Thursday, April 5, 2012

Celiac and Preschool

  The pictures in this post have absolutely no connection to the content, but every post is more interesting if you add pictures.  So there you have it. 

I'm always intrigued to look at blog stats and see how people arrived at my little corner of the internet.  Ever since I started posting more about Evelyn's Celiac disease though, it makes me a little sad.

My most viewed post of all time (by far) is this one on how we arrived at a diagnosis for Evelyn.  It has twice as many views as my second most popular post (Annabelle's birth story).

Most often, that post is found by people googling symptoms and things like: toddler bloated belly, my child stopped growing, and what is this blistery rash. 

I feel the pain those parents are experiencing and it makes me ache for them.  Trying to find out what is making your child sick is gut wrenching and exhausting. 

This whole Celiac business is becoming an issue as we start to research and search out a preschool for Evelyn to attend for a year before we begin homeschooling.  It's an idea I was extremely resistant to for a long time.  Then I started thinking about it and asking for the opinions of other, more experienced moms, and then I embraced the idea.  But even if the reality of being in a preschool environment would be positive for Evelyn, we still have to figure out how to make it safe.

She can't eat any of the food the school provides.  She can't play with play-doh.  She can't use a table where other kids have been playing with play-doh.  She can't eat snacks at a table with other kids unless everyone is having a gluten-free snack.  All the kids will have to wash up after snack time before touching the toys she will touch.  We will probably just have to pick her up before lunchtime.  It's a bit stressful to even consider. 

Stressful to the point that I have felt really overwhelmed this week and don't even want to think about it right now.  But I don't really have a choice because if we want to get her enrolled for this Fall, it has to be done now because some preschools have already filled up for next year. 

I toured one preschool yesterday and there's no way I would feel comfortable sending her there.  Some of the teachers didn't even appear to like kids.  When I tried to explain the food issues, they didn't even seem to really grasp what I was saying.  And most the kids were there for daycare really, not preschool.  They get dropped off at 7:30 and picked up at 5, so the part of the day when Evelyn would be there for "half day preschool" was mostly just spent playing outside while a teacher stood around and occasionally yelled at a child to behave, having snack time, and free time inside the classroom.  Not really something I want to pay $300/month for.

I have two more schools to check out.  One is a theraputic preschool that would provide her with speech therapy and sounds really good, but we'll see.  The other is a public Montessori preschool that was recommended I check out.  I'd love her to be in a Montessori program if it's being done well, so that is yet to be determined.

And no, the mud did not wash out of that shirt.


  1. Spoken from someone who has worked in the child care (heck seriously DAY CARE all day) do not send any child to that so called preschool. Unless it has a complete separate room and preschool setting (like the situation at DMCS). Teachers "yelling at kids outside" is really normal for day care (but NOT preschool). That's how most kids learn how to respond with parents who drop them off before 7am and don't pick them up until after 5pm. And honestly child care teachers are exhausted. They have a room full of kids that are out of control most of the time and don't have the same parenting as you and I did growing up--where respect is important, and they're used to not hearing no since their parents feel bad for not seeing them much at all. If the parents don't respect the teachers it's hard for the teachers to respond back because they feel like it's no use. And the cycle continues.
    Oh to go back to day care days.....

  2. I think the hardest part of dealing with ours sons celiac has been finding a school to meet his needs. The first preschool we sent him too didn't understand his food intolerance at all. He was sick all of the time and we had to leave the school because of it. I always pack his lunch and snack but some how he always was eating things I didn't send for him. Finally we found a preschool where the teacher had Celiac and totally understood how important it was. Then we started homeschooling for K and frist.

  3. Wow, I didn't know too much about celiac disease. Good luck finding the perfect place for her!

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