We are constantly fighting for Phoebe to be included in as many things as possible and trying to avoid her feeling like she is being left behind or missing out. And deciding whether or not to send her on this trip was another one of these struggles. Phoebe going alone on this trip, on a large bus with her entire grade was not an option. There were too many risks, and she would be too far away God forbid something were to happen. For Phoebe to go on this trip, to be included in this special event with her class and grade, I would go with her and drive her myself. So I checked the box on the bottom of the first page for parents to who wished to attend the field trip with their child and I hand wrote in that I would be attending for medical reasons and would have all of Phoebe's medications with me.
On the second page of the permission slip I filled in all the necessary information about her symptoms, limitations and medications hoping that I was providing her school (who already knows everything) with enough information so that these accommodations could be made like they were the year prior.
Unfortunately, that was not the case. I was informed that I would not be "allowed" to attend the field trip as two other parents were chosen as the class chaperones. I was also told that the school nurse would be going on the bus and be present the entire trip so I could tell her all of the things to watch for with Phoebe and that the nurse would handle them accordingly.
My response....My daughter trips and falls in your school and it goes unnoticed even though she is supposed to have an aide walking with her at all times. My daughter has subtle breathing changes that can progress rapidly if they are not caught early enough, breathing changes that she has come home from school with that have been missed. My daughter is on a specially assigned school bus due her respiratory issues, she does not take a large crowded bus, especially over an hour away. I'm sorry but if I am unable to attend and bring her, she will not be participating in the field trip and I will keep her home from school that day.
Without pause, I was told they understood and excused her from that day of school. I was disgusted, and Phoebe was crushed. Now it wasn't just Phoebe feeling like her body was holding her back, it was her school being unwilling to make accommodations to allow her to participate because of her body/symptoms. Whoever said our special education department was phenomenal lied! All I knew was I needed to make Phoebe feel extra special on her missed field trip day.
To help make Phoebe feel special for missing her day of school and the field trip she desperately wanted to attend, I took her with me to get our fingernails done. She loved it! From picking out her color to feeling special and pampered, Phoebe couldn't stop smiling. She was loving it so much she even asked to be able to get her toes done as well. How could I say no?! We both knew what she was missing, but at this time in the nail salon she didn't mind!
I wish I could have brought her on her field trip with her class, but today turned out better than either one of us expected.