Maintaining a normal life is important for children and adolescents with a chronic condition. Helping them keep up with their education is very important. With very few exceptions, children and teens with an autoinflammatory disease can go to school as normal. To make attending school as easy as possible for your child, there are things for you to consider, and questions you should ask. We tackle a few of these on this site.
If your child has an autoinflammatory disease and attends a regular pre-school, nursery or primary/secondary school, chances are that teachers and classmates may not understand how the illness impacts your child’s life. It’s difficult to understand something if you’re unfamiliar with it, so you can’t really blame the teachers and classmates. What you can do, is talk to them about the illness.
By talking to teachers and classmates you can piece together what might be a puzzle to them – they may never have heard of autoinflammatory conditions, let alone know someone with one. Explaining the causes, the symptoms and what it means for your child day-to-day can improve their understanding of your child and how best to involve them in school activities. In turn, this may help your child settle into everyday life at school and take part in all that it has to offer: learning, play time and sports, school trips, projects, celebrations, and so on.
If your child needs support due to living with an autoinflammatory disease, you should discuss this with their teacher or staff at the school. Make a plan together on what support your child can be provided to make their life at school easier. Depending on your child’s needs, there are all sorts of things that can help, including:
Your child may need to miss school from time to time if their symptoms flare. If you’re concerned about your child possibly falling behind in school, make an appointment with your child’s teacher and the vice-principal or principal to find out what arrangements can be made to accommodate your needs.
You may have options such as home schooling, distance learning or tutoring that you can consider if your child is likely to be away from school for long periods of time. Your school or local school board should work with you to find a way to ensure your child has the opportunity to keep up with classmates and not fall behind.
For further information, please see some of the websites in our list of links.