Support group for the kids with food allergies?
We have been living with severe Peanut and Tree Nut allergies for 10 years now. My son is in 5th grade at a new school, and his anxiety is worse than ever. At his old school his friends were very supportive, he was relaxed and happy. Here they seem to be open, but there have been several incidents at lunch. One included him being sent to the office to eat lunch, because there were too many kids that day with peanut butter, leaving him in tears. Then another child at the school had been bullied in an incident the week before. The nurse is sympathetic but has told me she still eats peanut butter herself and has peanut butter crackers in the nurses office! There is also another boy who goes into that lunch room every day asking about peanuts and nuts on the menu. I could go on, and we all know the variety of attitudes and incidents that can occur. My son has quit eating lunch-and I pack his every day. He is afraid every single day that he could die, and this breaks my heart. It's hard for us as parents, but these kids also live in fear for their lives with every bite they eat. SO, I have decided to create a support group just for these kids. "I've got your back" is our slogan, and I've found a young teacher at a local after-school program who has numerous food allergies herself, including peanut and tree nut, who would like to lead the group.
Does anyone have any experience with this? There are so many support groups for parents and adults, but what about these terrified kids? I want them to know that they are not alone in school every day, and that they have someone to talk to when they feel afraid. It's one thing to be your own advocate, but I want them to have a place where they can discuss their feelings with others who are going through the same experience.
I don't know where to start, and need some advice.
We are all in this together!