Children with chronic illnesses may have their good days, where they can attend school with mild symptoms and no issues. However, the bad days with serious symptoms can interrupt your child’s whole life, much less their schooling.
In these situations, here are a few things that families should know.
First: Accommodations are key
Symptoms of chronic illnesses can be erratic. However, that does not prevent your child from obtaining accommodations. A 504 plan – or an individual education program (IEP), if they qualify – could help ensure your child receives certain accommodations at school to ease the symptoms of their illness, such as:
- Designated times to rest during the day
- Physical therapy services
- Adjusted school days, if necessary
- Adjusted attendance policies
Even if a chronic illness causes temporary disability, your child could qualify to receive accommodations and protections under California and federal laws. These accommodations might have to change as your child’s needs do, so you should ensure you understand your child’s rights.
What if your child is in the hospital or cannot attend school?
There are many cases where chronic illnesses can lead to extended absences from school. Perhaps it is an extended hospital stay. You and your child may worry about their schoolwork on top of their health-related concerns.
However, there are many ways your child could still keep up with their education. For example:
- Schools may provide work and lessons for your child while they are absent
- Some students might qualify for individual instruction under California law
Completing or making up schoolwork outside of school can be stressful for your child. Parents and guardians can help to relieve that stress by working to collaborate with their child’s teachers and other school staff. You can also find ways to help them organize their schedules and balance their school life and personal life, so they can focus on their health as well.