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Kindergardener Using Her Celiac To Get Out Of School...how Do I Deal With This?

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My daughter who is in Kindergarden is "playing up" her Celiac at school. The school called me to tell me she said her stomach was hurting because of her celiac. She was in the nurses station for about 30 minutes. I ,without thinking, let her have french fries last night from Wendy's...so she truely was probably feeling bad, however, when I picked her up... the second we came home she wanted to play and have a good old time and eat. Then later she said she doesn't like her school. So, I am having trouble with the fine line of wanting to acknowledge her Celiac but also make sure she isn't doing it to get out of something. Whenever she doesn't want to be somewhere she does this. Usually, I know she is doing it because I watch her diet very carefully but this time I messed up. And then there are times when she is not in my care and she might have honestly ate gluten in something and feel really bad. She use to throw up (bial) when she had an episode before we new what was wrong... but now she just feels bad.

I am just wondering if anyone has had a simular problem and how you delt with it? Also, what to tell the school if this happens again? Because usually she feels better after about 1 to 2 hours if it is truely a celiac issue. Do I tell them to keep her there...so she can participate when she feels up to it or what? I certainly can not be taking off work a couple of times a month...just to bring her home and her tell me she is fine now.

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Hi, unless the fries had cc issues they should not be a problem, Wendy's is usually safe. My nephew does not have Celiac went through an issue this past school year (first grade) in which when ever he felt he had enough of being there, he went to the nurse. Now he does not have celiac to play up be he certainly has the sweet factor going on and everyone thought if he is complaining, he must really be sick. The first time he got sent home we knew right away once he was home that he was fine. After the second time the nurse called my sister allerted them to the fact that he just wants to come home and eventually he stopped going (it took a long time though). Maybe remind her that if she uses Celiac to get out of school no one will believe her when she really is sick. Hopefully, she will outgrow this.

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This sounds familiar. My daugther doesn't have celiac, but food allergies. She would often say she thought she was going to throw up so I wouldn't send her to school. She is very good at faking it and I can never tell if she is really sick or not. And she would usually pull this on a day when I was not feeling well so I'd keep her home rather than risk having to go out to pick her up sick from school when I didn't feel like going out.

In her case, she really didn't like school. Because of issues caused by the undiagnosed allergies, she was put in special ed. That meant pulling her out of her regular class so she missed what was going on in there. I think she felt like she was always trying to play "catch up".

This coming year she will not be in special ed. and she is looking forward to going to school. I hope so! The school was telling me she missed too many days last year. I did mention the problem to the school psychologist. Perhaps you could do the same.

When my daughter was in Kindergarten, there was a serious issue with the teacher and she never got over it. The one they had at the start of the year had only taught Jr. High prior. She didn't understand little kids. Didn't understand how they could not know whether or not they needed to use the bathroom. She laughed at them and yelled at them. I got these same sort of reports from all the parents I spoke to and she even told us she was laughing at them when she called a parent teacher conference at the start of the year. She was replaced within two weeks with what I think was a good teacher, but my daughter never recovered from that first teacher. It took her until second grade before she really started trusting teachers again.

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My son visited the nurse a lot when he was in kindergarten (he did not have Celiacs.) Then there was the time when I sent him to school because I thought he was faking it and he wasn't. So after a couple of "is he or isn't he really sick" episodes, I went to talk to the school nurse. She is a wonderful lady. I asked her if she could give me any advice on how to tell if he was truly feeling bad when there is no outward signs (fever or vomitting etc). She told me to not worry about it - if I didn't think he was sick then send him in - if she needed to call me she would. She said that every year she has a few frequent visitors. She thinks part of it is the kids testing the parents to see if they will really come. She said they always outgrow it. A couple of times, my son would maintained that he was sick and she would tell him that she thought that after lunch he would probably be just fine and he should come back to school - and he would. So my recommendation would be to talk to the school nurse and see what her take is on it.

That being said - when one of my kids is home sick (and I don't think they should be), there is no playing on the computer, they might get to watch a little TV while laying on the couch but not much, no talking to friends, and meals are on the bland side. It's not going to be FUN to be at home.

