* this could go several places, so feel free to move it if it fits better somewhere else...
My son attends a 4 day a week, 5 hours a day drop off ABA therapy program for preschool aged kids on the autism spectrum. It's a very small program with a 1:1 student to therapist ratio.
He has a lot of sensitivities and allergies. We informed the program director of these and she felt that because of the 1:1 ratio that they could safely handle him there.
Yesterday when I was picking him up, as I was gathering his backpack etc, I noticed he was putting something in his mouth. I grabbed and noticed it was a peanut. He previously broke out in hives from peanuts, though allergy testing reported back negative results for a peanut allergy. We were told to treat it like an allergy and the therapy program was aware of the possibility of a reaction from peanuts.
I looked around and noticed that there were peanuts all over on the floor and table of this room (library/ waiting room for drop off/ pick up.) I grabbed him, told reception what happened and took him down the street to get benadryl. By the time I got it in him he had some hives already forming. When the first dose wore off, he itched so bad that he scratched until he bled and I had to keep giving him more meds throughout the night as the hives kept coming back. Incidentally, it was his sister's birthday and all of the fun was kind of ruined by this as DS was crabby and groggy from the meds.
Anyway, I emailed the director and his case manager and told them what happened. The director got back to me and apologized for what happened. She said that instead of doing pick up and drop off there, they will bring him to and from our car. She said they can not go nut free at this time, but they will send home a letter to the parents of the other kids letting them know that there are children there with nut allergies.Not asking them not to bring nuts, just telling them. They said a long term goal would to be work towards being nut free but not now.
I am trying to decide if I feel like that is enough to send him back. I am nervous. He stayed home today. I don't get why it is such a big deal to ask kids not to bring peanuts to therapy. I worry that if they made it into the library, they could make it into the main room or therapy rooms just as easily. Or the school room. What if a kid drops his peanut on the floor and my son grabs it? Preschoolers kind of shed snacks, dropping them here and there... what if a kid eats some at lunch and then it falls on his lap/ he puts it in his pocket etc and it falls somewhere else and my son finds it? What if the therapist is not as vigilant as I am about watching him? I have a lot of legitimate fears here.
On the other hand, he needs this therapy. There are not a lot of programs around like this one and waiting lists are long. I am about 75% happy with the program otherwise.