It is amazing how as my sweet CHD daughter continues to grow she faces more obstacles daily. I had no idea when she was born with a complex heart defect that her obstacles would exceed beyond the health part. Learning late in her school career that she had so many other hurdles, cognitive and social, I felt once again I was behind the learning curve and letting down my girl! If you feel this way you aren't alone, I have been there and I know the emotional roller coaster you are embarking.
I first discovered Cora was having issues in school when she wasn't meeting the cognitive and social benchmarks. The teachers voiced their concerns, but nor the teachers or I, realized that due to her complex heart condition these development issues would arise. After a year of struggles with her at school, praying for some answers, I came across some research that God lead me to. It spelled everything out for me and from there I began devising a plan of action for her.
* A child with a severe CHD and has undergone a procedure, Fontan, is likely to require additional
assistance and extra care during school.
* A child with transposition of the great arteries show lower scores in math, learning, and general knowledge tests.
* Children with hypo plastic left heart syndrome have lower abilities in math, reading, and spelling.
* A child with CHD may be more inattentive, hyperactive, and have signs of ADHD during school and in the classroom.
So I have some bulletin points for the school to help aide in my daughter's school career, and educate the teachers about CHD and my daughter. I wanted to share them with everyone in case you are just not sure where to start! A lot of mine was trial and error but I have come up with some bulletin points that have worked, especially this past school year.
** I informed Cora's teachers of the nature of her complex heart condition. the impact on her performance at school inside and outside of the learning classroom.
** I keep contact throughout the year with Cora's teachers to keep them posted on her school work, her struggles, her successes. From there assignments can be adjusted, and additional intervention can occur. This was wonderful this past year for our family! The teachers were so attentive and on point assisting and adjusting her IEP's when necessary!!
** I had our cardiac clinic school intervention team come to our IEP meetings to discuss in detail how the complex heart conditions effect aspects of learning and social behavior. This was something new we did this year!! It was so worth it! Having an extra advocate was wonderful!!!!
Since school is right around the corner my next post will cover practical ideas on how to coop with a CHD child with learning issues. You don't want to miss it!
Blessings until next time!