Nurse in the Classroom for Medical Assistance -
Nicoleen Wcco Medically Complex Kids Mini

Nurse in the Classroom for Medical Assistance

How to talk to your kids when a classmate brings a nurse into the classroom with them for medical assistance

13-18% of children are considered to have special needs, though there is considerable variation (medical complexity, functional limitations, resource needs) 

  • Common diagnoses: cerebral palsy, spina bifida, epilepsy, conditions of prematurity, chromosomal abnormalities, SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy)
  • Children with medical complexities are likely increasing in prevalence because of:
    • Increased survival rates of those born prematurely, with various congenital anomalies or chronic conditions
    • Improved treatments for acute and chronic illness
  • Most parents of children with disabilities would prefer that other adults ask them about their child directly, rather than avoiding them. A smile or friendly “Hello!” is an easy icebreaker.
    • Even if a child doesn’t talk, there are still activities the children can do together, such as play board games or arts and crafts.
    • If your child wants to have a play date with a child with a disability or invite him or her to a birthday party, encourage it. Call the other parent and say simply, “How can we make this work?”
    • Share any concerns with the other parent. Parents of children with disabilities will often be happy to facilitate a successful play date or outing.
    • Extra effort goes a long way. For instance, learning simple signs so that you can better communicate with a child who is deaf (and uses sign language) will be much appreciated.
  • Children with medical needs do not necessarily have special educational needs, don’t assume cognitive disability
    • Understand that families of medically complex children will experience higher stress and anxiety
    • Children with disabilities are like all children in that they want friends, respect and to be included
    • Try to use clear, respectful language when talking about someone with a disability with other children
    • Example: “She uses a wheelchair because a part of her body does not work as well as it could”
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