Resources

Whether you or a family member or a child you teach is newly diagnosed or you’d like to keep up on the latest in research for food allergies, Celiac Disease, intolerances and special dietary needs (such as autism), these resources all provide a wide variety of information and tools at no cost.  Many of them also have regional support groups and events that you can find through their websites. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list but simply a starting point.  This list is neither in place of sound medical advice nor endorsement.

Resources

Food Allergies

FARE

FARE stands for Food Allergy Research and Education and was formed in 2012 by two well known and respected food allergy US non-profit organizations, FAAN and FAI.  It provides information on food allergies and funds research into cures.  You can find Information on US product alerts, tools and resources for home and school as well as information on US legislation.

Kids with Food Allergies

Originally 2 separate non-profit American organizations until 2012 (Kids with Food Allergies and AAFA – Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America), this non-profit organization is dedicated to helping families with food allergic children through peer support, a recipe database, allergy friendly food buying guide and education programs.

FARRP

The Food Allergy Resource and Research Program is a member cooperative between industry and the University of Nebraska.  Originally formed to provide the most up to date food allergy research and recommendations to industry, it has become a world leader in food allergy research and detection in manufacturing.  Their resources section is very informative for consumers.

Why Risk It?

Anaphylaxis Canada put together this website for teens that helps address their specific needs.

Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

The Center for Celiac Treatment and Research

Under the medical directorship of Dr. Alessio Fasano, regarded as one of the premiere international experts on Celiac Disease, the Center for Celiac Research is a leading organization in research, education and treatment for Celiac Disease and other gluten disorders. 

GIG

The Gluten Intolerance Group is a US non-profit organization to support those requiring a gluten free diet whether from Celiac Disease or non-Celiac gluten sensitivity.  There are many regional support group chapters found on the website.  GIG also runs GFCO, the Gluten Free Certification Organization, which currently certifies thousands of products worldwide along with restaurants and manufacturing facilities.

GIG and Delicious Living have teamed up to create a Gluten Free Living Package including tips and recipes.

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

A US non-profit organization dedicated to improving awareness and education for Celiac Disease and other gluten related disorders.  A large variety of useful links including to various support groups for both adults and kids such as ROCK (Raising our Celiac Kids).

Celiac Disease Foundation

Celiac Disease Foundation is a US non-profit, public benefit corporation dedicated to providing services and support regarding Celiac Disease and Dermatitis Herpetiformis along with non-Celiac gluten sensitivity.

Celiac Sprue

A US non-profit organization supporting those with Celiac Disease and Dermatitis Herpetiformis, they offer education, regional support groups, and a recognition seal for food products that follow their guidelines.

Shelley Case

Shelley is a registered dietitian and well regarded as an expert in Celiac Disease and nutrition.  She sits on the medical advisory boards of many of the foundations listed here both in the USA and Canada.  While her book, “Gluten Free Diet:  A Comprehensive Resource Guide”, is a valuable source of information, her website also offers many free resources that are updated regularly to reflect the latest research.

Special Dietary Needs

Autism Spectrum Disorder

The latest research on the autism spectrum suggests that gut health is the potential missing link.  There is now scientific data to support the effectiveness of restrictive diets for some autistic individuals.  Resources to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder:

Autism Research Institute

OASIS/MAAP:  Two combined non-profit groups who provide resources for autism and asperger’s syndrome

The Nature of Things Video Documentary, “Autism Enigma

 

Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD)

Over the years, many physicians believed ADD and ADHD to be the cause of sugar or parenting deficiencies.  Largely managed by prescription stimulants, diet in general was not believed to affect the disorder.  Research now shows that certain additives (food colorings and preservatives) do increase the symptoms of ADHD.  Further research on improved nutrition and elimination diets is adding further conclusions about the role of diet in ADD/ADHD.  The American Academy of Pediatrics gives an overview of different nutrition and dietary strategies to try.