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My daughter who is in Kindergarden is "playing up" her Celiac at school.

Haha, once again, I obviously don't have any children, but I had to respond to this because I used to do that all the time. I didn't do it in kindergarden, I was a little goody two shoes...but when I got a little bit older, I did this all time to get out of recess, or going to a birthday party I didn't want to go to, or when I was scared to spend the night at a friends house and didn't want to "look like a baby". This summer at the summer camp I worked at we had a 3rd grader who was diebetic, he used that as an excuse every day to get to go inside early, we had to let him, because we we didn't want to take a chance, even though 98% of the time he wassn't really feeling "low", and as soon as he stepped inside he was running all over the place.

My mom used to tell me to rest for 30-45 minutes in the clinic and see how I felt, and usually by the time a 1/2 hour was over I was either so bored I would say I felt better and go back to class, or I was fast asleep and really didn't feel good, in which case my mom would pick me up. Sometimes if my mom couldn't pick me up after the 45 minutes, and I really didn't feel good, the nurse would get me some fruit from the cafeteria because that always helped my stomache feel better.

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I don't have a celiac child at home, just a few thoughts you might consider:

We all tend to figure out ways to indirectly deal with emotional stressors that have a hard time with or don't know how to deal with directly. So I think as a parent behavior like this is a signal that our kids are struggling. Doing things that help them express the struggle directly may help. Read books about going to kindergarten, dealing with unhappy experiences, etc. Talk about emotions, where you feel them in your body, how to express them, what to do when you feel that way.

Also at this age, attachment issues are normal. I just heard someone talk on this topic. She said a transitional object can be very important, like a favorite blanket, toy, etc. Carrying a picture of mom and dad, home, etc. can also be very helpful. (Pin it on??)

Also if this continues for awhile, you might consider play therapy--maybe family play therapy where parents and child are involved. Children work out their emotional traumas and hurts through play, and a therapist who understands this process might help this happen more easily, and you could learn from the process some new ideas of how to help your child at home.

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My little girl did this a lot last year. She really did get sick the first time and bonded with the caring, nurturing nurse. After that she wanted to go back again and again and would tell little fibs to get the TLC she wanted. I teach high school, and I can honestly say there are "frequent flyers" in high school for the same reason.

I got her to stop by reminding her that if she faked sick all the time, no one would believe her if she really was sick. I also decided to "believe" her every time she was sick. I got the school to tell me when she visited the nurse and we had "sick rest" those evenings. No games, no TV, no exciting snacks or dessert. BRAT diet (heavy on the plain brown rice!), bedrest, etc. while my husband and I ate normally and engaged in fun activities. She eventually got the point that she didn't want to be "sick" anymore.

I would imagine, even if you did nothing, that she'd grow out of it though.

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Greetings,

I am a sixth grade teacher and I will tell you that it doesn't get easier with age. I have had both ends of the spectrum. From students crying wolf, to students who refuse to see the nurse when they really need to.

I would suggest a reward system or sticker chart for good behavior. If she doesn't cry wolf I may offer a special

snack or free time. I would also explain how serious it is to pretend to be sick.

Good luck

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Yup, my kindergartener played the "food allergy" card last year. She is smart and knows how to work the system. She wanted to be home with mommy. I had a discussion with the teacher about her "not allowed to EVER lie about her allergy." We discussed the "other" issues that could be going on. (missing home) Turns out after involving the teacher, who was awsome, the problems stopped. A few times last year I got a call during class where the teacher explained the what she was doing (acting out started once allergies were no longer an option), I spoke to her on the phone and her behavior changed for the rest of the day.

I did find the best way to handle the beginning of school/food allergies game was to talk to the teacher in person, with the kid present. Then I tried to make more hugs and mommy time after school, so she didn't feel like she missed anything. If she did stay home sick, it was not a fun day. It was a boring day and we talked about the stuff the teacher was doing at school that she missed. This year my child has already told me she wants perfect attendance because she wants the award at the end of the school year!!! I'll be using that to my advantage :P

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