Safe at School with Food Allergies

 

 

 

Discover a proven system to create a safe

and inclusive experience for your child at school.

  

 

“I felt like my kid was the safest kid at school after working with Gina.”

~ Lenore Welby

  • Are you scared to send your allergic child to school but unsure where to start?
  • Does your heart stop at the thought of getting that dreaded phone call from school?
  • Are you afraid of confrontation or being seen as that mom?
  • Have you heard of 504 plans but don’t know if you need one or how to get one?
  • Does the thought of your child being excluded or endangered keep you up at night?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you're in the right place.

Most of us were not given ANY preparation for dealing with one of the most important projects of our lives -

handing over the care of our allergic child to others.

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For immediate access to the training at the introductory price of $297.

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Your child deserves to be safe at school physically and emotionally.

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There is hope.

Hi, I'm Gina Clowes. I’ve worked and trained thousands of parents across the country. Parents who learn what they can do so that schools will protect (and include) their child.

I can show you how, too.

In my own life, I started to work with preschool staff based on what other parents did before me. I got information off of message boards and in support groups. I didn’t know what I didn’t know (and it was a LOT back then).

My son’s first year in preschool, this approach backfired. Parents were supposed to let me know when birthday treats would be brought in. One day I went in early and saw 15 kids eating cupcakes piled high with icing and sprinkles. And there was my son alone in the corner eating this wheat-free pretzels and drinking a bottle of water. He was physically safe. But he was isolated and excluded. At age 3!

The next year, I found an expensive preschool that was willing to include my son in daily snacks but there were still issues. Like when he came home with a holiday treat bag full of unsafe candy including a full-sized Snickers bar. Thank goodness I picked him up from school that day. What would have happened if he had this on the bus?

And on the last day of school, I really got the lesson about the loopholes, when the teacher could NOT get the locked medicine cabinet open to get his EpiPens out. One minute ... two minutes ... three or more. She jiggled and fumbled with the key. And this was a calm situation.

What would have happened if my son was in the midst of a severe allergic reaction? They could not access his life-saving medication!

These experiences were just the beginning of learning from my mistakes.

I knew I had more to learn prior to my son entering kindergarten. I devoured dozens of books and training courses on advocating for children with health issues at school.  
By the time, I contacted my son’s elementary school. I was prepared. I knew what to ask for. I had a basic understanding of the laws that protect children with health issues at school, and the range of what was possible.  

My hard work paid off.

I got 95% of everything I wanted and 100% of everything my son needed. More importantly, I established respectful relationships with school staff. I was able to help them understand the invisible and deadly threat of food allergies. When challenges arose, they protected my son.
Back when my son was attending preschool, I was scared for his safety.
Did they really get it? What if he snuck something? Would they recognize an allergic reaction? Would they treat it? Use the EpiPen?
This time, things were different and the night before kindergarten, I felt proud of the work that I had done!
After months of preparation, I had my ducks in a row. I slept soundly.

When he got on the bus that first day, I felt a sense of relief.

I knew I had done everything I reasonably could to prepare the environment for my son. And my son for the environment (as much as a 5 year-old can be).

I was so happy for HIM. He was getting on the bus with all of the other kids (albeit with his EpiPens and a bus driver trained to use them)!

EVERY adult he was with during the school day knew about his allergies and was trained to avoid and recognize a severe allergic reaction.

For the past 12 years, I’ve worked with parents across the country who have done the same.

And I can help you too.

   THIS TRAINING IS FOR YOU IF:

  • You’re not sure where to start.
  • Your child’s school tells you they handle food allergies all of the time but you want to know they can.
  • You’ve heard of 504 plans but aren’t sure what they are, why they’re needed, or how to get one.
  • You had a good experience in preschool or kindergarten but now the school is unwilling to provide the precautions you depended on.
  • You feel scared and unsure about how to work with the school.
  • You worry about your child emotionally. Will they sit alone at lunch? Will they be isolated at parties? Will they be able to learn in a classroom with food allergens all around them?
  • You’re worried about being “that mom”. You want to protect your child but don’t want to be aggressive or adversarial.
  • You’re willing to invest in yourself to discover what your child is entitled to and how to work well with others to convey your child’s needs.

   THIS TRAINING IS NOT FOR YOU IF:

  • You have a 504 or other accommodation plan that includes everything needed to keep your child safe and included.
  • You have a positive, working relationship with school staff, are able to address new issues and update your child’s plan as they mature or as new activities and events are added to the curriculum.
  • Your child has safe access to all school activities including classroom parties and events, lunch, extra curriculars, sports, after school activities, the school bus and field trips.
  • Your child is learning to advocate for themselves in an age-appropriate manner. They are well aware of their role and responsibilities (always with the support of adults in charge) and are clear on how to communicate with adults in the event of an allergic reaction.
  • Your child has already an anaphylactic reaction at school and you are planning to advocate for her/him at the same school.
  • You are in a difficult or adversarial relationship with your child’s school. You have hired an attorney (or are considering this) have requested mediation, a due process hearing, or have filed a lawsuit, ADA or Office for Civil rights complaint.

