Issues to Address with your Child's Teachers and Other School Staff

Work with your child's teacher to nurture a positive attitude and a sense of "can do" independence in your child. If this sense of optimism is expressed, the child and other students will also think, feel, and act accordingly.

Have your doctor send a letter to the school staff, outlining our child's abilities and limitations, medication schedule, any necessary physical or occupational therapy our child may need during school hours and any other special services that might be needed.

Make the school nurse and teachers aware of how your child takes his or her medicine. It is required that the school nurse handle all medications. Students may not carry medications in school.

Let the teachers know that they should expect good school results from your child. They shouldn't expect lower grades or lack of interest because of MHE - MHE doesn't affect the mind. However, pain and fatigue may affect a child's ability to concentrate.

Provide information so teachers understand that your child may walk and move a little more slowly than other children and may need extra time writing and changing classrooms. Your child may or may not be able to climb stairs.

Educate students in your child's class about MHE and how it affects your child. Discuss the topic with your child and see how he or she feels. Some children with MHE have volunteered to do a report on MHE for their classes. Sometimes a member of the health-care team or even the child's parent can help. Being open about the subject gives the other students a chance to learn about MHE and also fosters respect for the child and can help reduce teasing.

Ask teachers to allow your child to get up and move about frequently to prevent stiffness, if necessary. For example, perhaps your child can help collect papers or pass out materials. It helps if these activities don't disturb the class or draw attention to your child's different abilities. Your child may also require rest periods during the day.

Encourage your child's teachers, especially physically education instructors, to talk to his/her doctor or therapist to understand any physical restrictions. Unless advised otherwise by the doctor, your child should be included in all school activities, up to her or her limitations.  Children should set their own limits in physical education class and do activities to their own tolerance level, which may vary from day to day.

This information has been adapted for use by families of children with MHE.
(c)1998,
Raising a Child with Arthritis. Used by permission of the Arthritis Foundation, 1330 W. Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30309. For more information please call the Arthritis Foundation's Information Line at 1.800.283.7800 or log on to www.arthritis.org

Links

The MHE and Me Handbook-
A Guide for Families, Friends, Teachers, and Classmates

The MHE and Me Site Map

Home

School Needs Checklist

Common School Concerns for Students
with Multiple Hereditary Exostoses

TheArthritis Foundation
http://www.arthritis.org