Springtime Is Teal Time


by Caroline Moassessi, FAACT Vice President of Community Relations

Snuggled in my old but favorite blanket, sipping my morning coffee and gazing out the window at the snow-covered mountains, I noticed a small tulip plant fighting its way out of the earth. Determined to announce Spring, the tiny plant is working brightly on waking my yard with spring color and new life. At first glance, my yard looks conflicted with snow on the mountains and dormant rose bushes rooted deep in soil while our elm trees bloom. This doesn’t dampen my spirit at all. I know new life, color, and serenity will be coming to me and my yard soon, and I’m excited and ready for this spring season to unfold.

Our teal life with food allergies mimics Spring. Like the tulips, we push through to awaken our teal skills as we emerge into exciting teal days ahead full of sports, picnics, and outdoor gatherings. Springtime is the perfect time to hold Back-to-School and college accommodation meetings for the upcoming school year; brainstorm Food Allergy Awareness Week and Month plans; and refresh personal or family protocol for food allergy management. It’s time to water the teal garden and reap the benefits of a successful teal life waiting to burst out in full color.

Back-to-School (Yes, you heard right – Back-to-School during Spring)

Consider meeting with your child’s 504 team to review the current plan and establish revised accommodations for the upcoming year. Although your student may not know who their teacher(s) will be next year, minimum accommodation needs should not change very much due to teachers. Meet now while the staff is not overwhelmed with Back-to-School training and meetings. Review your student’s food allergy self-management skills, and plan for expanding their responsibilities and skills, if age appropriate.

Listen to FAACT’s Roundtable Podcast Ep. 156 to learn more, and visit FAACT’s Section 504 Plan and the Section 504 Resources for tips, sample accommodation letters, and tools for managing accommodations at school.

College Accommodations

If your student is heading to college, now is crunch time! Waiting until the last minute may result in frustration, unwanted stress, and a lack of resources available to the student. Guide your student through establishing housing, dining, classroom & labs, athletics, and club accommodations; socializing; and planning for emergencies whether they are living on campus or commuting. Visit FAACT’s College Resource Center to download Admitted Student Checklist designed for the student to use to guide their process and the For Parents/Caregivers Checklist. Don’t miss the Legal Considerations section to learn about your student’s rights, including the cost of single dorm rooms; health care proxies; and power of attorney.

Food Allergy Awareness Week and Month

Now is a great time to mark your calendar and clear out time to participate in the many fun and exciting ideas from FAACT on how you and your loved ones can make this year extra special!

FAACT’s theme for Food Allergy Awareness Month is \'Celebrating Teal Moments\'! May is our time to celebrate and joyfully raise food allergy awareness in our cities and states. Let\'s show the nation how we love people with food allergies and let #CelebratingTealMoments shine from your heart into the community.

Renew and Refresh Food Allergy Management

Use Springtime to refresh how you and your family approach family and self-management of food allergies. Consider ages and stages and think of items you can pass on to your child or skills you can teach them now, such as label reading.

Does your family have food allergy family rules or guidelines that should be revised? This is a great time to review what is working and what could use attention. Might this be a good time to schedule an annual visit to the allergist to discuss potential treatments and emergency action plans (remember, dosing changes with weight, and if you have a growing child – discuss this with your doctor), or if a food challenge is warranted.

Like seasonal plants working hard to grow, this is our time to wake up the teal garden of skills and to seed our garden for success! Your FAACT family is here on the ground with you (and maybe in the dirt) to help you plant your teal garden so you and your family can live beautiful, bright lives with food allergies.