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To be a little bit upset/miffed/whatever by what my DS's teacher said?

(93 Posts)
chegirl Sun 27-Sep-09 21:41:15

Ok not an anti teacher rant honest and I do mean I feel a bit upset - not outraged or anything.

I like my DS's new teacher. I am really impressed that he took the time to read up on DS's SN before term. He knew my name on the first day and seems to be geniunely open and interested.

I am a wee bit sensitive around the subject of DS's skin condition. He has severe atoptic eczema and he is affected very badly by it. We have spent years trying to get it under control and at times he has looked like a burns victim. It has taken a lot of hard work to get it to the state it is now which is not perfect but so very much better than it was last year.

I have always been open with the school and it took me some time to get through just how serious DS's condition is and how it affects him. I thought I had got there particularly as the new teacher seemed so ready to listen re DS's other addtional needs.

Anyhooo - last week (yes I really have been brooding for that long) he pulled me aside and said
Its about Ds's eczema..
Um yes?
Well its very bad
Um yes..
He scratches a lot and his skin is very red
Um yes, he has very bad eczema...
Well that cream you gave us doesnt work, his skin is still bad...
Its just his moisuriser, it wont cure the eczema, its part of his skin care regime...
Well we think it makes it worse...
No it doesnt...
Well anyway, do you think you can do something about it over the weekend? I mean can you sort something out?
Um sorry but there isnt much I can do, his condition isnt curable and we can only try our best to control it..
Yes I understand but the thing is, its very hard for us to have to watch him suffer...

Flippen eck. I know he is lovely to be concerned but I wish people would try and understand that some people's eczema is not just going to get better with the right cream, diet, tablet etc.

We have been trying for years to sort our boy out. He sees the dermatologist every few weeks, he has been allergy tested, my housekeeping regime would astound Kim and Aggie (allergy to dustmites), we have redecorated house, use special cleaners and laundry products, spend hours on skin care daily, wash wash wash bloody everything, hoover and dust like a OCD sufferer on crack .....

In the past few years I have been told that I should 'really do something about that poor boy's skin', asked 'what the hell have you done to him?', told 'if you really wanted to you could make him better', been accused of keeping him that way to claim benefits...

Our dermatology specialist nurse is wonderful and assures me that we have done wonders with DS. But I get really sad when I see him crying and scratching and now he has begun to comment on his 'skins' and how people sometimes say 'errrr' to him.

So poor teacher has hit a raw nerve and is certainly oblivious to upsetting me but I cant help it

I am bloody pregant so am I allowed to be a bit UR?

Milliways Sun 27-Sep-09 21:46:18

YANBU to feel upset

Can you ask him to speak to the last teacher? Otherwise, make an appt for a 5 minute chat when you are armed with all your information and not caught unawares.

JustAnotherManicMummy Sun 27-Sep-09 21:49:14


I think you did/said the right things. This teacher just sounds a bit thoughtless to be honest.

Perhaps you could try "do you not think if there was anything, anything in the world that we could do to make him better we would do it?" or "I know it's upsetting, but we have done everything we can and we love him so I can assure you it is very, very much worse for us".

Congratulations on the pregnacy btw smile

StayFrosty Sun 27-Sep-09 21:49:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cheesesarnie Sun 27-Sep-09 21:51:56

yanbu.and what everyone else had said!am sad and angry for you!

hester Sun 27-Sep-09 21:51:58

I'm so sorry this happened, chegirl - of course you're upset. The teacher can't have done THAT much research, or is very limited in his understanding, to have had that exchange with you.

Your poor little boy sad

chegirl Sun 27-Sep-09 21:52:07

Thank you Milli

His last teacher is not longer at the school. I have resorted to fosseking around in DS's skincare cupboard for an innocious (sp) but impressive looking tube of ointment I can give them. Maybe they feel they need to be doing more?

Problem is the issue is almost certainly more about the classroom than anything else. I doubt it gets hoovered more than once a week (which normally would be fine) and I doubt it ever gets damp dusted. I have to hoover up to 3 times a day when DS is bad and I damp dust every day at least once.

The thought of all those dustmites teeming around him...... urgh.

I have printed off some info from the eczema society so maybe that'll help.

chegirl Sun 27-Sep-09 21:55:06

Thankyou so much . I am feeling all tearful now (blame pg again!).

I know its very hard for people to understand what living with severe eczeam is like so I try not to get too upset.

I think I did feel like I was being judged a bit. Like he thought we were neglecting DS a bit (only regarding his skin).

haventsleptforayear Sun 27-Sep-09 21:55:16

yanbu but everyone seems to have a suggestion don't they?!!!

I think because so many children have any kind of rash and it is called eczema, then genuine atopic sufferers get lumped in with them, and people genuinely think there is an easy solution.

On the up-side, it shows he is concerned enough to comment and has also noticed DS's suffering.

To be fair about the moisturiser comment, sometimes when my skin is red raw, it DOES make the itching/burning worse, because it seems to trap heat or something.

