Am I being over-protective?

Posted on: Fri, 08/17/2018 - 2:28am
judyfix's picture
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Joined: 03/27/2013 - 18:40

Hello, my son is 8 years old and anaphylactic to peanuts. He has also been diagnosed with ADHD/ODD and Aspergers. He really wants some freedom and I have allowed him to walk to his friends to see if they can come play, to ride his bike around the block. One time he even went swimming without me at a buddys house. The issue is that noone at these homes is trained to use the Epipen and I won't allow him to carry it by himself, he would never inject himself if needed. He has a very good understanding about not eating or touching food. I am still nervous though and know he should never be without the Epi, but at what cost to his confidence and skills to make the right decision? If any other parents could weigh in here about what you do, please help. I am very tired of being called over-protective etc. from other parents who have no idea what we're living. Along with the allergy his special needs make me very wary.

Posted on: Tue, 05/05/2015 - 11:46pm
smithdcrk's picture
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Joined: 03/13/2014 - 16:46

You have the added burden of managing not only allergies, but your son's Asperger's and ADHD/ODD. Each alone can make social encounters challenging.
At 8, the maturity is not there to self carry or administer. At that age, my daughter carried a pair of EPI pens, antihistamine and cortisone creme in a bright pencil bag (or small knapsack) which she would hand over to the reigning adult. All were labeled with her name, included the FARE allergy action plan and an insurance card.
It was our routine.
Having a kit, ready made, made it easy. Her coaches, activity coordinators, babysitters and friends' parents knew to look for the bag. We once left it behind at one of my son's activities and his coach called immediately to let us know he had it!
Independence is important. But, the adults that supervise an allergic child should know the drill or know to ask for help. I always spoke with the adults that would supervise her. Some, like nurses, life guards and teachers were better versed than I. If they couldn't handle it, she couldn't participate without me as a volunteer or chaperone.
Now in HS, she carries the Auvi-Q which gives verbal instructions and she has begun teaching her friends and their parents what to look for and do in an emergency. The new FARE action plan is very helpful.
She recently attended a camp where the staff were not well informed about allergies. Although I was invited, I decided to let my daughter navigate independently.
Before anyone starts singing "Wings" ... The coach and I decided in that environment she would be safer bringing her own food. So she lugged a cooler that was almost as heavy as she to camp.
It is a tough balance. Like the ropes class at camp. The kids are rigged not to prevent the fall, but to protect them from the worst (but not all) consequences. These decisions are based on our kids maturity, their risk aversion and the support of the adults supervising them. At camp, my daughter skipped one part of the ropes course and went onto a more challenging part. When asked about it, she said, "It wasn't the spotter or the rigging I was worried about, it was that old grey board that supported THEM."
Don't worry about someone that calls you over protective. You are the one that lives this everyday. Your normal is NOT their normal.

Posted on: Tue, 05/05/2015 - 9:39am
PeanutAllergy.com's picture
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Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

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