By: Carrie Newton
Many children suffer from Lyme Disease and their teachers or school nurses aren’t really sure what they can do to help. It is important for teachers as well as parents to be on the look-out for non-obvious symptoms. Early detection is much easier to treat and lessens the chance of long term symptoms.
If you have a child with Lyme Disease or suspected Lyme in your classroom or school look for some of these signs as indicators.
Signs that your student may need some time to destress include:
1.) Student withdraws from the other students or activities.
2.) Student exhibits roller coaster emotions; experiencing unexplained highs and lows. (The student may show several emotions in a short period of time ranging from extremely happy to easily upset.)
3.) The student starts to show lack of interest and seems to zone out. They may also become forgetful or have difficulty processing new information.
4.) Student seems more fatigued than usual and/or shows signs of anxiety or rage.
5.) Student complains of frequent roaming pains.
6.) Any dramatic change in the child compared to how they usually behave or act.
Some things you can do to help:
1.) Encourage the student to use their words to express what they are feeling. Be aware- it can be hard to verbalize their symptoms, even for older students.
2.) Students can become overstimulated very easily. If the student is withdrawing, let them have that space by allowing them to sit in a designated quiet spot within the classroom. If necessary, see if allowing time for the child to leave class for a break would be of benefit.
3.) Provide frequent reminders and written directions. Allow extra time on assignments.
4.) Make sure your student has a 504 plan in place.
5.) Reach out to the parents and let them know the changes you have seen in the student so they can better assess the medical needs of the child.
6.) Be patient. Learn more about Lyme Disease at the link below.
For further information and resources, please visit lymewarrior.us.
Please also visit https://lymediseaseassociation.org/index.php/about-lyme/lyme-kids-a-schools/944-kids-and-lyme-disease-how-it-affects-their-learning for more classroom tips.