Thursday, January 17, 2013
Managing a teenager with an allergy
This independence is great but his allergy is something he has to manage on his own. Yet so little of the way his allergy is 'managed' is related to him. Most of the energy I spend on this matter is related to the paperwork required for school. The endless signing of notes, visits to the GP for signed management plans, updating his epipens. There is more to help the teachers than there is to actually help him.
I feel worried as he becomes more adventurous. He does more on his own with friends. Tries new foods. And why shouldn't he? This is part of becoming an adult. But these are the times when he is most likely to get caught out. Not when I'm with him or a teacher is with him. When he's with his peer group.
And here's my latest thought. Why do his peer group not receive any training about using an epipen? Frankly, all the notes I sign for excursions are a little pointless if he's sent off unsupervised to a food court to find his own lunch.
I'm actually quite relaxed about the whole thing because he's a pretty sensible kid. But as we move into this next stage I think he might get jack of the whole sensible gig, and he needs to think through the consequences. And we need to help him do that well.