Dear Addy: Back to School 2019

Dear Addy,
My son has hemophilia and I’m nervous about his safety as he starts school this year. How can I advocate for him at school and make sure his bleeding disorder is understood?
Nervous Nancy

Dear Nervous,
You are not alone – many families struggle with this experience! Taking a proactive approach to educate your son’s school about his needs and safety will benefit everyone involved in his care. Use the following resources to facilitate conversations with the school:

  • HFA’s Back to School toolkit includes presentations, articles, documents, and flowcharts and will help you explain your son’s bleeding disorder to school personnel. The toolkit also provides information regarding 504 plans, Individual Education Plans (IEP), and Individual Health Plans (IHP).
  • HFA’s Bullying Prevention Toolkit will give you tools to talk with your child about bullying and empower him to address concerns with you and with his school if an issue occurs.
  • Learning Central is HFA’s new interactive education platform. The short modules in Learning Central offer a well-rounded overview of bleeding disorders through medically reviewed information. Consider using the information to develop an educational unit like a lesson, online module, or a fun arts and craft assignment, to teach school staff and other students about your son’s bleeding disorder. This would be a great opportunity to get your son engaged in advocacy, too!

Don’t be afraid to speak up, especially if you have concerns about your son’s safety. Advocacy is a vital tool for the bleeding disorders community and passionate members like you help spread awareness. Your involvement may also encourage other parents to be more vocal about their children’s needs. If children learn about bleeding disorders now, they are likely to be more accepting and understanding of your son and other students with health concerns.
Have a question? Click HERE. Your name will be changed in the response.
HFA frequently receives questions from the bleeding disorders community related to advocacy issues. The questions often impact the entire community. In an effort to reach the largest audience possible with our responses to these widely applicable questions, HFA developed “Dear Addy.” Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance.