It’s back-to-school time! It’s that special time of year when our social media feeds fill with images of kids headed to their first day of school.
While going back to school can be an exciting moment in a child’s life, for families of a child with pulmonary hypertension (PH), it can also be a time of uncertainty and stress. This is especially true if it is a child’s first time going to school after a PH diagnosis.
By taking proactive measures, a parent can help make their child’s transition from summer vacation to the daily school schedule as easy as possible for the child, educators and the parents themselves!
Not sure where to start? Here are four steps you can take to “PH proof” your child’s school.
- Schedule an appointment with your child’s PH medical team before the start of the school year (or if already in school, as soon as possible).
Talking with your child’s PH team will get you all on the same page about what your child’s needs will be. They can assist in updating all the medical information you will need to share with the school’s educators. You can also discuss any school-specific issues, such as physical education classes and accommodation needs.
- Meet with school administrators.
This is your opportunity to introduce your child’s condition to the school administrators, especially if the school has never experienced a child with PH. In the meeting, you can discuss your child’s specific needs and how you can work together with the school team to ensure they are met.
- As the school year unfolds, keep in touch with both your medical team and your child’s teachers.
After you lay out a plan, your child’s progress will be the highest priority. Staying in touch with your medical team can ensure they can offer advice as needed. Your child’s teacher(s) can keep you updated on any potential issues so your child can stay on track. You can also keep everyone current with changes in health or academic needs.
- Remember it’s a team effort!
Everyone can play a part in making the school year a successful one. As parents, you can be assured your medical team, your educators and your friends in the PH community are all invested in your child’s success. You aren’t alone in this.
See our planning for school guide.
Check out the school resource guide.
Parents: learn how you can connect with one another in person, online and
by phone through PHA https://phassociation.org/parents/support/.
Depending on your child’s needs, a 504 Plan or an Individualized Education Program (IEP) allows you to put your child’s needs and your expectations of school personnel in writing.
Watch this video to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmwkfDjq5l8