Highschool and Multiple Food Allergies: Teachers Can Make A Difference

I wanted to share with you my latest experience in regards to my son with multiple food allergies in highschool.

On Sunday, I received a call from Michael’s Grade 11 Math teacher. He needed a reminder of all of Michael’s food allergies (the medical form was at school)  as he planned to bring in a box of muffins and juice boxes for Michael’s math class on Monday. (Michael’s food allergies include dairy, egg, beef, sesame, fish, shellfish, peanut/tree nuts, mustard and raspberry)

Apparently, Michael’s math class did surprisingly well on Friday’s math test by achieving between 90-100%! Michael’s Math teacher was astounded with the results, thus prompting a mini celebration of their achievements.

Michael’s teacher wanted to know if there was anything safe he could bring in for Michael to eat. I explained to him the difficulty in finding a baked good that is free of dairy, egg, sesame and peanut/tree nuts. As I had just made a batch of Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Rice Krispie Squares…I offered that Michael could bring one of those to eat in class.

I explained to the teacher…lately, Michael seems to be very sensitive to being centered out as the ‘kid with lots of food allergies’. For the teacher to bring something in ‘special’ would more than likely centre Michael out…being able to casually bring out a ‘treat’ of his own would, more than likely, be less conspicuous. After talking with Michael…I had made the right decision.

Michael’s teacher understood completely…he disclosed that his child carries an epi pen for their cashew and sesame allergy.

This is the third teacher at Michael’s highschool that has informed me of having a child with a food allergy. It certainly helps spread the word about food allergies and anaphylaxis when teachers in the school system are living their lives with food allergies themselves.

To get the ‘ball rolling’communication plays a key role in educating our teachers/general public on food allergies and anaphylaxis: relaying our experiences with food related allergic reactions…putting real names and faces to anaphylactic reactions…presenting access to further forms of information to increase the awareness of food allergies and anaphylaxis in our schools, workplace and extra curricular activities…these are all ways we can spread the word to bring food allergies/anaphylaxis to the forefront.

Anaphylaxis is not something to hide behind.

I know for a fact, that all the work I have done in regards to providing as much information on anaphylaxis as I can for my boys’ teachers, has “got the teachers talking”…as told to me by the Vice-Principal of my boys’ highschool.That means the world to me!

I  must have thanked Michael’s Math teacher ‘a million times’ for calling…repeated ‘a million times’ how much I appreciated the call…teachers like Michael’s Math teacher are worth their weight in gold!

After speaking, at length, to Michael’s Math teacher, I relayed our conversation to Michael…he decided he would take in a Dairy and Peanut/Tree Nut Free Rice Krispie Square, which he may or may not eat during Math class.

At the end of the day, I asked Michael whether or not he did actually eat his snack…”Ya” was the only response I got until he pointed out, “The muffins looked really good though.”

Broke my heart…

How do address food related issues in your child/children’s classrooms with their food allergies?

P.S. Michael was rather disappointed that I did not ask his Math teacher the mark on his math test…he had to wait until Monday to find out he achieved 100%! The principal of the school even showed up to congratulate the class and hand out the tests.

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6 thoughts on “Highschool and Multiple Food Allergies: Teachers Can Make A Difference

  1. I wish Michael could know, they always look good, but NEVER are better than homemade! Especially yours 🙂 Those classmates who enjoyed the muffin do not have a mom who bakes.

    • Yes, so true! The teenage years are tough as it is…as adults, the need to fit in is no longer necessary. Hopefully, by the time he is an adult, he will have come to terms and accepted his food allergies.

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