Allergy kids in isolation-ideas needed, please!

October 27, 2006 at 11:59 am (social issues)

Someone mentioned to me recently that his second-grader feels isolated at times due to his allergy.

Do you, or do your children, suffer from this, as well?

At work I frequently feel singled-out and poo-pooh’d because I can’t eat anything with nuts (I’m still a nursing mom and not taking any chances).  There is another man who can’t eat chocolate, so any time there is a birthday celebration (we do this once a month), he or I deal with mingled excitement, dread, let-down, and a silly amount of joy at being able to participate (or not).

As the years have gone on, I’ve gotten better about these feelings, and the people in my immediate family who originally told me point blank “You are tearing this family apart” at the mere suggestion that we go over the Thanksgiving menu to see what is safe for Sam have settled down, as well–finally coming to terms with the fact that Sam’s allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, and lentils is here to stay.  It’s been four years coming to this point, so it’s reasonable to expect the family to finally get it…

But what about school?  Laura Duke had to get a law passed in her state to keep her son’s school from isolating him, and that still didn’t stop them from menacing behavior, harassment, etc.

How have you dealt with this in your child’s school or other group?  Have you ever had to deal with someone or some body (school, church, scouts) etc. trying to put your kid into a bubble, or inadvertently making her or him feel “just weird enough” to not fit in?

It’s such a fine line.

How do you deal?  Please share your wisdom and experience.

(Just bumping this to the top.)

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2 Comments

  1. Kate said,

    I know Olivia feels sad at times because of her allergies (dairy, all nuts/tree nuts, eggs, seafood/shellfish) especially at birthday parties. I always bring cupcakes or safe ice cream for her but she knows she’s different. Paul (my dh) and I do our best in reassuring her. Paul is also anaphylactic to nuts and peanuts so he can relate to her on a much closer level. We are VERY lucky that our school has been so cooperative. In fact, the principal AND the school nurse also have food allergies so it certainly makes it easier to have sit downs with them. They “ggt it” and we don’t come off as overprotective and freaky. Olivia is involved in many activities – hiphop, Girl Scouts (I am the troop leader), jazzercise and loves them all. I am very forward (not FORCEFUL) with people about her allergies. I have had more problems with my own mother in law (trust me – that’s an entirely different post for another time) then when I was class mom for Olivia’s kindergarten class last year. Parents would call me and tell me when there would be cupcakes/cookies/doughnuts coming in for a birthday and I was always able to bring in an acceptable substitute. In fact, for our local Girl Scouts, there was a Bingo event with ice cream available for all the girls. So, I made Olivia my version of a Chipwich – safe chocolate chip cookies with a big blob of soy ice cream in the middle. It was also pretty big too – about the size of a cd. All the other girls were drooling over Olivia’s ice cream! LOL.
    I guess what I am trying to say is that we also have some bumps along the way but we can only do out best. We are adament about NOT making Olivia the “peanut girl” or “the poor little allergy kid”. Olivia is quite outspoken for six and will tell people she can’t eat something while displaying her Medic Alert bracelet. We are very proud of her for being able to stand up for herself and making her voice heard.

  2. allergyware said,

    The person who has contacted me recently has an 8 y.o. boy who is apparently suffering. I’m not sure how one turns that around, to be honest.

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