Why THIS training?

First, I have been right where you are. This course is not being taught by an employee or staff member hired to teach on a topic that they haven’t lived. I’m a food allergy parent and my son, unfortunately, is on the far end of the bell curve of food allergies.

My son and I have navigated through two years of preschool, kindergarten and grades 1-12 in multiple private and public schools. Every year, different schools, teachers, events and new challenges. 

I also have a 15 year professional background in this field that included ...

  • Chair of the National Advocacy Committee for the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI)
  • Vice president for The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN)
  • Director of Education and National Director of Training for Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)
  • Consultant in the development of Pennsylvania's state school food allergy guidelines.
  • Program Director for the CDC’s National Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies at School and Early Care Centers where I trained thousands of parents, school nurses, school boards, administrators and teachers across the United States for several years.

I share this with you not to impress you, but to impress upon you that I have unique professional expertise in the area of protecting children with food allergies at school.

You can benefit from my experience to do the same for your child with greater ease and certainty from the comfort of your own home!

"With what’s at stake, you do need help. This is your kid. It’s a huge thing. It can be overwhelming. You could easily spend thousands of dollars getting help with this."

~ Lenore Welby

I've just put the finishing touches on my new course

Safe at School with Food Allergies

It’s all online (no travel, no future dates to track) and you’ll have immediate access when you complete your purchase.

I’ve condensed 15 years of my personal and professional experience into user-friendly trainings.

Get started on the right foot without overwhelm - today.

Safe at School training includes five modules

School Selection: Choose a school that will be the best fit for your child. Pros and cons of public vs. private schools and how to get accommodations in each.

Communication: How you communicate affects your impact. Learn best practices for email, telephone and in-person conversations with school staff. Learn how to manage painful emotions to advocate effectively.

Documentation: How to get and stay organized. Learn why your own record keeping matters. (School staff keep records of all communication from parents and you should too.)

Accommodations: How asking for more than what is needed can backfire. Understand what the National Guidelines for Food Allergies at School recommend and what to do if your child needs more.

Negotiation: Attend meetings fully prepared. Learn what to do when the school says no or tells you something you know to be untrue. (Hint: Don’t pummel them with your intellect.)

In addition to the course, which is the exact content I’ve used to advocate for my own son and to train parents over the years, we have more to share.

Bonus Content

Expert interview with James Long

Former Senior Attorney with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education.

In Gina’s video interview, Jim answers common questions such as:

  • Do school-wide bans work and does the OCR support them?
  • Does the school have to follow the accommodations my child’s doctor suggests?
  • Is an IEP better than a 504 plan for managing food allergies at school?
  • What do to if a school refuses a 504 plan or particular accommodations?

Expert interview with Mary Vargas

Disability rights attorney and founding partner at Stein & Vargas LLP.

In Gina’s video interview, Mary shares her expetise on:

  • What to consider before escalating a concern in schools.
  • When food allergies are a disability (and how to determine this).
  • How Mary, an allergy and celiac parent, handles minor mistakes at school.
  • Recommendations for negotiating food allergy accommodations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

10 Things Children with Food Allergy Want You to Know - ebook

Give others a glimpse into the world of your child: their need to be included, their need to be able to trust and depend on others, their right to participate fully in school and life, their need to be protected from food allergy bullying that can harm them physically and emotionally.

Print and share with teacher, coaches, PTO/PTA’s, friends and relatives.

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At the introductory price of $297

100% satisfaction guarantee.

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“Working with Gina was 150% the right decision. It was money so well spent.”

"Traumatizing and overwhelming is how I’d describe advocating for my child at preschool but the thought of sending her to kindergarten was even scarier.

I didn’t know what to ask for or how this would work.

I have that mama bear instinct to protect my daughter. But I didn’t have the time or the inclination to learn everything there was to know about food allergies and setting up a 504 plan. Initially, I didn’t even know what that was.

I knew this was Gina’s passion and expertise. So, I hired her to work with me. Gina knew the exact questions to ask and what needed to be in place. She brought up things that didn’t even occur to me, like water fountains and fire drills.

I still remember walking out of that school meeting like it was yesterday. The relief that I felt was enormous!

The weight of the world was off of my shoulders.

When it was time for my daughter’s first day of school, I knew I had made the right choice. The plan was in place. The teachers, nurse and principal were all on board. My daughter was able to go to school and focus on her education, not worried about her food allergies all day long. A total relief!

Every year after that, I met with the school again on my own. The effects of working with Gina were still there. I knew what to do and had a much higher level of confidence.

When you have a child with food allergies, you can’t just hope for the best. You have to be proactive.

Working with Gina was 150% the right decision. I I have recommended her to so many people over the years. It was money so well spent."

 ~ Cathy Bernheimer
Owner, Popped Envy Gourmet Popcorn

Your satisfaction is assured ...

... with my no risk, 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE.

