School issues with IBD
Kids with IBD miss classes or arrive late because of doctors' appointments, procedures or when they're not feeling well. That often puts them behind and adds stress with missed lessons and assignments. And it can put them at an academic and social disadvantage, when they can't participate in the fun activities and team sports that their classmates enjoy.
Fortunately, the federal government passed several laws that protect kids with IBD. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act have established what is commonly called the 504 plan for public schools. And that's truly helpful, with parents work with the teachers to help their child:
- Absences aren't counted against them if there's a medical excuse
- If there are going to be long absences, teachers can come to the house or the hospital to help
- The kids can make up missed work and tests on a schedule that takes away some of the pressure.
- Standardized tests and even the college entrance tests like the SATs and ACTS allow them bathroom privileges and extra time if it's needed.
- Certain courses (like physical education) can be substituted to make sure the kids can still graduate
- Service animals can come to the classroom if that's need
- A syllabus can be given to the students before the beginning of class; clearly communicating course requirements, assignments, due dates, grading criteria
- Written outlines or summaries of the classes may be offered
There are further stipulations for children with other disabilities, to make sure that the schools adapt to each individual child.
This article, as well as all others, was reviewed and edited by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.
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