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Jenn624

I'm A School Teacher

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It's difficult to try to explain to my students about gluten intolerance. Every time a student tries to give me a birthday treat or cookie, I tell them I can't have it because I am allergic to it.

Do you think that is a wrong approach? Should I educate them on the basics of the disease? When I tell them I am allergic to wheat and it makes me sick, is that really true? It's not necessarily an allergy, is it?

I've been upfront and straight forward with the adults in my life, but I am mostly surrounded by 10 year olds all day. I don't know how to explain my disease to them!!!

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I have always believed in being straight up with kids. It seems they follow like little ducks and if something is presented to them as matter of fact.. that's how they take it. They will watch you to see how you deal with life and this is a great chance for you to show them... this isn't terrible, it's just different.

An idea is to thank them for their wonderful gift and since you can't eat it yourself you are going to save it for someone very special or 'someone I love'.

And yes, your body is very badly reactive or 'allergic' (if that helps them understand). I think it is good to educate and inform because some child that is standing there may end up with something or have something even now... and they want to know - it's okay to have an allergy or syndrome or disease (whatever) or to be different.

GO Jenn624!!! Kids are great!

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I am a preschool teacher working with 3-5 year olds. When I was diagnosed I told my classes that I could eat gluten/wheat any more because it made me sick so I would not be eating crackers with them anymore. I had children in my class that can not drink milk so they understood about eating things that make you sick. Since then, I have had children bringing me gluten free prepackaged treats. When I had one of the children bring me a cupcake I thank them and explained again why I couldn't eat it. They asked what kind of things I could eat, I told them and the next day they brought me a whole box a gluten free fruit snacks instead! They were grinning from ear to ear, they were so happy they could give me a treat. Anyway, I say make it known, explain what it is and why. Even show them some things that you can eat. Maybe even have a taste test lesson.

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My son has a teacher who has Celiac or gluten intolerance. She is very open about it. THe kids are very interested and it helped us because they were actually aware then when my son started being gluten free. Also the girl I order from at the Outback said her teacher tells the class about what gluten does to her and other people who are gluten intolerant. It helps to educate the next generation. Granted these are teenagers, but I think the earlier people hear about gluten intolerance, the better prepared they will be if/when they have to deal with it in their own life or the life of someone they care about. It is a really good thing to have teachers who can spread the word because Dr.'s certainly aren't doing it! Education is knowledge and knowledge is power.

I often wish my son's gradeschool teachers would have known about gluten and what it can do. They never hesitated to tell me about the benefits of ADD medications, and they weren't Dr.'s, but just imagine if they had told me what gluten could do to a kid- or if they had recognized his uncoordination as gluten ataxia, and his spaciness and ADD as being more severe after lunch. I wish all teachers would do a little lesson on it. If it really is a hidden epidemic, you would be saving a bunch of lives to teach about it or send flyers home.

Put it in words 10 year olds can understand. Allergy explains it better than anything. If they are more interested or curious and want more information, you can fill in the holes as needed.

A great big thanks to you teachers who are willing to share your gluten intolerance/Celiac symptoms with others. Those seeds will grow in more ways than you know.

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I teach kindergarten and I just tell my kids its an allergy too and that it makes me sick. I know its an intolerance not an allergy but this is the easiest way to explain it to them (and most restaurant employees for that matter). I'm not really sure they understand what gluten is but they know I can't have it. Last year I had 2nd graders and overheard a discussion about me that ended in "well Mrs. Castro can do anything...except eat gluten". It is a favorite student quote of mine! :-)

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That is very cute!

We CAN do anything!...except eat gluten!

That made me smile...thank you! :D

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