R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids) is a free support group for parents, families, and friends of kids on the gluten-free diet because of celiac disease, gluten intolerance, autism, ADD/ADHD, allergies, or personal preference. We concentrate on dealing with the unique challenges that families of wheat-free/gluten-free kids face, including:
Finding “fun” gluten-free treats for kids
Menu ideas for school lunches, quick dinners, and sports snacks
Helping the kids to take responsibility for reading labels, cooking and planning/preparing food
How to prepare for unexpected birthday parties and food-oriented activities at school, church, and elsewhere
Halloween, Easter, and other special days – how do we include our kids safely?
Educating day-care providers and teachers – without burdening them
Dealing with grandparents, babysitters, and “helpful” friends who offer gluten-containing foods to our kids
Ensuring our kids won’t cheat, and what to do when they do
Sending kids away to camp, friends’ houses, and other times when we’re not around to help
The psychological impact of growing up with celiac disease (peer pressure, teenage years, and more)
R.O.C.K. was founded in San Diego by Danna Korn in 1991 after her son, Tyler, was diagnosed with celiac disease. It has grown to international proportions, helping families all over the world deal with the unique challenges of raising a child on a gluten-free diet.
Sometimes it helps to talk about it, and it always helps to have some guidance when initially diving into the gluten-free diet. R.O.C.K. has free support groups in dozens of cities throughout the country. Parents exchange information and ideas, while kids enjoy gluten-free goodies and play with other gluten-free kids.
For more information about the national organization of R.O.C.K, as well as children and gluten-free living, see www.celiackids.com
Leaders: Julie Bradley and Brenda McDowell
The following email was sent by Julie on May 12, 2013:
Danna Korn, the founder of Raising Our Celiac Kids, recently asked Brenda McDowell and I to pick up coordination of the activities for the San Diego R.O.C.K. chapter. Brenda and I each have 3 children, several of which are affected by celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Our children range in age from 6-14. We consider it a great privilege to have the chance to get to know your families, your needs, and help our group support each other.
If you can add the chapter's new email address, firstname.lastname@example.org to your email contact list, that will avoid it being inadvertently marked as spam. We also have a phone number for Brenda and myself, which is (1-855-5SDROCK).
We also want to thank Becky MacGregor and Erica Welker for their dedication and care for the many families they touched through the ROCK program, and their volunteer work over the last 10 years.
Our plan is to continue to setup memorable quarterly events and to foster support and mentorship for newly diagnosed families. We want to celebrate our group's truest heroes, who volunteer to be mentors to the newly diagnosed, as their generosity and kindness is surely the most valuable life-changing support that newly diagnosed families could get.
There are also some exciting changes in our group coming soon including:
- Get-togethers that will rotate at locations all around San Diego
- An online survey from Brenda and I in the next few weeks to help us figure out how to best meet your current support needs
- An SD Rock Website (look for this by the end of May)
We created a sister organization called Kick Start Wellness, whose goal is to help support, educate, and empower older kids and teens as they become their own best advocate for their gluten-free lifestyle.
We're looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the CSA Chapter Gluten-Free Potluck and Swim Party on July 27 in Encinitas.
Julie Bradley & Brenda McDowell
What: Swim party and barbecue
Date: July 27
This is the annual event of the combined ROCK and CSA chapters. More information to follow.
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