But then if you don't moisturise it gets dryer and itchier too.

Good luck coping with this (my children seem to have avoided it but I have bad atopic eczema).

haventsleptforayear Sun 27-Sep-09 21:57:33

Is he on anti-histamines for the allergy (presuming he is and realise that I am doing what I accused others of - ie looking for a solution!!!)?

I just got my dosage upped to 2 different ones over the summer (1 morning, 1 night) and now have been prescribed some kind of asthma drug (anti-inflammatory?) too.

TotalChaos Sun 27-Sep-09 21:58:43

yanbu - sounds like teacher meant well (road to hell paved in and all that...) but doesn't really get the condition. I imagined that if you mentioned him being under the hospital/consultants/specialist nurses then that would make the teacher "get it", realise it's not just a case of a couple of days of E45 to sort it out.

Heated Sun 27-Sep-09 21:59:25

YANBU. A rather insensitive comment to make or perhaps just ignorant of the severity of it? What was he expecting you to do - sit away in a lab and produce the cure over the weekend?

Maybe you could meet with him and say, "I've been thinking about what you said regarding ds' eczema..." and tell him the lengths you have to go to with his skin & yes it's painful for him. Perhaps he would even appreciate some advice about what helps ds when he's going through a particularly raw stage.

But I so feel for your ds. Used to hate having to wear a PE skirt at school and expose the scabs my socks wouldn't cover. And even when I found the medical treatment that worked for me, it's still prone to come back at moments of big stress.

Have you been told it's just wait and see & that hopefully ds will grow out of it or improve as he gets older?

chegirl Sun 27-Sep-09 22:00:58

Thanks havent.

Oh gosh we know about the creams making things worse. We went through loads before we got to this one. Poor baby used to scream and we thought he was just moaning about having the creams on until we realised. I was mortified and felt so guilty. He was tool little to tell us then, it was awful sad. This one does seem to suit him though and he will tell us if something bothers him (very loudly).

I think the teacher and TA were getting confused because by the time they apply his cream he has begun to flare. They think its the cream making him red rather than the skin needing an application IYSWIM.

I am glad your DCs dont have eczema. You must be so relieved. Its really helpful for me to talk to adult sufferers. It gives me insight into what DS is dealing with.

brokenspacebar Sun 27-Sep-09 22:06:35

sad you have to deal with the teacher's comments, I would write a letter covering everything you have done to help your ds - just to help the teacher understand. I know you shouldn't have to, but it has to be worth it?

Your poor ds.

chegirl Sun 27-Sep-09 22:08:10

Havent - yes he is on two types of antihistamines at the moment. We give one when the pollen is very bad because its long acting and we give the other daily. We can use them together if we have to.

He started swelling up a few years ago after being in the garden. It tends to happen in spring and autumn when there is pollen and seeds all over the place.

he has his own bit of the garden with rubber flooring and no plants. I cant keep prevent pollen from flying over but at least he cant touch grass and stuff in his bit.

Heated - we have been told that he may grow out of it but unlikely because of the severity and because he has always had it. At one point I was hopeful but at the moment I cannot imagine it. I really hope he will because he has quite a lot to deal with generally.

Total - yes he did mean well. I thought I had got through to the school how serious his condition was but I think people just assume they know about eczema.

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 27-Sep-09 22:11:34

YANBU to feel upset. Although the teacher meant well, his comments have made you feel as if you have been judged and found wanting.

I think TotalChaos and Heated may have the right idea - you need to educate this teacher. You need to make him aware of e.g. your regular contact with the dermatologist. Do you have any literature that you could take to the school with you, which could explain atopic eczema for him? Or maybe the addresses for good websites. And in your shoes I might even mention that he and the TA need to consider the classroom cleanliness - but that's just me, I sometimes feel the need for revenge grin.

It is a horrible thing to deal with - I don't think my DS's was nearly as bad as your son's, but I remember the constant creaming and the wet-wrapping well. Any chance he might still grow out of it?

Turniphead1 Sun 27-Sep-09 22:11:35

No YANBU. Really, if the teacher thought for a second she would realise that YOU have far more vested interest in trying to get your DS's skin sorted (what with you being his mother and loving him and all). Can you get something sorted over the weekend? Err WT* !! Sorry, as a mother of a child with excema I feel for you. If she thought about it - she would realise that what she was addressing was her OWN discomfort at your son's skin etc. And really she needs to get over that.

What did you say to that? And hope your pg goes well. Not sure if you have other DC - but if it makes you feel better my eldest has excema but the other two dont (for us there is a strong dairy allergy connection but I know that is not the case for many excema sufferers).

valhala Sun 27-Sep-09 22:23:52

YANBU and the teacher is daft if he thought that he knew better than Mum, who has been dealing with her son's condition all his life. Poor little mite, my own DD2 had severe eczema as a babe and I know how impossible it was to prevent, despite all my attempts. I am disgusted at the crap from others you have had to put up with.

