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Finding Support for Managing Food Allergies

by Stacey Stratton, FAACT’s Director of Publications

When it comes to managing food allergies, there are a few areas you might feel you need some extra support. Here are just three, of the many areas where parents can get assistance from FAACT.

1.    Being around others who understand what they’re going through.

Support groups help to connect people facing similar challenges and provide an outlet for support on many levels.

Sometimes it’s helpful to turn to others outside your immediate circle of friends and family for advice and comfort. Through a support group, you can share your experiences and advice and provide insight to others on how to cope with similar issues.

Support groups can offer emotional support, further education and understanding, provide a place for people to share their concerns, and can help to reduce anxiety and confusion you might be facing (either alone or with your family).

FAACT can help you find or start a support group.

2.    Helping children (and their siblings) attend safe events, and build friendships with other children who are living with food allergies.

Activities for younger children:

Camp TAG provides a safe place for children with food allergies, eosinophilic disorders and asthma and their non-allergic siblings to have fun – with no worries about allergic reactions – and meet other children who share similar experiences. It is a bonding and empowering week for all campers, including parents.

Camp TAG is 95% fun and 5% educational, with age-appropriate activities and games each day on food allergies, anaphylaxis, nutrition, the emotional impact of living with food allergies (for children with food allergies and their families), and how to stay safe at school and at home. 

Learn more about Camp TAG.

Activities for Teens:

The Teen Retreat is all about teens and college students, their siblings, and their parents. The weekend offers an informative program full of fun activities. Teens will learn about managing their food allergies and, more importantly, spend time with peers who have food allergies (and siblings who do not). Siblings are also affected when a family member has food allergies. Our Teen Retreat is a safe place for them to discuss their concerns with a group who not only understands but can share their own experiences, advice, and solutions. 

Learn more about Teen Retreat.

FAACT also has a Teen Facebook Forum. Your teen can request to join the group.

3.    Helping parents know their rights and get assistance at school:

Through Civil Rights Advocacy, FAACT educates and informs food-allergic individuals of their rights to safely and equally participate alongside non-allergic individuals.

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, and the U.S. Department of Justice have determined food allergies may be deemed a disability that requires accommodation under federal disability laws and regulations. FAACT’s Civil Rights Advocacy Resource Center puts these laws, regulations, and agency opinions at your fingertips as well as resources and tools to assist food-allergic individuals in seeking accommodations.

Because laws vary by jurisdiction, and agency policies vary by state and locality, local professionals are often the best experts on these varying laws and policies. FAACT can help you find local civil rights professionals and are available to answer your questions or assist you in seeking accommodations - a complimentary service.

If you need assistance with any of the areas mentioned above, or in another area, please contact FAACT today!