Posted by Mdhriggin
on 02 September 2011 - 06:37 PM
I feel for you! My husband (who also has celiac as does my 3-year-olds daughter) is a manager for a college food service. He has worked with many of the chefs on campus to provide a lot of gluten free options for students who need it, but it was difficult. I definitely agree that talking to disability services is needed, as well as the hall food service managers, but see if you can actually talk to the chefs at the residence halls - they are often the ones who order food stuffs and can make multiple types of gluten free dishes. One of our friends, who is a chef at a residence hall, had a blast coming up with gluten free recipes for a gluten-sensitive student in his hall. Admissions don't know a dang thing - don't go through them. But talk to the food service people, and have your son sit down with the chef and food service manager of the residence hall he is in as soon as he can, if that is the route you take.
Posted by Mdhriggin
on 02 September 2011 - 06:26 PM
I am sorry you had such a negative reaction from your practicum supervisor. I supervise students in a clinical psychology Master's program, and I can't imagine ever having that reaction to a student asking me how to talk to a practicum site advisor about a disability, gluten-sensitivity or otherwise. If you are in the mental health profession (which it sounds like, but I could be wrong), what I would tell you (as I would tell my own students) is that if you end up having a reaction in front of your clients, just be honest about it. People seeking help from those in the helping professions often like to know that their helpers are also human. You can model for them a healthy way of dealing with an obstacle, which can only serve as a help to them. As for your practicum site advisor, just be honest with them about it, and let them know that for the most part it can be controlled but you never know when that cross-contamination can happen, especially when there are shared food spaces. If you can be open, honest, and professional, then that's the best you can do. And if you ever have to leave a client because of a reaction, just use it as a teaching moment. As for your supervisor, maybe you should be asking him if he should be in his profession!
A friend of mine has made the following statement:
Any suggestions as to what she should/could do to bring awareness and have people take note. It would be great if the University could gain a better understanding of this condition. Thanks in advance.
I would suggest the following: 1. You seem to be at a small school. I would actually make an appointment to talk with either your university president or the dean/vice president of student affairs (the person who oversees the housing and dining, as well as medical issues). Talk to them about your concerns - they may not be able to do much, but having those contacts can't hurt.
2. I would talk with your university's food service (ours is Sodexo, and my partner, who has celiac, works as a manager for them here at our university). They can be really good about getting food that is gluten-free, and you can talk with them about having advertised gluten-free stations or days.
3. Talk to either the biology professors or if there is a student biology group - those that are premed or teach those courses might be interested in doing some awareness events and may have the manpower/resources to do it.
4. If you have on campus medical center, I would talk with them about either doing some education or awareness events about celiac
5. RAs and hall directors are always looking for programs, as are greek groups if you have them. I would see if they would want to partner with you about doing some awareness events.
Those would be my suggestions as a university professor who does awareness events on other topics as part of my job. Good luck!