Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dear Teacher, This is Charlotte...

Charlotte has started preschool! She's thrilled about going, loves her new friends (girls names are all I have heard, no boys names ... is that the 3rd girl in a family thing?!) and ADORES her teachers. So do I! When Charlotte was first diagnosed with JRA, her older sister Ellie was attending this same preschool. I shared with them what we had learned as a family about Charlotte & they shared with me their empathy, understanding & knowledge about the disease, the medical field, & foods that affect the bod. We had great conversations and a great deal of sharing between us.
When Charlotte leaves this cocoon of safety & love & hits "the big time" in kindergarten where she could be one of 600 at the school, I am reminded of what I will need to share with them, rewinding time to when she was two & diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis & what that could mean for her today:

Five Things Teachers Need to Know
1. My child may experience discomfort from arthritis even when nothing appears to be wrong. Please take her seriously if she says she's in pain.

2. My child may need to miss school due to medical appointments and arthritis flare-ups. Please let me know how I can help her make up missed work.

3. My child may tire easily or have trouble doing certain physical activities. Please be aware that this is a health problem and not a behavior problem.

4. It's okay to let my child's classmates know about his condition as long as it is done in an appropriate way. I'd be happy to help prepare a program.

5. Please keep the lines of communication open between our home and the school. My child needs all the adults in her life working together.

With deep respect & monumental gratitude, Charlotte's Momma

1 comment:

Karen said...

Hi :)

I am Karen mum to Katie aged 13 who has arthritis in every joint.

Your daughter is gorgeous :) Love her photos and the fact shes at school :) give her a hi five from me please :)

Katie was diagnosed with Enthesitis Related Arthritis in 2006, and will have a total jaw replacement next year when she turns 14.

We live in Scotland on the west coast near to Glasgow. I found your blog in google :) thanks for sharing your story