As a diagnosed celiac, I don’t consider myself abnormal. There is nothing different about me that should change the way I feel about myself. YES I have to eat 100% gluten-free to maintain a healthy life and body, but thats normal.
The guy down the road who can’t have milk and has to take a pill to digest a pill to eat cheesecake: thats normal.
Labels can be hurtful, and when diagnosed celiacs start to be called something the opposite of ‘normal’ then we have a problem.
What someone eats shouldn’t be a defining feature of a person’s ability to be normal.
It comes down, not to diagnosed celiacs calling themselves ‘not normal’ but others doing it. We all know it can be tough to see a child struggle to fit in with their class at a special occasion where a bunch of cupcakes come in to celebrate a birthday or a new case of Play-doh has just arrived. A child diagnosed with celiac disease needs to stay away from these things and there is an inherent responsibility from the parents to the teachers to the child themselves to know that.
It can be tough to install that in all partiers involved.
The severity of celiac is never apparent because it’s an invisible disease and the teachers might not see the effects when the child gets home. And the parent might not know a child has ingested gluten because the child is to scared or ashamed to admit that they did it.
CELIAC DISEASE HAS A LEARNING CURVE.
No one is perfect, but we all have to learn to live with it.
By telling children that they’re not normal because they have celiac disease or they can’t eat gluten and therefore can’t have the birthday cake is just wrong. A child with celiac disease is just as normal as the next, they just can’t have gluten. What someone eats shouldn’t be a defining feature of a person’s ability to be normal.
Its troubling when you hear a parent say “my little boy/girl wishes they could be normal and participate in a birthday in class”. Negativity is learned and who ever is creating that low opinion of a child diagnosed with celiac disease needs to stop. As with children, friends have to stop telling their diagnosed celiac friends that they’re not normal. It’s a trickle down effect that is the opposite of what celiac awareness is.
I have to eat 100% gluten-free to maintain a healthy life and body, but thats normal. Normal for me you ask? Yes, but I also have to eat fruit and veggies and get the proper vitamins and minerals as much as any other person without celiac disease. I just happen to not be able to digest gluten.
Telling someone they’re not normal because they eat differently just breeds contempt and anger. Children can grow up with a skewed sense of self and impose that on their everyday goings-on and adults can take that information and lash out with anger and create an entire different set of problems for themselves. Not just emotionally, but externally and create a bubble that diagnosed celiacs don’t need.
Diagnosed celiacs need to stick together, no matter what age, and correct those who might call them ‘not normal’. We are normal. We just have to eat gluten-free. Thats it.
If someone says you’re not normal, just correct them.
YOU. ARE. NORMAL.