School / Western vs. Alternative Medicine

Within the past couple of weeks, we’ve made the decision to try to send my three-year-old daughter to the Montessori School here in Champaign-Urbana. I was hopeful that, with some cooperation from the school, she might be able to attend in the fall. We’ve had her there two times within the past few weeks, and each time she’s ended up having a reaction which required benadryl. My optimism is fading fast. If all else fails, I’ll keep her home and continue to home school her. Since I’ve got an older child who doesn’t have food issues and attends school, I really wanted to provide my youngest with the same experience. I would love to hear from anyone in a similar situation in which one child is home schooled and the other is not.

Speaking of schools, I did set up a Montessori classroom in the basement of our home last fall. We have a directress who comes here twice a week to work with her and another little boy who is being home schooled. I’ve had a number of friends ask me why I don’t open a school for children with severe allergies. In all honesty, I don’t think there would be much demand for it here. I think once we move back to the Chicago area (if our house ever sells), it might be an option. Please send your thoughts and feedback. Is an allergen free school a good idea? Especially for preschool – early elementary years?

I got an email last week from Jennifer who lives in northern Illinois. She had read my previous blog entries and had this comment to offer:

“I know the point of your blog is to help everyone by sharing the more natural remedies and info out there. But coming from someone who has been
organic, wheat free, white sugar free, and vegetarian and has avoided western medicine (whenever possible) for 20 years, I have learned, through this (her own personal experience with eczema & allergies), that sometimes natural is not the answer.”

I couldn’t agree more with Jennifer. There are times when western medicine is the only solution. Since my daughter is allergic to nearly every antibiotic on the market, we don’t have a lot of options when it comes to treating her. She’s now even allergic to the steroid cream that the doctors prescribed for her. From our experience, I can say we’ve seen more results working with our naturopath than with our more traditional doctors. I think we have to be open to whatever works for our child.

I think the solution lies in a blending of western and homeopathic medicines. A nutritionist at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago told me not long ago that children in the ICU unit are now being given probiotics with their antibiotics. They’ve found that it cuts down on the meds side effects, such as diarrhea. I found it truly encouraging.
My hope is that we’ll see more of this down the road.

On a final note, I’ve come across a company that has outstanding allergy-free mixes. The company is called the Cravings Place, and it was started by chef Juli Walton who trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Her mixes are gluten-free, wheat free, nut free, egg free, dairy free and bean free. We especially like her pancake & waffle mix, the chocolate chunk cookie mix and the ooey gooey chocolate chewy brownie mix. They’re truly to die for.

Until next week—

March 7, 2008

Posted by Amy Wicker on March 07, 2008.

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