R.O.C.K. Charlotte Review of Adam's Gluten Free Surprise

We focused our last R.O.C.K. Party on Food Allergy Bullying, as you recall from the previous post. We had many mixed answers as to whether the children were being bullied or had experiences, but the majority in our group said they were not being bullied.

One of my internet friends is Debbie Simpson, the author of Adam's Gluten Free Surprise.
She generously sent me a copy of the book to read and review. So, I thought, what better way to make a review than to read this wonderful story of spreading celiac awareness at school with our R.O.C.K. kids and see what they thought.
Illustration from Adam's Gluten Free Surprise

We had 12 children at our event, ranging in ages from 3 - 12 years old. All of those able to read took turns reading aloud. The smaller children really loved the illustrations as the older children read. I won't spoil the story, but it details how he manages his daily life at school being the only one with celiac disease and on a gluten free diet. The ending is an idealistic turn out of working together with the teacher and students to make Adam feel a part of, instead of singled out.

My daughter is luckier than most, because she is in a school now that has an understanding staff, and yet they still forget to tell me in advance about activities with food. I even donated a medical book explaining it simply to the staff, but there is still room for improvement. And the cafeteria is like most in that the State dictates to them what their menu options will be, so accommodation is limited to offering a microwave to use so she can heat up foods from home.

After finishing the story, I asked for comments from the group. They all liked it. They all said it was something they would recommend to read. But, they all seemed a bit apprehensive as to either sharing the book with their schools or believing that their teacher's would react in the same way as the teacher did for Adam.

Illustration from Adam's Gluten Free Surprise

In my conclusion, there are still so many emotional aspects that arise with our celiac/gluten intolerant children and their relationships with individuals in their lives. It is amazing to me that some people view such matters with flippant disregard, but they do. We can minimize the impact that this has on our children by only so much. The rest, they simply have to grieve and come to a level of acceptance that the world is still astoundingly ignorant about celiac disease.

By no means do I not think we should advocate for better and expect more from our school and physician experiences. One parent told me she wanted to borrow the book and that her daughter begged her not to because she had already harassed her teacher enough about the issue. They have  had a very difficult time with their school and I was really hoping they would take it to share. 

Isn't that a form of emotional bullying? Teachers need to stay open to the needs of their parents and kids. By discounting the issues that arise, this action will make the parent and child feel as though they are an imposition. That feeling is way too common in my book.

Illustration from Adam's Gluten Free Surprise

Either way, I will still remain hopeful that by being Mama Bear Advocates, we will make the bridges less treacherous for the next parent and child. The recent law suit win at the Federal level between Lesley University and students who had to purchase a meal plan but there were no gluten free options available, has paved the way for others to push the envelope and make changes. That doesn't mean that the teacher who gets made to do it, and not out of choice, isn't going to resent the parent making it happen.

Personally, I will be satisfied when every institution that offers education or health care makes the allowances which are so minimal, to have allergen free options. If you are one of the teachers who is trying to make a change daily, thank you on behalf of all our R.O.C.K. kids! We thoroughly suggest buying a copy of Adam's Gluten Free Surprise to share with your schools.

Some of our R.O.C.K. Valentines

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