For Parents

Tips to manage your child’s chronic illness so he or she succeeds in school

Hero Parents

Working With Your Child’s School

One of the most important ways to support your child’s education is by building a respectful and trusting relationship with your child’s school, especially with the school nurse and teachers. This worksheet will help you collect all the important information you can share with your child’s teacher at your first meeting.

Laura, whose daughter Emily has a chronic illness, says “I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a good relationship with your child’s teachers,” in this video. “If they understand your child’s illness, then they’ll know how to work with it.”

After your child’s educational accommodations are put in place, one important step is visiting your child’s classroom. Ask your child’s teacher to arrange a date and time that works with his or her schedule. This worksheet will help you keep track of what you observe, including the environment, your child’s behavior, and his or her challenges. If you find that your child’s teacher does not implement your child’s educational accommodations, find a time to meet and review the accommodations again. Be sure to document your notes and letters when working with a school to resolve a problem, in case you need to file a formal complaint.

Although you and your child’s teacher share the same goal of supporting your child, remember, teachers are often responsible for the needs of 20 or more children at a time. If you run into challenges, kindness, patience, and a positive attitude will go a long way in resolving any hurdles.

In this video, Craig Goodmark, an education attorney, explains that if several weeks go by and a child’s educational accommodations still are not being implemented, even after working collaboratively with the school, “there are outside resources like advocates and attorneys that specialize in special education law that covers the implementation of Section 504 and IDEA.”


Meet three parents, Stacey, Laura, and Yvette, whose children have a chronic illness. The parents describe their children’s symptoms and the challenges of balancing a chronic illness with school.

Listen to parents discuss the importance of forming a strong relationship with your child’s education team. The parents suggest sharing some information about your child’s chronic illness with teachers so that they can better understand the challenges your child faces.

Craig Goodmark, an education attorney, explains how parents can resolve challenges with their child’s school.

Two elementary school teachers talk about their roles in the team of adults that supports a student with a chronic illness.

An elementary school case manager explains how she facilitates the educational accommodation process for a student with a chronic illness.

Students who are often absent from school see Hospital Homebound teachers. Here, one describes her role in a student’s educational team.

Hear from a hospital-based teacher about how she helps students during their absences from school and serves as a liaison between physicians, parents, and teachers.

A student’s pediatrician can provide guidance on appropriate educational accommodations. Listen to a physician talk about her role in supporting young patients with chronic illnesses.

A school nurse explains how she works to keep students as healthy as possible when they are in school and trains teachers to implement the accommodation plan.

Hear from an elementary school principal about how she helps manage all the different pieces of a student’s educational team in order to provide a supportive school environment.


First meeting with my child's teacher

Use this worksheet to organize all the information about your child’s chronic illness you want to share with your child’s teacher at your first meeting.
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Classroom observation notes

When you visit your child’s classroom, bring this worksheet along to help you record your observations.
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