Being a student with IBD can be ridiculously difficult sometimes. I know, first hand, that schools and teachers just don’t get it. However, you have to work with your parents to make school a little bit easier.
The first thing that you should definitely do if you have been diagnosed with IBD is send out an email at the beginning of the year, explaining what your disease is and how it affects you. If you’re in a flare, it isn’t going to help if your teachers and the school don’t understand what is happening. They might just think that you have a stomach bug when you actually suffer from a debilitating disease.
You might even want to set up a meeting with all of your teachers and your parents, so they fully understand everything that you go through. Do not be shy about telling them what’s wrong because they will help you out more if they understand.
Make it clear to your teachers that you don’t want them to treat strangely, especially in front of your peers. This way, you won’t stick out to your classmates. They won’t even know if you don’t want them to.
One of the most important things is to try and get accommodations for your disease. If you attend a public school, the school is required to follow these accommodations by law. Even if you attend a private school, you can still talk to the staff and ask for accommodations. These are especially helpful if you are in a flare, and you are finding it difficult to go to school or stay in school.
The best thing to do is to just simply be open with your teachers and the school in general. They won’t judge you for your disease. If you reach out to them, they will most likely be accepting and helpful. Don’t stay quiet if you are sick. It isn’t your fault that you are having trouble in school, and if you tell them, they will know this.
I hope that this post helped some students, who have a difficult time talking about their IBD. I will have a more in-depth post up later about accommodations and the 504 Plan specifically.