Facing Down the Food Allergy Bully

I haven’t written about food allergies in awhile. That hasn’t been on purpose. I’ve been making a list of posts; I just haven’t had the time to write them all but I need to.

At the end of September, there seemed to be a flood of food allergy stories in the news (one from CNN and one from MSNBC on the same day, for example). I’m not sure what prompted the big release but many of them were tied to bullying. Its not an issue I’ve thought much about, at least not since I was in middle school, but its one I keep seeing and it breaks my heart.

  • A fellow food allergy mom told me how her daughter was being harassed in school by a classmate.
  • Another mom told me that her food-allergic son was threatened by a neighbor’s child.
  • A friend emailed me an online dating ad that insinuated that people with food allergies were freaks.

Here’s the thing that I’ve found so far on this food allergy journey: the day-to-day battle is such a struggle that its hard to see down the road to the issues we might face. I haven’t thought about the food allergy bully because we haven’t encountered him yet. But I should think about him; he’s right around the corner.

Earlier this month, I read an article in Washington Family Magazine that gave me some hope. It offered tips for dealing with bullies (any bully, not just food allergy bullies). The tip that resonated the most with me was “make sure she’s prepared.” At this point on the road, we have the time to prepare for what may lie ahead. I may not be able to stop the food allergy bully but I can help my son stand up to him.

Have you faced down the food allergy bully? What was your experience?

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