Does the school have a nurse? Even if there isn't one on site, I THINK schools have access to a roving one via the LA. If thats the case, perhaps you could ask her to speak to the teacher and to explain where you are coming from, and confirm all you have already said and know to be true.

Otherwise, if you are like me and stroppy, you could suggest in writing that the teacher consults DS's GP, giving him explicit permission to do so (on this matter only of course), in order that he is fully aware of the advice you have been given, the medication and the way the condition presents itself.

Good luck and don't let the teacher get you down. I'm sure he is well meaning but he is perhaps speaking not only as one who doesn't understand the whole situation but also as one who is misguidedly worrying about his own distress towards your DS's condition rather than DS's or yours.

Sidge Sun 27-Sep-09 22:24:03

chegirl can you ask your dermatology specialist nurse to come in to school and talk to staff?

I am sure the teacher meant well and doesn't like to see your DS suffer, but he was very tactless and rather insensitive.

IME most people have no idea what true eczema can be like, they think it's a bit of dry red skin. I'm a school nurse and at the end of last term had to do a visit to a school who wanted to exclude a child, a 5 year old boy, who had just had a spell in hospital for management of his skin. The school thought he shouldn't be there because he looked so bad and appeared to be in so much discomfort angry. However they expected him to fully cream himself with no assistance, and no reminders from staff. I was distinctly unimpressed and told them so.

I arranged a joint visit at school from me, the dermatology nurse, his mum and all staff that worked with him and we got his creaming regimen sorted. By the end of term we had a much happier little boy smile

chegirl Sun 27-Sep-09 22:26:54

Thanks Broken, Where and Turnip,

Yes I do have to educate them a bit more. I am going to sort something out and present it in a calm and non 'there you GO' way.

He may grow out of it, lets hope so.

Turnip, DS2 is adopted so I am not too worried about this baby. He is actually adopted from OH's family so there is a history of eczema within the wider family so there is a chance any of the kids could have it.

Its funny though. I have had DS3 since adopting DS2 and I automatically treated him as if he had eczema! I was so used to avoiding any lotions, bath stuff and non cotton clothing I found myself doing it with the baby for ages. I would even find myself searching around for the epaderm whenever I dressed or bathed him only to realise I didnt need to slather him in gunk smile

Ponders Sun 27-Sep-09 22:30:46

This is probably completely irrelevant & if so I do apologise but my DS has had fairly bad eczema (though probably not as bad as your DS's) for most of his life & we have used steroid creams & ointments & surcare washing stuff etc etc for most of that time...anyway he is quite old now & recently tried not drinking milk (I know, I know blush) & it has made a huge difference.

So I'm just wondering if you have actually established what causes your DS's eczema? (only we never even tried)

edam Sun 27-Sep-09 22:34:13

Feel for you chegirl - thankfully ds's severe eczema cleared up once he grew out of babyhood but it was bloody miserable while it lasted. I used to feel so bad and sad on his behalf. Would have been distraught if anyone had appeared to blame me for not looking after him properly! And I've heard enough from dh about growing up with eczema to be very grateful that ds seems, touch wood, to be OK.

Teacher sounds well-meaning but ill-informed. Think you are doing the right thing by educating him - worth mentioning the dust allergy and explaining the lengths you have to go to at home to avoid aggravating it and that he's probably suffering more at school because, entirely understandably, they don't have the same standards as you!

chegirl Sun 27-Sep-09 22:34:35

Valhala - they dont have a school nurse becasue this was an issue when DS started and the school said 'you will have to come and do his cream, we are not allowed, we dont have a nurse'. I am afraid GP was not very good re DS's condition but I could do same with dermatologist.

Sidge sad oh that is so awful Thank goodness for you being so on the ball. That is just the sort of scenerio that has me worrying. I can just see it happening, poor little lad and poor mum.

I did think of contacting our derm nurse who is lovely. She was so nice on our last visit when I was being a bit ranty and down about some of the comments I had gotten recently. She really reassured me and told us she thought we had done brilliantly with DS. It helped such a lot and boosted my confidence.

edam Sun 27-Sep-09 22:36:39

chegirl, sounds very odd they don't have a school nurse - can you check with your local primary care trust? Maybe there is one, but she's just got so many schools on her book they never see her... but this would be a jolly good reason for her to pay them a visit!

chegirl Sun 27-Sep-09 22:40:13

Ponders - he has been allergy tested and he is allergic to pollens and dust mites etc rather than foodstuffs. I have a friend whose baby was so sensitive to dairy that she couldnt even drink Lattes when she was breastfeeding him. So I know dairy can be a real problem for some children - I dont mind you mentioning it smile. It gets a bit wearing when strangers accost me and demand I put DS on soya milk though smile.

Edam - i did get a few words in about the dust a few days after the 'incident'. Dont think teacher was listening too well though as he was busy and rushing about. I think I should push the point a bit. I realise the school cannot be as manic as me but I am sure they can arrange a bit of extra hoovering. I think I should try and get it included in DS's statement grin

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