Managing the physical and emotional needs of your child with a long-term health condition can be challenging, particularly when you’re are managing other Family Monsters too.
Children with common chronic health conditions including diabetes, epilepsy and asthma are twice as likely to suffer from emotional problems especially if their condition affects their brain.
Understanding who to approach and what help is available is often itself a major source of stress for parents. That’s why we have put together the below information and practical tips to help you get the support they need.
The impact of long-term health conditions on children
Children with long-term health conditions often need daily on-going medication and monitoring. Their condition can lead to them being away from school for long periods of time which can result in their learning being delayed.
At school and around other children, a child might feel that their condition makes them different to others and as a result develop anxieties about their condition. They might have fewer opportunities to learn everyday skills and to develop their interests and hobbies.
Individual healthcare plans
All children with a long standing illness are entitled to support in school using an individual healthcare plan. This outlines how their medical needs can be properly supported at school and what other support they require to ensure your child achieves their full potential and enjoys the same opportunities as their peers.
If your child is changing schools and has a new or recently changed diagnosis or is coming back to a school after a long period of absence, you or a health professional will need to inform the school. The Head Teacher or a senior staff member will organise a meeting to discuss your child’s needs and they should identify a member of school staff to provide support to your child.
Your Head Teacher will discuss with you and your child, if they’re old enough, who will see the plan. The plan is confidential and will only be seen by those who need to provide medical or emergency care. This might include the head teacher, the class teacher and support staff. Outside the school the GP or school nurse may also be involved.
The school should have a policy setting out how it supports children with long-term conditions, this should be available on their website or you can ask for a copy. This will set out its general approach to administering medicines, staff training and how staff ensure pupils can take part in PE and school trips. It also sets out transitional arrangements between schools.
Your school nurse or health visitor for younger children can also provide advice, support and liaise between internal and external professionals or School Health Teams.
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Need more support?
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