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Old 02-10-2012, 07:06 AM
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Default Tom's Blog Post On The ADA

I was reading Tom's post on the ADA, and I have to say that it really surprised me. If I understood him right, then by law, I would have to explore hiring someone who knew ASL or would help with an autistic child. They could force me to build a ramp into my private home if someone came to me wanting me to keep their child? It seems the rule is rather vague--offering an exemption if the cost was prohibitive, although there doesn't seem to be a number there. These days, $100 is prohibitive. Would I be required to change out the faucet handles on my sinks or make things inside my house wheelchair accessible? I understand and agree with ADA for public buildings (and when I spent 2 months in a wheelchair after an injury, I was very thankful for it, although I was able to see some drawbacks in interpreting the code!). I had just never thought of my home as a public building.

So, I wonder, have you ever run into issues with ADA in your home daycare?
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:36 AM
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I haven't run into an issue. Reasonable accommodations are just that, meant to be reasonable.

Using your helper example, a client cannot insist you hire a helper at your own expense = unreasonable. Now, if you refuse to hire a helper for a child b/c you don't feel like it, but the parent is willing to pay the helper, then yes...that is you not being reasonable, imo. If you look into an helper, can't find someone qualified, then obviously you would not be able to care for a child that needs additional care.

As far as requiring a ramp, no. I have never seen one that cost less than a grand. Good luck finding a contractor to come out to pour concrete on a job under $500. Not reasonable.

And honestly, a $100 one time cost to care for a child is reasonable...that is the cost of a nice pack & play, a replacement of two used ones...that is not unreasonable, and really stretching to say that it is. A $100 weekly expense would be unreasonable. Learning how to use a neb, or a feeding tube is not unreasonable.

Wheelchair access...if you are only caring for under school age children, then there is very little accommodation you would need to do...their chairs are narrow, a 36" door is unnecessary...a ramp is not needed, you can generally 'bump up' if just a couple steps... that is accommodating their needs reasonably. If you are in a multilevel home & use multiple floors...then it is not reasonable to be carrying a kid & a chair up & down the stairs multiple times a day. Installing a wheelchair lift is not reasonable. All JMO, of course.
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:50 AM
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I was advised that if I took subsidy or food program payment (ANY form of govt. money), I'd be held to "public" standards.

If I remained privately funded, I would not.

Other than that I am sure there are loopholes for everything.

Sad the laws seem to be enforced based on how much legal assist you can afford......

Personally, I try to accommodate most everything. Medical need is my Niche Market and I enjoy those families the most.

IME, families who have been challenged by REAL life crisis seem to be the most likely to enjoy and appreciate the good in the world. They inspire me.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:10 AM
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Solandia, I wasn't clear. What my mind was saying but my fingers didn't type properly is that "reasonable cost" is relative. With a husband on SS and my little dc, we get by just fine. But, if I had to spend $100 or, let's say $200 on new faucets or something, I would have to dip into savings. I could do it, but I wouldn't want to. I would say that was not reasonable.

I don't mind making accomodations, I didn't mean to sound evil. I know how to use a nebulizer, and I can do whatever needs done. It's sort of like my peanut allergic child, I cleansed my home of peanuts products, painful as that was for me. Except for the steps, I know my home is wheelchair accessible door-wise. My son is a plumber and was telling me about having to change out faucets for a business to meet ADA, even though no employees needed them and it wasn't open to the public.

But, what if the autistic child was prone to moments of violence now and then. Or what if the level of care required (like a feeding tube) took a chunk of time from the other kids. I'm just curious about where the lines are drawn and if it is always a case by case basis.

It was more an exploratory, curious question. I'm full with a waiting list, so I don't expect it to be an issue for me for awhile. And there, I probably just jinxed myself. (smile)
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:13 AM
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Catherder, I've always liked your posts, now I suspect I would like you in person too. I admire someone who can deal with chronic illness. I don't know if I'd have the strength.

The worst I've had to accommodate so far is a child that cried from dark to dark, and I pulled that off, so maybe I'm tougher than I think. ;-)

The public money may be the key to this. I hadn't thought of that.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Sunchimes View Post
Or what if the level of care required (like a feeding tube) took a chunk of time from the other kids. (smile)
My daughter has a feeding tube, and sometimes I wish all my kids did. :-) It is so much easier to feed her. Put some formula in a bag and turn on the pump. No drama about anything!! And meds. I would love to have feeding tubes just for the ease of giving meds!!

Lori
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:28 AM
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See Lori, I didn't know that. I assumed it involved cleaning and other major things. I guess it's one more thing I've learned from this forum. Thank you.

Funny note--in the part of my post that you quoted, it put (smile) at the end of my sentence about the feeding tube. I thought that was odd, why would I put a smile there? That isn't a smile type sentence. So, I scrolled back up and saw that it was a copy glitch. ;-)
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:36 AM
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Default so tough

I too was told that if you accept government money for any reason (food program or subsidy) you were treated as a public business.

One I dont participate in the food program here, because the coordinator here is a flake and the extra $160 a month i would get just is not worth all the paperwork and hassle.

