School Concerns

Children with cardiomyopathy may have certain medical concerns that need to be discussed with their school. In many cases, these concerns relate to physical activity restrictions, cardiac emergency preparedness, and medications needed during school hours. These concerns may require modifications or accommodations in the school setting. CCF offers a Cardiomyopathy School Resource Kit to help educate your child’s school staff about cardiomyopathy and guide you in obtaining the correct accommodations and modifications for your child.

Working with the School

Before the school year begins, schedule a meeting with your child's teachers, school administrator, guidance counselor and school nurse to explain your child's condition and treatment. Make a list of points that you want to cover at the meeting, including any special requests. Discussion topics might cover:

  • Academic issues resulting from illness, fatigue, pro-longed hospitalization or side effects from medication

  • Social issues resulting from being different such as appearing smaller/weaker or unable to participate in gym and sports

  • Practical issues such as special dietary needs, medications, restrictions on gym classes and the availability of external defibrillators

School Plans

It is advisable for parents to work with the school to develop three types of plans: an education plan, health plan and emergency plan to ensure your child can function at his/her maximum potential in a safe and supportive school environment.

Education Plan

This provides information to school administrators about required school modifications and accommodations and how to implement them.

Health Plan

This provides information to the school nurse about your child’s diagnosis, medication schedule, physical restrictions, emergency care and emergency contact information.

Emergency Plan

This provides school personnel with specific instructions on how to handle a cardiac emergency, including information about your child’s condition, warning signs and emergency contact information.

If your child needs to be hospitalized during the school year, you may need to make special arrangements with the school covering make-up assignments, extra tutoring in missed subjects and possibly shortened school days immediately following hospitalization. A couple of weeks after your child returns to school, you may wish to follow up with his/her teachers to find out how he/she is adjusting.

It is important to develop a cooperative relationship with school officials and teachers so that they can help your child continue to learn using the most appropriate programs. For additional tips on working with your child’s school, click here.

Medical Emergencies

 

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