I woke up last night and couldn't fall back to sleep, so I decided to watch this week's recorded episode. And after watching it, I was too mad to be able to fall back to sleep.
Why portray gluten free like some horrible nasty tasting food that needs to be spit out? - by every member of the family!! Why imply the connection between gluten and tantrums to be ridiculous? Obviously the writers are uneducated on the impact of gluten on someone who is intolerant. Where's the gluten free respect?
I found it ironic that one storyline was started on the subject of bullying. Another storyline is the new private school that Kristina and Adam opened for high school students, including their son Max who has aspergers. The writers have been doing a great job expressing the trials Max and his family have faced - as well as the many joys. It has been wonderful to see the expression of need for all children to be accepted by their peers.
When they discover that one student in their new school requires a gluten and casein free diet, the search to find a vendor who will supply special meals is futile. This too was good to see. It is good to see that there is a need and it is good to see that this need is not being met. Adam then decides to pull a group of students together to do the cooking, also wonderful to see - but when Kristina at first says its a ridiculous or impossible idea (or something along the line) Adam says something like 'no more ridiculous than the idea that gluten can cause a tantrum.' My respect for the storyline ended there.
At the end, when everyone started eating the gluten free torte or cheesecake, or whatever it was, that Julia made for a family birthday (to be more "healthy") and everyone started to spit out their first tastes, I hit the roof! No way was that necessary. Bullying? Yup - there it was! Because, dear writers of Parenthood, the impact of gluten on children and adults who need to be gluten free has many facets. It doesn't affect everyone's mood - but it sure as hell ignites an emotional/behavioral response for many. For those of us impacted - I felt bullied. Shame on you.
Education, folks, is greatly needed! We can increase education - and here's how.
Imagine if All School Nurses Knew How to Recognize Celiac
Gabriel's Gluten Free Surprise is a version of Adam's Gluten Free Surprise that includes information about where to find materials for Gabriel's Journey, a school nurse celiac education program. By donating a copy of this book to your local school, educated school nurses can now help families who are struggling for answers. And for the month of October, I will be donating a portion of proceeds for every Gluten Free Surprise book (Adam, Hailey, or Gabriel) sold; as much as $1.00 per copy. (info in "Imagine If" link above)
Let's see how many schools we can reach. Celiac Awareness in Schools