Situation Food Allergy: What would you do?
Situation Food Allergy. What would you do?
BLOG POST #157 — It's the end of July, and you are beginning to think about the upcoming school year. Your child, who has food allergies, will be starting middle school.
You are sitting at your kitchen one morning writing an email to the principal to plan a pre-year meeting with your son's teachers to discuss the allergy. Even though this isn't one of the required accommodations listed in your child's 504 plan, it's something you've done each year with much success. The teachers appreciate it, and being proactive gives you incredible peace of mind.
You're just about to hit send when your son interrupts.
"Ummmm, Mom, I've been thinking about something," he says. "You know how you want me to be more independent and more of an advocate for myself? Now that I'm in middle school, I don't want to have a meeting before school starts. I don't want the first thing my teachers to know about me is my allergy. I'll talk to each of my teachers myself during the first week or so."
You take a deep breath. Your son is responsible and will most definitely have those talks, but "Is it best?"
"Please don't send that email, Mom."
What do you do?
JJ Vulopas is a rising senior at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. An advocate for young people, JJ has lived with food allergies his entire life. He is the author of the children's book, Land of Not. You can read his daily blog at www.thelandofcan.com and follow him @thelandofcan on Twitter and Instagram.