Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sometimes They Just Don't Get It

From the WTF? files.  

My local school district a few years ago took steps to improve the food choices offered to students.    After conducting some research, a new food provider was brought in to provide healthier food choices to students in the cafeterias, soda was banned from vending machines along with candy and sugary, salty snacks, and when pizza, pasta or bread was served, it was always made with whole grains.

I really, really, really loved and appreciated that these steps were taken.   Granted, it's still not perfect, but at least if my daughter was eating pizza or chicken nuggets, I knew it was a better class of crap from the usual, dismal cafeteria offerings given to students across the country.  

So, you can imagine my shock and dismay when I get a permission slip detailing a "field trip" for my 16 year old autistic son to go to, of all places, MCDONALD'S!!!

First, let me back-track.   My son is somewhat overweight--something which typical occurs with people on the spectrum.    The weight issue is due to his inability to self-regulate his food consumption.   If he likes something, he will literally eat until he throws up.   So, you have to limit his portions, and try to gauge whether or not he is actually hungry. 

Now, because diabetes runs in my family, and my son is overweight, he has a pre-diabetic condition.   Our pediatrician,therefore, has advised us to closely monitor his overall food consumption (difficult since he sneaks food), and make sure that he eats a proper diet (at least as much as you can get an autistic teen-ager to do so).

All this information has been conveyed to the school.

Let me also explain that my son loves to buy lunch at school.    We have a debit card system and he just loves to go up, order his own lunch (which always includes fresh fruit thank God).

The first week of school I noticed that he was spending $12-14 a day on lunch.     This got me concerned and I contacted the school and asked what he was getting.

I was told that he was ordering (and eating) 2 hamburgers, a side of bacon and 2 fruit cups a day.

I hit the roof and told the school that the aides with him were not monitoring his eating appropriately.    They, of course, scrambled for an excuse, but indicated they would limit him to $8 a day, and make sure he made better food choices.

Now, the schools' program for my son is beyond lame (and I'm actually trying to get him placed in a private program), and they frequently go on field trips "out into the community."  This is really nothing more than glorified babysitting done because they really don't know what else to do with the lower functioning sped kids.   In the past they've gone bowling, to the zoo, etc.  

So, you can imagine how I hit the roof when I found out that the next "field trip" was to McDonald's.  


And, one of those kids you're taking has a pre-diabetic condition that you know about, and who, you've been told, needs to be on a low-salt, low fat diet?????

It's bad enough that because they can't actually teach these kids they have to go on these lame trips to begin with, but then to take them to a fast food restaurant???

My son still can't get dressed on his own, tie a shoe-lace, take a shower or shave, but the school thinks it's important for him to know how to order in a fast food place?

I really, really, really need to get my son out of that environment ASAP.


  1. OH you have hit a nerve with me. My daughter has Down syndrome is enrolled in our school district's LIFE SKILLS program. (Remember the name... LIFE...SKILLS) Well, we received all of the field trip permission "Community Education Days" papers to sign and take a look:
    1 trip to Wendy's
    1 trip to McDonald's
    1 trip to Ci Ci's Pizza
    1 in class activity where the call to have PIZZA delivered!
    1 trip to a BUFFET!!
    1 trip to a local ice cream establishment.
    1 trip to the mall, (bring $ for the food court)

    Now there were 4 other field trips that were not food oriented...but REALLY!!!

    Our daughter also struggles with her weight. Oh lady, I agree with you 100 percent!!!!!! I have asked the school why all the food trips and have not received an answer.

    Life Skills should be learning how to use the library, how banks work, learning proper nutrition-but no, they 'reward' our kids with bad food.

    I am so hoppin' mad right now after reading your post and typing this comment, I have got to go cool down.

    Thank you so much for posting!

  2. Losing Weight After 45 is a Bitch.September 27, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    mamajuliana, believe me, you and I are not alone. Everyone I know with an older sped kid is appalled by school programing. I think the "food" trips have to do with what's easiest for the staff. It's too much work to take the kids to a library or bank and actually teach them something useful.

  3. Geez, didn't the schools forget about how to link up with a crack dealer? What the 'ell are they doing? Who's getting the kickback?