he laid down on a pillow in the class room. I dont even think that contained feathers so feck knows what thats a result of!

Im glad I posted, my action plan is to seek out some fake feathers, if thats a failing Im toying between asking her to not use them, to asking her to use them at the start. The problem is with the latter, is that the start can change by a good 10 minutes so we could potentially end up missing a chunk, or (more likely) arriving too early and having to sit outside and wait which is no different from what we have been doing.

Fact is, I have a 'plan' which I didnt before starting this thread.

Thank you for the replies, suggestions and most of all understanding and empathy from those who gave it. Much appreciated.

EyeoftheStorm Thu 07-Mar-13 16:47:45

I have been thinking a lot about this thread because the advice I gave to the OP is the advice I give to myself. I do know that 'dark and emotional place', BaconandEgg. DS2 doesn't have allergies, but he does have a condition that could be life-threatening if things go wrong.

I think sometimes when you are in that place, you can't see beyond it. The OP was talking about a particular situation and I was trying to say that if you get upset (and understandably) upset every time something like this happens, it will eat away at you.

I have had moments of extreme rage at the unfairness of what happened to DS2 and other people's reactions to it, but these moments got fewer when I stopped expecting people to react a certain way and was responsible only for my own reactions.

Funnily enough I unloaded on a thread on here a few years ago and someone gave me this advice. It helped.

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