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Going to School with Crohn's Disease

Advice for Elementary (Primary) School Students (and their parents)

  • Speak with the headteacher / principal / school nurse about getting a health care plan in place. This should outline details such as symptoms, treatment needed during school hours, how to recognise an emergency, and emergency contact details (including parents, doctors and hospitals)
  • If your child is taking immune suppressants or steroids, you should be informed of certain infectious diseases in school. These include measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox and shingles. School staff should be made aware that your child is immune suppressed.
  • You may wish to liaise with one particular staff member that your child trusts (maybe an assistant or aide), so that if your child needs comforting or helping during school hours, they have somebody handy to turn to.

Advice for High School (Secondary) Students

  • Ask your doctor for a note outlining the condition you have been diagnosed with and how this will impact your schooling (you may miss school unexpectedly, you should be allowed to take frequent bathroom trips if necessary, etc.). Make sure that you provide this note to each of your teachers at the beginning of each semester as well as let your guidance office know about your condition and any special arrangements you may require.

Advice for College/University Students

  • Make sure you identify your condition when applying to school and indicate how it impacted your schooling. Include a note from your doctor to support what you write about.
  • Inquire with your school if an office for person's with disabilities (or similar) exists that you can sign up for. Such a resource may give you more bargaining power when dealing with professors or they may be able to help you get the resources or special assistance you need to ensure you are given a fair chance at completing your schooling
  • You will likely be able to join the school health plan. If you are not automatically enrolled, find out how you can join the program (assuming you do not have health care of your own)
  • Speak with your local Crohn's organization to see if there is anyone at your school who also has Crohn's or IBD. Speak with them about how they managed their schooling with their condition and if they can recommend any good resources to use at the school to make life easier on you
  • Make sure you visit each class before class actually starts and find the nearest bathroom
  • Sit in a seat that allows for a quick and quiet exit if you think multiple bathroom trips will be necessary.
  • Some (but not all) profs like to hear from students when they miss a class -- just a quick note such as: "So sorry to have to miss class today; I am in the middle of a Crohn's flare but we are working to get it under control. I have obtained notes from a classmate and am looking forward to lecture on Friday." Now the prof is aware of your condition, of what you're doing to keep up in class, and the prof might volunteer to help out in one or more of a variety of ways (ex: offering to lend out the video that the class watched that day). (Info contributed by a university lecturer)

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09-06-2010, 06:44 AM   #1
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DustyKat's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Information specific to those in Australia.

If you are sitting exams to obtain a UAI remember to apply for the EAS (Educational Access Scheme). It may allow for leeway in the cut off for many university courses and it also flags you to Student Equity and Disability at the university you accept an offer to.

Mum of 2 kids with Crohn's.
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