Well as most of you have seen, Kemett started school on Monday! First off, I cannot believe he is old enough to be in school. Time really does fly by. Second, I have already had some questions about how it will all work especially around food, so I thought I should share in a blog post.
Here is the question: How do you handle food at school? Do you just send him his own snack/ lunch?
I was so happy last year when we found a school for Kemett that sounded like they would be accommodating, he was familiar with and knew some kids from his class. They told me that I could come in and do a 1 hour training for the teachers and staff on PWS and Kemett. I will say that I was anxious all summer thinking of all the things that could go wrong with his first week. I been the primary caregiver for Kemett for 2 years. I am in control of his food. Letting go and trusting others has been very difficult for me his entire life.
Last week, I went in and did my presentation. It was a combination of health concerns for Kemett and how to best encourage learning and growth. I made a handout, thanks for some awesome moms who went before me, and a power point. It’s a little worrisome when you make a 4 page handout about health concerns for your child, but it is so important.
My presentation went well and the staff had great questions and were all so receptive! They discussed throughout ways to make the classroom more accommodating for Kemett, as well as how to create a safe environment for him. Sitting in that meeting, I felt relieved. I knew I had chosen the right place for Kemett.
I met with the teacher one on one after that. Here are the food related issues we discussed:
- Curriculum: We discussed curriculum and food in more detail. Week two is apples. When I saw that in the teacher’s email, I teared up. I started questioning my decision to let Kemett go to school so young. Once we talked, she made it clear she would do whatever we wanted to do. In the past she has baked apples with the kids. They will not be baking apples this year, not even interacting with them. In fact, throughout the year, he will not be doing crafts or activities that involve him touching food. This was my biggest fear all summer- what would the teacher say when I asked them to do this. And it’s really not even about PWS. Kemett’s allergies are just as scary if not scarier. If he gets a hold of something he allergic to we don’t know what will happen.
- Holidays and Birthday’s: I am so excited to say that our teacher talked with the director and they agreed that all holiday’s such as Halloween and Valentine’s day will only include non-food treat items passed out! All the parents seemed just fine that their 2 year old wasn’t being sent home with candy. On birthday’s we requested that parents provide a fruit snack instead of a dessert.
- Snack and Lunch: The school provides snacks and parents provide lunches. I will be providing all meals for Kemett. They have a no sharing policy and the teacher sits with the kids at their table for all meals. They are a peanut free facility but his class even talked about doing just sunbutter since he is allergic to almond butter. They also discussed placement of trashcans and where lunch boxes/sippy cups were located to make sure Kemett did not have access.
Outside of food, there are medical concerns that we discussed in detail in May. Now that Kemett is walking, they will just have to pay more attention to him as he can be clumsy and lose his balance easily.
Thank you for your support and love for our family and for Kemett! Remember our walk is coming up on October 10th! You can donate here: One SMALL Step Walk. Also, I will do a 2 year post soon!