What are some effective strategies for working with children who have other health impairments?

  • Plan ways to keep students engaged during prolonged absences
  • Consider and plan for students’ health needs around school activities outside the classroom
  • Learn as much as you can about the students’ particular health impairments
  • Communicate with families and other professionals to share information and strategies

Whose Job Is It?

Children with health-based impairments can walk a fine line between what is the responsibility of the school and what is not.  The 2004 reauthorization of the IDEA federal special education law expanded the description of school-health services to provide greater clarification of what roles qualified nurses play versus other individuals.  Not all services must be rendered by a nurse or medical professional, but all services should be documented on the child’s IEP with clear indication of who is responsible for doing what.

Some key considerations:

  • It is never the school’s purview to diagnose a medical condition, prescribe medication, or to provide any medical care outside specified services on the child’s IEP or emergency care.
  • It is okay to ask for more training and assistance.
  • As in all cases, support and assistance should maintain the utmost dignity, privacy, and respect for the child.

Key Words for Educators

  • Engage
  • Flexible
  • Communicate

Other Health Impairments … According to IDEA

  • Include those that limit a student’s strength, vitality, and/or alertness, such as health problems that result from a wide range of diseases and conditions (among them asthma, ADD, diabetes, epiepsy, and Tourette Syndrome)
  • Negatively impacts a student’s educational performance

View a Video

First-hand Account

Click here to view a video of motivational speaker and comedian, Ben Glenn. Hear his account of growing up as a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

by The Johns Hopkins University School of Education Center for Technology in Education