Thursday, February 12, 2015

School + Cancer

There are a multitude of everyday tasks that have the potential to dramatically change following a cancer diagnosis-one being education. It can be extremely overwhelming. Today, we would like to share some resources and tips to managing and maintain education through out you + your child’s journey with cancer. 
First, things first: Communicating with your child’s school:
Set up a meeting with your child’s [1] teacher [2] principle [3] school nurse. By ensuring an effective conversation will help eliminate any unnecessary issues that may arise from lack of knowledge. Here are a few things to discuss at your meeting:
  • Consider getting permission for your child to wear a hat or scarf at school if hair loss is possible due to their specific treatment plan.
  • Ensure to communicate the activities that your child may not be able to participate in, such as gym class. 
  • Create a plan of action regarding keeping your child as caught up on school work as possible
  • Discuss what information you are comfortable discussing when classmates have questions about cancer
Medical Information to convey:
  • Inform them of your set treatment days as well as any potential side effects to recognize while in the classroom.
  • Discuss online options that your child may have with their school. 
  • Any medicines the child will need to take and how to give them
  • Special devices the child will use and how to use them
  • What kinds of problems to watch for and report to you
  • Emergency management of possible problems
  • Medicines, treatments, or activities that your child cannot have or do
  • Whom to call with questions and emergency contact information

Maintaining Interaction:
This is very important, although it may be the easiest aspect to let slip through the cracks. Pediatric patients are prone to feeling isolated and lack a sense of “normalcy” in their life. By maintaining their interaction with classmates + school will have profound impacts on their emotional life.

  • Make time to have your child communicate with their classmates or friends. There are many options to do this such as video chat, texting, phone calls or email.
  • If your child is going to miss class, have them ask a classmate or teacher to photocopy that day’s notes.
  • Sometimes treatment can leave you feeling very weak, so consider the possibility of half days to ensure they are getting some social stimulation.

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