Support group for the kids with food allergies?

Posted on: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 3:49am
Liamsmominkc's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/24/2013 - 22:04

Hello,
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!

Posted on: Sat, 03/05/2016 - 4:08am
PeanutAllergy.com's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, PeanutAllergy.com answers one of the questions posted in our community.
Our Answer:
Thank you for your question. We are sorry to hear your child is having a difficult time at school. It’s definitely important for your child’s allergy to be taken seriously at school.
The idea of creating a support group is a really great one. Many children can feel like they are alone in their experience with a food allergy.
Firstly, you might also want to consider other options specifically for your child. For example, you can speak to the school about creating a 504 plan. 504 plans, named for Section 504 of 1973’s Rehabilitation Act, guarantee a disabled person’s right to full participation in the benefits of federally assisted programs. This applies to a food allergy. It means that you can agree upon specific food allergy accommodations with the school and document them so that they are followed. You can read more about 504 plans and how to talk to your child’s school about one here.
It’s also important to talk to your son — or any child with food allergies — about dealing with bullying or teasing from other students. Many children are unfortunately familiar with this experience. While we cannot stop other children from behaving in harmful ways, there are some ways to deal with each situation as it rises. This teenager offers advice on how he deals with teasing related to his food allergy. You can see his tips here.
You might also want to consider joining an online support group where other parents talk about similar challenges. They might be able to give you some advice on starting a support group for kids. This board is a great place to start but there are other resources as well. Learn more here.
Finally, we recommend that you speak to the school about starting a support group and see if they can offer you any advice or resources. It should be a priority of theirs to keep the kids feeling safe and welcome within the school environment.
We also reached out to our Facebook community with your question, and you can see their responses here.
We hope this information helps. Take care!

More Community Posts

Peanut Free and Nut Free Community

create a new community post
Latest Post by Mariaanarf Tue, 10/22/2019 - 3:53am
Comments: 0
Latest Post by mariannemvt10152 Mon, 10/21/2019 - 5:12am
Comments: 0
Latest Post by Italia38 Sat, 10/19/2019 - 10:03am
Comments: 2
Latest Post by sunshinestate Fri, 10/18/2019 - 11:59am
Comments: 3
Latest Post by sunshinestate Fri, 10/18/2019 - 9:41am
Comments: 2
Latest Post by sunshinestate Fri, 10/18/2019 - 9:24am
Comments: 1
Latest Post by Italia38 Tue, 10/08/2019 - 12:19pm
Comments: 3
Latest Post by Italia38 Tue, 10/08/2019 - 12:18pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/07/2019 - 7:16pm
Comments: 10
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/07/2019 - 7:13pm
Comments: 13
Latest Post by penelope Mon, 10/07/2019 - 7:10pm
Comments: 9
Latest Post by mom2two Mon, 09/16/2019 - 1:03pm
Comments: 18
Latest Post by desmond Mon, 09/16/2019 - 1:00pm
Comments: 1
Latest Post by desmond Mon, 09/16/2019 - 12:58pm
Comments: 19
Latest Post by TeddyCan Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:32pm
Comments: 10
Latest Post by DTurner Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:31pm
Comments: 5
Latest Post by B.M.18 Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:30pm
Comments: 3

More Articles

You might have wondered if small amounts of an ingredient can be added to a food product without being declared on the food’s label. The FDA...

Is it possible to eat your way to a food allergy cure? Scientists think it’s...

There are many reasons why you may want to substitute almond flour for wheat flour in recipes. Of course, if you have a...

Not all oils are created equal. Some oils are high in saturated fats or in trans-fatty acids – not good for general health. Some are partially...

It may never be safe to begin feeding peanut butter to your baby or toddler if you have peanut allergies in your family. If either parent or one...

More Articles

More Articles

What is a peanut allergy? It is a reaction that occurs in the body after eating peanuts or peanut...

For those with severe food allergies, flying can be a stressful process. Here are...

Approximately one out of 13 children under age 18 are allergic to at least one food, though many of them will outgrow their allergy by the age of...

Fact 1: Over a third of food allergy reactions happen after the first known oral...

The reason why some people are affected by allergies while others are not begins in their genes. Allergies are passed down from generation to...

Here’s a tip that might someday save your life, or that of a loved one: two to four times a year, review the proper way to use your epinephrine...

Lactose intolerance is the inability to process lactose, a sugar found in milk, caused by the lack of a needed enzyme. Those with lactose...

Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA)

An important part of peanut allergy awareness was enacted on January 1, 2006...

Tomato allergies are very rare. They are a "type 1 allergy," which means a contact allergy. When a person with this type of allergy touches a...

Milk allergies are becoming more common, especially in babies and small children. There is some confusion about what is an allergic reaction and...

Recognizing food allergy in babies or toddlers is not always easy, but there are specific risk factors and signs that parents and other caregivers...

Burlap bags are often used to store and ship coffee beans, potatoes, rice, seeds, nuts, and peanuts. They can be one of the disguised...

People with pollen allergies need to stay away from some foods. If you have allergic rhinitis in the spring or fall, you may not realize that you...

Of course, everyone knows that if you have a peanut allergy that you should avoid peanuts, peanut butter, peanut butter cookies and foods that...

Eating at a nut-free lunch table in school is a safety precaution that causes some students to feel isolated from their peers. Unfortunately,...