This course is the result of years of professional experience and training and I KNOW it can help you to create a plan for safety and inclusion for your child if you implement even a few of my recommendations.

However, if you try the course and you are not happy and satisfied, simply reach out within 30 days and I’ll refund 100% of your purchase price.

Fair enough?

The choice is yours.

Are you confident with your understanding of the laws and guidelines for accommodating food allergies in schools; best practices for communicating with others; how to negotiate in meetings; how to course correct when a mistake happens…

Or you could use an experienced mentor in your corner?

Someone who can help you learn the basics of what your child is entitled to, how to prepare yourself with calm and confidence to communicate with school staff so that they will cooperate and protect your child – physically and emotionally?

That night before the first day back to school can be brutal.

The day after an allergic reaction happens to your child is even worse, especially if you haven’t done all you reasonably can to protect your child.

The time will be here before you know it.

Click the button below.

For immediate access to the training at the introductory price of $297.

Purchase at no risk with our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Your child deserves to be safe at school physically and emotionally.

BUY NOW

Before my son stared kindergarten, I was nervous about his safety. He’d had anaphylactic reactions before but he looks like every other kid. His condition is invisible.

 I didn’t want him in a classroom with milk all over the place - on top of other allergens.

Plus, I don’t like asking for things. I was afraid they’d say no. What then?

These fears were looming all summer.

I knew Gina had experience with her own son and in working with others. Having her in my corner meant having expertise, authority, and credibility.

I didn’t have to know all of the statistics and details of the various laws. I learned the basics from Gina.

She showed me lots of ways to handle various situations, and was able to point out the pros and cons of each option.

The effects of working with her were immediate!

In my son’s first year of kindergarten, we were able to get:

- Classroom snacks changed to fruits and vegetables only. All safe for my son.
- All of his teachers were trained to recognize and respond to anaphylaxis.
- Party food options were safe for him, and I was able to coordinate.
- I was invited as an extra chaperone on field trips.

- And, the principal eliminated edible birthday treats altogether for the entire elementary school (something I didn’t even ask for)!

Through the years, I’ve checked in with Gina on a few issues, but I’ve mostly been able to take the ball and run with it.

Gina teaches that it’s not IF our kids can do something but HOW. And my son has been able to do everything that he ever wanted to at school!

He went on an 8th grade weekend trip to Washington, DC with accommodations for his own food, cooperative roommates and at the various attractions. And a few months ago, he went to his senior prom and graduation! 

I highly recommend working with Gina. You need a guide. You need to handle this professionally, not emotionally. I felt so supported!

~ Janet Huddleston
Art Therapist
Almost Artists, LLC

“I felt like my kid was the safest kid at school with food allergies after working with Gina.”

When my daughter was diagnosed with allergies, we were given a ripped off piece of paper with the different names for milk. That was it.

It was only through my work with Gina that I understood the importance of using epinephrine. Thank goodness because when a babysitter accidentally gave my daughter a chocolate milk flavored soda, the sitter gave epinephrine and saved her life. One sip. That’s all it took.

Anaphylaxis is like a freight train and when it gets too much speed, it’s too late.

So sending my daughter to school was overwhelming. I had a full-time job and two other kids at home. I didn't know where to start.

Gina walked with me through those challenging times when I was about to hand my daughter over to others who didn’t seem to get food allergies.

I wanted to shower them with information. Gina showed me why some of my natural inclinations were not going to be effective. Step by step, I learned what worked.

In the end, I got what we needed!

My daughter’s teacher had Epipens in her drawer. They had them in the gym too. All of her teachers were trained. There were safeguards in place everywhere.

Gina taught me that my child had a right to be safely included in all school activities. Academics aren’t the only part of school.  My daughter was entitled to access.

I really didn’t even understand what that word meant at first.

So many of her teachings have stayed with me. The poker chips, the role of the spouse, her email and meeting advice, having the various angles covered at events, layers of protection, how not to put others on the defensive.

It felt so good to work with her. I felt smart having all this knowledge. And like I had a really good “in” because she was working with me.

Gina is the best person I can think of for food allergy advocacy at school, camp or any other place where they’re entitled to access but need some help.

She gets the fear and frustration, but stays focused on getting you the best outcome. Like, “You’re not crazy for being upset. But you still have to be careful how you handle this.”

I used what I learned many, many times over the years.

And we made it all 12 years! My daughter is thriving, safe and moving on college life advocating for herself now.

This is your kid. It’s a huge thing. It can be overwhelming. You could easily spend thousands of dollars getting help with this. With what’s at stake, you do need help.

Gina is the perfect mix between a friend and an expert. Someone who is really smart and also has your back. She knows exactly where you’re coming from and has the knowledge to help your kids. It was so reassuring to know that I wasn’t in this alone.

~ Lenore Welby

Television Producer

 

Click the button below.

For immediate access to the training at the introductory price of $297.

Purchase at no risk with our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Your child deserves to be safe at school physically and emotionally.

BUY NOW