And then.. back to school
On this page you will find adaptations enabling the sick pupils to continue education. They will not all be applicable to every pupil; just consider them as possible interventions.
A deteriorating or bad physical condition may be a consequence of the illness itself or may be caused by the treatment or use of medications. A sick pupil may be uncertain about changes in capability or looks and therefore not be able to face their classmates. Adaptations for education can lower threshold for going back to school. It’s important to inform classmates about the reason for the adaptations. This prevents the sick pupil from feeling stress or pressure and classmates from feeling neglected.
It’s possible to make adaptations concerning mobility. The pupil can use alternative means of transport when going to school, for instance. Within school some extra aids to increase mobility could be: giving a pupil a key to the elevator, giving him more time to move to other classrooms and have lessons take place at the ground floor. It can also relieve the pupil to have an extra set of books
Adaptations in the classroom
In the classroom you could change the place of the sick pupil to improve concentration or wellbeing. Sometimes doing schoolwork is less important than attending school, and contact with classmates has priority. In such cases it may be preferable to have your pupil work in (small) groups or pairs.
Whether the pupil studies fully or partially, at school or at home, curriculum adaptations are often necessary. For example adaptations in timetables, duration of the courses, teaching material and tests. An individual curriculum will prevent the pupil from lagging behind.
Caring for the sick pupil
A sick pupil may tire quickly. This may manifest itself in e.g. PE. In secondary education, you may grant dispensation for PE. PE, however, also has a social element. By giving the pupil other tasks, such as being referee or the teacher’s right hand, he remains involved with the class. He may also participate in those parts that he is able to join.
If your pupil needs support with general daily vital functions, like eating or going to the toilet, you may request additional support.
If the sick pupil is required to eat at different times or take medications at set moments you may, after consulting the sick pupil, inform the classmates. It prevents the pupil from feeling embarrassed and the classmates from feeling neglected.
IT tools in education are now widely developed. They may present a good alternative for or complement to other changes in the curriculum or timetable. With IT tools a sick pupil may keep in touch with his classmates, through e.g. a webcam, a video film or an IT set for long distance learning. He may still participate in school life at a distance. Therefore, the starting point for using these tools is encouraging social contact. With an IT set for long distance learning it is also possible to attend lessons at home or in hospital.