Food Allergy Support Groups-Austin Families with Food Allergies (AFFA)
An important part of successful food allergy management are support groups. The diagnosis of food allergy can be a very lonely and devastating diagnosis. It often occurs at random in a young family and the child may have just suffered a frightening life threatening reaction. Often times the diagnosis may have been based on inaccurate testing and the list of foods the family is instructed to avoid is overwhelming. There is a tremendous amount of anxiety and at times guilt. The world it appears has been turned upside down.
Food allergy support groups are an excellent means for families to network and share experiences. What airlines are the most food allergy friendly? What precautions to take before flying? What preschools are best equipped and trained for the food allergy child? What bakery will bake an egg free cake? What restaurants are food allergy friendly? It is reassuring to meet other families who have experienced and successfully navigated the same issues. Also for children it is a great way to get together in play groups, share holiday parties, and meet other children with similar food allergies.
My role as the physician advisor to the Austin Families with Food Allergies group has been a most rewarding experience. Food allergies are such a complex topic and I enjoy spending the time in a casual setting to answer the many questions thoroughly. In return, I learn how families cope with the numerous restrictions and daily challenges. This information is invaluable and helps in my daily interactions with our many food allergy families.
We have had a busy year at AFFA. Our activities have included:
Spring 2011- Successful lobbying and passage of a food allergy bill to establish mandatory guidelines for all public schools in Texas
Summer 2011- A peanut controlled night at the Dell Diamond with the Round Rock Express.
Fall 2011- The second annual Austin Food Allergy Walk at Mueller Park with over 400 participants
Meetings are the first Sunday of the month, 7pm at La Madeline (Research and Great Hills)
Austin Families with Food Allergies
See a recent interview on KVUE on egg allergy and flu shots
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
The Food Allergy Network
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
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