Back to School: Part II – The Rewards

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Guide
  • In Part I of this blog, I discussed the possible challenges you might encounter if you decide to send your child with reflux to school. Part II is about the possible rewards.

    The first of many payoffs of sending your child with reflux to school may be the chance to see your child excel among his or her peers. My instincts tell me that many children who have navigated a complex illness are also mature beyond their years. I’ll never forget the teachers’ report on our son’s first day of preschool. When I arrived to pick him up they said, “We had to go to the older classroom to get more work for him today because he went through all of the work in this classroom so quickly!” I wasn’t surprised. He has endured four pH probes. Pouring rocks from one jar to another probably seemed pretty easy to him.
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    The second reward may be an increase in parenting confidence. Sending your child to school requires preparing him or her for a new situation week after week. Special events, curiosity from other children about medication, and constant exposure to new illnesses require all involved to stretch more than just a little. The growth required is inevitable.

    Preschool may also give you a much needed physical and emotional break from parenting a child with high-needs. The three days a week our son is in preschool, someone else gives him one dose of his reflux medication – and while that may not sound like much of a respite, just do the math for a nine month school year! Sending our son to school also gives us an emotional break. I was reminded of this when one of the teachers told me how hard is was for her to watch our son not have all the special food treats the other children had. I knew exactly what she meant. I also knew that while our son was at school, I was excused from a few of the emotionally difficult times, and someone else was able to provide him comfort.

    Depending on the health of your child, starting school may be a decision you want to make collaboratively with your health-care team. I hope after reading this blog, you will think about the possibility of sending your child to school as one that may be well worth the effort.
Published On: November 06, 2006