I have heard of a few instances where the provider got into issues with this.

One a DCchild had a SEVERE allergic reaction to peanuts. She couldnt even be around the dust. The provider had to have her house thouroughly cleaned and could not allow anything with peanuts or anything made in a plant processed with peanuts in it. She was told that she couldn not exclude this girl from care because the resources to meet this girls needs were not unreasonable. I felt so bad for the provider because the parents were really tough on her. Finally she was able to terminate the girl because her parents broke terms of the contract when the girl was out sick for 3 days and did not come back to care with a doctors note. The family tried to sue her for excluding her based on her disability. The judge ended up throwing the case out, but the poor provider had to do soooo much and make sure all the i's and t's were crossed every single step of the way.

The second issue came up when a provider enrolled a child (2 years old) that had some issues. The parents played it off that he had delayed speech and was very independent. The provider gave a full efforted try to include this child in everything, but the provider just couldnt provide the care this child needed with the current enrollment that she had. After 2 months the provider told the parents she was giving them up to a months notice to find other care, she just couldnt meet his needs. They came back and said you can't exclude him he is autistic and you can't exclude based on a disability. The provider had alot of issues with this and I am not certain how all of it ended up but the provider added to her contract that parents must disclose all medical information/diagnosis upon enrollment.

For me I specialize in kids who have pschological issues. (Austism spectrum, PDD, ADHD, Bipolar, Depression) So I understand alot of that goes into taking care of them and some of the unfairness and stereotypes they have witnessed.

From what I have read from these policies alot of it is up to interpretation of whomever is reading it. Don't get me wrong I have a son with disabilities and the ADA has a time and a place and has afforded my son alot of opportunities at success he wouldnt have otherwise had. I am just saying sometimes home daycare providers are really backed into a corner.

Overall, I just pray that I dont get caught in one of these catch 22s.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:47 AM
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Feeding tubes are really simple... sometimes the gravity ones are a bit harder because of the cleaning/sterilization requirements. Once you get the hang of it, there is nothing to it.

Glucometers are SUPER easy now and you just jot down a couple numbers throughout the day. Injections are easier, too, since many use insulin pumps and parents are accustomed to centers requiring them to come in to give them as well (if you are uncomfortable with it). A digital food scale for proper serving size help tremendously .

HIV is getting easier, too. The meds work well and phobias are getting less and less prominent in the general public. As long as you use universal precautions, as we are supposed to for ALL kids, there is minimal to NO risk. Many centers have these kids and don't even know it. A strictly enforced illness policy is really all these kids need to stay healthy and active.

Spina Bifida in infants is a bit tricky, but cleanliness, gloves and simple first aid training will prepare you. The parents are a great resource for wound care training as well.

Autism/FAS/Downs, etc have govt programs that have access to help from the state. They come to your home and do therapy a few times a week, they will also train you on how best to help the child.

Oxygen therapy is super easy now with the new uber light weight bottles.


If you want to care for special kids, there is always a way.. The real problem comes in when we are forced to go beyond our comfort level. There is NO EXTRA PAY for this. It is simply a "for the love" kind of a deal.

For others, who have a medical degree, keeping these kids has a different level of liability. We are not covered under the Good Samaritan act, therefore risk losing our professional license, homes or even jail time if we make a mistake.

Sometimes I am told the risk is too great. It is not always a black and white issue... Luckily, IME, these families are the most understanding there are when given the absolute truth.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:32 AM
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I guess that is what I wonder about-the comfort level. I'm not very patient with sickness, mine, hubby's, even the dog or cat. I've never really been around it and don't have any idea how I would handle it.

I'm guessing I would handle it the way I handle everything else in life, adjust and do my best.

I'm not worried about it, I was just wondering how far it extended. Honestly, if I had a child with a chronic issue, I wouldn't choose me. I have dogs and inside cats and a drafty old Victorian house. Works great for most kids, but I wouldn't pick me for kids that were susceptible to things.

I"ve never met a kid I didn't love--well, ok, once, when I was teaching school, but that was long ago. I'm sure I'm more capable than I feel sometimes. ;-)
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:47 AM
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Default in my opinion

I am with you catherder, in my experience, parents of kids who need xtra help are the most appreciative, willing to help and listen, and most concerned with how you are doing. They are just so thankful that you see past their childs "issues" and love them the way they do. This year for xmas I got a 2 hour massage and 1 hour facial from the family of one of my autistic boys.

Sometimes it takes a little bit for a family to "let you in" because they have learned to be so defensive of their children.

Most of my special needs children get therapy from the state and I am more than willing to work with them to come here. It does take alot of skill and effort to make it all work though, with times and naps and activity planning that can be all inclusive but where the child who doesnt have special needs isnt getting any attention either.

It gets onto a real slippery slope too, because typically kids who say have aspergers dont want their kids strictly in groups of other asperger kids. But parents who have children that dont have any "issues" feed into alot of stereotypes and think these kids are dumb or whatever. Sometimes it takes me coercing and alot of reassurance that thier child will be better off learning alongside a special needs child.

