Food Allergy at School: Avoiding Shame & Segregation

By:
in Managing Allergies, Parenting & School
Published: August 21, 2014

Students with Allergies/Asthma Take Action!

Share these solution strategies with your age-appropriate student.

Map Out the Safest Route

Embrace the Inclusion Motto: Don’t pretend that you feel okay when you don’t. Your feelings are real. Be honest and put on your inclusion problem-solving thinking cap!

You are important and exclusion is sometimes created by accident when others try to keep you safe. They need to hear from you to better understand how to keep you included and safe. Create your road map to inclusion success – you are the driver.

Give thought to how you can reach your destination of enjoying a safe, fun and academic school year. What things can you and your teacher do to help keep you safe and included? Parties, rewards, celebrations and field trips are areas of your “map” that you can discuss.

Strategies for Empowered Students

  • When you meet your teacher, talk about your allergies and/or asthma and ask about how you can stay included. Write your notes of what you want to say on a card and bring it with you.
  • Tell your teacher why you want to be included and how it makes you feel.
  • Explain that inclusion means not being separated from the group.
  • Ask your teacher about the best way to talk about things that make you feel left out. Should you talk to the teacher during lunch, after school or write him/her a note?
  • Explain to your teacher how great you feel when you are included! Teachers need to know why being included is important to you.
  • Share a list of ideas with your teacher that you and your parent create featuring alternatives for parties, celebrations, etc. (hint: paper airplanes are quite fun).
  • If you end up feeling left out, speak to your teacher right away. If you believe your teacher may get upset or not listen, visit your school counselor to ask for advice. School counselors know all about feelings and how to help.
  • Sometimes, your parent or another adult can help with your inclusion problem-solving and give you new solutions and ideas.

Stand in front of the mirror and take a bow – you are ready to ride on your inclusion road!

See Caroline Moassessi’s blog at www.gratefulfoodie.com.