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Support group for the kids with food allergies?

Question of the Week: Answered!

Every week, 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!