I had one parent tell me the other day how apprehensive she were to enroll their 3 year old, knowing I had an autistic boy in the class. She went on to explain that she always has a better day when she drops of her child and he (the autistic boy) is there. He is always the first one to great her, give her a hug, and tell her bye and have a good day. She said to everyone else I am "jamie's mom" to him, I am a "bootiful pwincess".
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:36 AM
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>She said to everyone else I am "jamie's mom" to him, I am a "bootiful pwincess".

Aw, that's so sweet. My cousin had Down's (do they call it that anymore? That was 40 years ago.) She was one of the kindest people I've ever known--and in some ways, the smartest. There was nothing about music that she didn't know.

I've taught kids with developmental issues and I've taught in a reform school (they really called them that in those days), so that doesn't worry me. Well, none of it actually worries me except to wonder if I have the ability to care for them properly. I wonder if an autistic child had moments of anger that could hurt another child if we could let them go for that reason.

But, as I said, it was curiosity not worry that started this thread. I had never considered ADA accommodations applying to an in-home business.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:19 PM
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From what I have read from these policies alot of it is up to interpretation of whomever is reading it. Don't get me wrong I have a son with disabilities and the ADA has a time and a place and has afforded my son alot of opportunities at success he wouldnt have otherwise had. I am just saying sometimes home daycare providers are really backed into a corner.

Overall, I just pray that I dont get caught in one of these catch 22s.
I just want to say thank you about you said about home daycare providers. My daughter is deaf and PDD. That is how I feel about this too.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunchimes View Post
I was reading Tom's post on the ADA, and I have to say that it really surprised me. If I understood him right, then by law, I would have to explore hiring someone who knew ASL or would help with an autistic child. They could force me to build a ramp into my private home if someone came to me wanting me to keep their child? It seems the rule is rather vague--offering an exemption if the cost was prohibitive, although there doesn't seem to be a number there. These days, $100 is prohibitive. Would I be required to change out the faucet handles on my sinks or make things inside my house wheelchair accessible? I understand and agree with ADA for public buildings (and when I spent 2 months in a wheelchair after an injury, I was very thankful for it, although I was able to see some drawbacks in interpreting the code!). I had just never thought of my home as a public building.

So, I wonder, have you ever run into issues with ADA in your home daycare?
Most of people don't know about ADA. I do.

You don't have to hire someone who knows ASL but you can learn sign language if you have a child in your daycare who is deaf. If you refused to learn sign language or hire someone else who knows ASL then you can get in trouble for that if the parents finds out or child frustrated if you leave her/him out with no communicate.

A friend of mine who is deaf and he has graphic design degree. He was looking a job and he applied that job. They interview with him and they mailed to him. The manager or whoever wrote him a letter to let him know that they decided not to hire him because they don't know how to communicate with him.. Ouch! That is against ADA. They can communicate with him to write a note, that is simple. I am deaf myself but I can speak very well and I have seen a lot of people are negotiable about deaf culture, which is sad.

My husband's co worker is deaf at his job. Most of time they asked my husband to interpreter to him whatever they have meeting or anything else. Before they knew my husband who knows sign language, they watched my husband and the guy talked with sign language. That is how they use my husband so they don't have to pay an interpreter because they charged $60 to $80 an hour. Of course, they knew about ADA but they keep it quiet. My husband told me it doesn't bother him but sometimes he have other things to do.
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunchimes View Post
>She said to everyone else I am "jamie's mom" to him, I am a "bootiful pwincess".

Aw, that's so sweet. My cousin had Down's (do they call it that anymore? That was 40 years ago.) She was one of the kindest people I've ever known--and in some ways, the smartest. There was nothing about music that she didn't know.

I've taught kids with developmental issues and I've taught in a reform school (they really called them that in those days), so that doesn't worry me. Well, none of it actually worries me except to wonder if I have the ability to care for them properly. I wonder if an autistic child had moments of anger that could hurt another child if we could let them go for that reason.

But, as I said, it was curiosity not worry that started this thread. I had never considered ADA accommodations applying to an in-home business.

Most home daycare business do let autistic child go if she/he hurt a child or more but that is nothing to do with ADA unless you said I cannot handle him or her because of his/her special needs or autism.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:19 PM
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I'm already learning sign language, along with my babies. I'm using the signing time videos, so it's minimal, but I find myself using signs all the time with my little ones. It makes a difference I think.

I don't mind learning new things or working a little harder, but I simply can't afford any more major expenses, like ramps or new plumbing fixtures.

I learned a lot about ADA when I spent a couple of months in a wheelchair. I learned that they can call a restroom accessible, but it doesn't mean it is. One of our favorite restaurants had only one restroom for women. It was at the end of a hallway wide enough for a wheelchair but not wide enough for the chair to make the turn into the restroom or to back out when leaving. The kitchen was next door, and one day, I got trapped, couldn't move, the waiters couldn't get past me with the food, and it was really awkward. Say what they will, it was not accessible. I had a new respect for the whole issue after that!

But, if I must, I must. I was just curious how much of an issue it had been for others.
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