Short Gut Syndrome Patient, Family & Professional Support Groups

6 Suggestions for Going Back to School

Back to school is an exciting time for any child. New teacher, new subjects, new classmates along with old friends and old routines. Going back to school means a lot to look forward to, and a lot of unknowns. Back to school also means added anxiety for a child with a chronic illness.

Here are a few ideas of how you, as a parent, can help to ease this anxiety for student and teacher - and for yourself.

1. Meet the school nurse. The school nurse will help in the development of a healthcare plan and in training your classroom staff in how to respond to issues that may come up during the school day.

1. Meet your child's teacher. It can be intimidating to have a child with special needs in your class. Explain your child's diagnosis and needs. Then communicate often so the teacher stays in the loop.

2. Help classmates understand. Provide brief, easy-to-understand information that the teacher or other school staff can share with students. (Try sharing info from our website or others in our resources links). Encourage classmates to keep in touch during hospital stays.

3. Keep the school informed and involved. During long hospital stays, consider assigning an advocate to provide updates when your attention needs to be elsewhere.

4. Communicate needs. Ask a doctor to provide information for the school about your child's special needs, limitations, etc. . Explain to school staff how to recognize signs of complications and how to respond. Request a healthcare plan and ask about if a 504 plan or IEP (Individualized Education Plan) may also be appropriate. Accommodations might include access to a restroom or food and drink in class. Submit your requests in writing so you have a record, as schools are required by law to respond in a timely manner.

5. Plan for absences. Talk to your doctor about writing a standing letter to excuse absences throughout the school year so that you don't have to get a medical excuse for each absence. Also make a plan for how you'll communicate about missed classwork.

6. Provide encouragement. Realize that teachers and other school staff can be frightened, overwhelmed or discouraged when they have a child with a serious illness in their classroom. Accurate information and words of appreciation can go a long way.

7. Take care of siblings. Having a family member with a chronic illness is stressful for the entire family. Make sure your healthy childrens' teachers are informed so that they can give extra attention and watch for signs of stress.

This website is created by families for families. This site does not provide medical or any other health advice, diagnosis, and/or treatment. This site and its services, including the information above, are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical or health advice, examination, diagnosis, and treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider before starting any new treatment, making any changes to existing treatment, or altering in any way your or your child's current care or diet regimen. Do not delay seeking or disregard medical advice based on the information on this site. Some of the information on this site may be incorrect or out of date. No health information on this site is regulated or evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and therefore the information should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease without the supervision of a medical professional.