 

Autoimmune Disorders

There are now over 80 recognized autoimmune disorders.  Several of these show links to Celiac Disease while research on other autoimmune diseases now suggests that diet/nutrition may play a helpful role.  Although no conclusive research indicates diet as a cure, the following links explore the role of diet in certain autoimmune diseases:

Today’s Dietitian on diet and autoimmune diseases

American Diabetes Association

The National MS Society

Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Organization

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness regarding Thyroid Disorders

Lupus Foundation of America

Tools for Teachers and Caregivers

Teachers and caregivers in school settings from playschool to university are valuable partners in managing food allergies, Celiac disease and sensitivities.  These resources are helpful to share with those partners.

Food Allergies

FARE has a large toolkit online that addresses food allergies at school with everything from action plans to addressing bullying and includes a slideshow on Food Allergy 101.  FARE also addresses appropriate methods for both hand washing and surface cleaning based on research on cleaning peanut residue.

The National School Association (USA) has developed a comprehensive action plan that meets all of the requirements of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act (FAAMA).

Allergy Home.org has created a training video viewed in its entirety in 33 minutes or in specific chapters.

 

Celiac Disease

The Boston Children’s Hospital has a wide variety of videos addressing raising children with Celiac Disease

The Canadian Celiac Association has a Teacher’s Guide available in printable pdf format: 

Autism

With such a wide range of students from high functioning to severely disabled, schools can be challenged by autism spectrum disorders.  Education Database Online supplies a learning guide for teachers.  

The British Columbia Ministry of Education provides a Resource Guide for Schools that addresses different needs within the autism spectrum

Gluten Free and/or Allergy Shows

There are many support groups, non-profit and for-profit organizations that put on Gluten Free and/or Allergy Friendly Shows.  In almost all of these cases, there is a fee charged for attendance but it is usually under $20 and the value that you can receive from one of these events is far more than that.  These events are helpful particularly if you’re newly diagnosed but they are also a great refresher for new research, speakers and products if you’ve not taken a look at what’s new for a while.

Not sure if an expo is right for you?  Here are Alana’s top 5 reasons for you to consider attending an Expo: 

  1. You’re Newly Diagnosed:  Overwhelmed, having a hard time knowing what’s correct information on the internet or where you should start? Expos always have a roster of great speakers who can help demystify the new world you’re entering whether with information or wonderful recipes to try. Try to attend as many talks as you can to get a superb overview of how you can take your next step.
  2. You Were Diagnosed Ages Ago:  You too should try to attend as many talks as you can at the show. There have been so many studies of late with Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance and food allergies that you just may learn something new.
  3. Taste Does Count:  There are samples galore at these shows, it’s actually a good idea to come with an empty stomach or you’ll be full really fast. I heard a child say to her parent, “I can eat EVERYTHING here?” with wonderment. It just doesn’t get much better than that.  And whether you’re newly diagnosed or old hat, you’ll be surprised at how good specialty diet food is these days and just how much variety is out there.
  4. Discover a Small or Local Food Processor:  Big grocery stores are getting so much better about offering gluten free and allergy friendly foods and that makes it easier to get your groceries done in one place. Yet at the same time, they all carry mostly the same items and those are the bigger names in the special diet world. At a trade show you’ll find smaller processors with innovative offerings and wonderful local restaurants and bakeries that have delights you just won’t find in your large grocery store.
  5. You’ll Be Surrounded by People Just Like You!  Really, imagine a world where everybody “Gets It”. Every booth you go to, all of the speakers, all of the people around you are experiencing the same issues that you do. You can strike up a conversation with any friendly stranger and discover that you’re not alone. Priceless!

 

While many local support group chapters put on great local events, these are some of the larger events around Canada and the USA that may be worth traveling to:

The Celiac Disease Foundation has an annual conference and expo each year in the greater Los Angeles area.

The Gluten and Allergen Free Expo has several show locations including San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Secaucus and Des Moines with plans to expand to more. 

The Celiac Awareness Tour is in many different cities across the USA.

Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Events hosts in several different southern US cities

The Gluten Free Expo currently puts on expos in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary with plans to expand to other cities.  While all exhibitors must be gluten free, many are allergy friendly too.

The Canadian Celiac Association has an annual conference with an expo that rotates around Canada.  Some of the regional/city support groups will put on smaller conferences as well.