Six Great Reasons to Meet the Teacherby Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Writer
If you are a parent of a child with frequent or severe reflux, it may be a good idea to request a meeting with your child’s teacher sometime in the first few weeks of school. Discussing the following items will help make it a great year.
Mornings can be rough
As a parent of a child with acid reflux, you know that the nights — and thus, mornings — can be difficult. Your child may be extra tired and grumpy some mornings and not able to eat before leaving for school. Letting the teacher know that some mornings may be better than others can be helpful.
When my son was in elementary school, he took reflux medication four times a day. That meant that at least once a day, he was taking medication at school. It was important to our son that his medication be taken as discreetly as possible. It helped us to talk to his teacher ahead of time about natural transitions in his schedule when he could sneak away to the nurse’s office without a big production.
If your child’s reflux is severe, he may need to limit his physical activity right after eating. For our son, recess directly followed his lunch, so we worked it out so that he could eat a light lunch at school and then eat his "real" lunch when he got home. If your child is young and being monitored at lunch, consider letting the teacher know it is OK if he doesn’t want to eat much before recess.
Snacks and drinks
As a parent, you understand that occasional flexibility is called for when it comes to food and drink. Your child’s teacher, meanwhile, might not have any experience with acid reflux. You may need to educate your child’s teacher on the possibility that your child might need a snack mid-morning if he was unable to eat breakfast. You may also need to explain that a drink of water after a reflux episode can be very helpful.
Meeting your child’s teacher ahead of time allows you the opportunity to get to know her one on one and for her to get to know you. It can also be a good time to ask which method of communication she prefers — i.e., via phone, email, or in person — if you have a question or an issue to discuss.
Finding your advocate
At our son’s school, meetings about medical issues usually included the school nurse. This allowed us to figure out who would most likely be our son’s best advocate if he was not feeling well. Each year we were fortunate to find someone on our son’s "team" at school on whom we knew we could rely.