The other day my mom asked for help writing something on the computer. I quickly showed her how to write, copy and paste, edit, save, put in a new folder, etc. After I finished, she looked up and said, “How do I copy and paste?” Not only did she not know how to do something I felt almost everyone knows…I think she stopped listening at that point because she became confused.
The next day I stopped by to pick up some paperwork from an older gentleman and he started telling me how he was having a computer problem. I offered to take a look and see if I could help fix it. He said, “Please let me see what you’re doing, and tell me how you’re doing it…other people just whiz thru and I don’t understand what they’re doing.”
And I had to remember:
I’ve been using computers for so long and my assumption can easily be that everyone knows how to do simple stuff like copy/paste a document, or change the magnification. But they don’t. And when they don’t understand, many times they miss hearing everything you’re saying or don’t bother to ask for clarification and just pretend to know.
It’s VERY IMPORTANT you don’t assume people understand things about Food Allergy Safety. Here are some points when talking with others:
Remember: Go back to the basics and try to remember when you first learned about food allergy safety. What were things you struggled with or didn’t know? Reading labels, cross contact, emergency action plans, using epinephrine, etc. They might have the same struggles.
Teach: When discussing things with others, try to use a variety of learning methods (visually, auditory, hands-on, etc). Different people learn better with different styles, so try to incorporate them all. Example: When they’re being shown how to use the epinephrine…give them a sheet to read with instructions, have them hear the steps being done or watch the video, then have them practice with a trainer.
Question: Go over things like the allergy action plan from your allergist and what to do in different situations. Role-play different scenerios to make sure they understand, and can visualize & state what they need to do. Be sure to ask questions that need an actual response, not just a quick yes or no…they may fear looking foolish (especially in meetings) when they really have no clue.
Remind: Never assume they remember. This is a lot of information and it’s easy to forget, especially when you’re in the panic of an emergency. Schools have monthly fire drills to make sure they know the steps that need to be done in an emergency. Food allergy safety is something that also needs to be frequently discussed and practiced.
What are your thoughts/experiences? Please comment below!
And if you need resources to help teach about food allergies, be sure to check out our resource section at: http://allergyfreezone.com/resources/