Adult Perspective on Stressed Out 12 Y.O.


Hi All,

I posted this in the "living with" forum, but thought some of you big people might be able to offer me some advice from your perspective.

My almost 12 year old son has been PA for as long as he can remember. From the time he "got it" at the age of 4, he's been quite compliant and generally OK with it. A grumble of "I wish I could have that" here and there, but overall just fine.

Lately he's been resenting his allergy more and more. Situations which take us out of our usual routine especially upset him, especially eating out. He gets very upset when he can't order anything he wants (even when I know it's something he'd hate!), and is no longer satisfied with substitutes from home.

For example - we were away this weekend, and met some relatives at a restaurant near them. I called ahead, was assured that there was plenty he could eat, blah, blah, blah. When we got there, there was in fact literally one thing on the menu that was definitely OK. Fortunately it was what he wanted anyway, but just the thought that he couldn't choose p*ssed him off.

Then as we were leaving, we went to pick up sandwiches for the train ride home. I knew there were two safe take outs he could choose from, but he didn't want either of them. He ended up in tears, saying all he could ever eat was pizza and sandwiches (and not even many of those because of the sesame allergy!).

On top of everything else, his allergies in general seem to be getting worse. I thing that's stressing both of us out.

I totally appreciate how he feels, and don't want to ignore his feelings, but am starting to get panicky that he'll start acting out and taking chances, KWIM?

Any suggestions out there, especially from some of our adult PA members? I'm considering placing a call to Lisa Cipriano Collins (is that her name?) to get some pointers from her.

Thanks everyone!


On Nov 18, 2005

Amy, I'm not ignoring you.

Since i have adult on-set I didn't live through 12 years old with allergies. And none of my kids had allergies that really affected their lives at that age either.

hugs}}} to both of you.

On Nov 21, 2005

I stopped going to restaurants where I only had one food choice long before I had PA, soy allergies, etc. Back then, I didn't see the point in giving a restaurant my money if they didn't care enough to offer a vegetarian option or three.

I stopped going to restaurants that didn't offer soy-free stuff.

We ate a lot of sushi (veggie for me), Lebanese, Indian, Thai, and Greek. We skipped family style restaurants and seafood and chains, since they were the least accomodating of veg*nism. When going out with family, we chose *nice* restaurants. Sure, they're pricier, but the chef at a nice restaurant is usually far more accomodating of special dietary needs.

These days, I won't go to any restaurant if I can help it. Simply put, with a gluten intolerance, PA, soy allergy, and latex allergy, it's not worth it. I put together amazing picnics and my friends and I head for the mountains for our dinners out. I host dinners or eat at friends' homes. If I do have to go out with family, we try to make sure I can get a baked potato and plain salad. I try not to resent every minute of it, but it's hard. Eating out is *not* fun for me. It's a trial. I enjoy the company, but I dislike having to grill the server and I hate having to sit and not eat anything at all. I bring my own dressing, sour cream, etc. If the restaurant doesn't have real butter, we don't go. [img][/img]

There is *one* restaurant in town I trust. They serve tapas. I don't know if you'd feel comfortable eating tapas (pine nuts are common), but if you do, try eating at a tapas bar sometime. Your son might find it really cool. I also like Indian food. Cashews and pistachios sometimes show up, so you'll have to be wary if he's TNA. Ethiopian food is good, just make sure the chef isn't super fond of groundnuts (peanuts).


On Nov 27, 2005

Hey Amy,

Sorry your son is having such a tough time. My PA was not much of an issue when I was a kid, but I can tell you that sometimes I still get upset when I can't have things others are having and I am 33 [img][/img] After a LONG but relatively nice Thanksgiving weekend my inlaws all decided we should go out to dinner last night - I was exhausted from travelling to them in NJ on Thursday, then to Queens to my family on Friday and back to NJ on Sat and the thought of going out where I knew everyone would be getting dessert just upset me so much - I had a mini break down on the way to the restaurant and then again when we finally got home (partly for me and parlty fo food allergi son), so it happens to the best of us. I am sure your son will get through this tough patch but you just have to try and remain upbeat and remind him how important it is that he doesn't experiment. If we go out to eat its only to restaurants where I feel comfortable and have eaten several times before. We don't eat out much....I have learned how to make some great desserts b/c I can never have them at restaurants - good for my morale, but not my waistline.

Anyway I know how heart breaking and stressful this must be for you - MY 16 month old is dairy and egg allergic and I get weepy everytime I think about what it will be like for him when he is older and everyone else is having ice cream or cake or pizza - its so hard and there isn't really much we can do but offer safe alternatives and let them vent (not looking forward to that).

I wish there was more I could say. Good luck.


On Nov 29, 2005

Thanks for the input everyone. He seems to have calmed down about it. It guess it's one of those things that will sort of ebb and flow over time.