Challenges for school children with arthritis

Living with arthritis can be an isolating experience as a child, misunderstood and negatively labelled by their student peers.

  • Sep. 11, 2016 8:00 a.m.

Living with arthritis can be an isolating experience

Three out of every 1,000 children lives with arthritis, and the return to school can be a time of potential apprehension for them.

Most people are not aware  that kids can get arthritis, which is why The Arthritis Society is sharing the MediKidz comic book, a resource written by pediatric rheumatologists.  September is also Arthritis Awareness Month across Canada.

Living with arthritis can be an isolating experience, especially as a child.  It is often difficult to explain why a child can’t participate in gym class, or may need to rest right after school or throughout the day.

Kids can be misunderstood and labeled by their peers, and Adrienne Dalla-Longa lived this story.

Now 27, Adrienne reflects on when she was diagnosed with Juvenile Ideopathic Arthritis (JIA) and started undergoing treatment.   “I had to wear ankle, knee and wrist braces, and in elementary school, I was prevented from fully participating in many activities, including gym time.

“The teachers didn’t know what activities were appropriate and didn’t want to risk my getting hurt, so I was made to sit out.  This experience resulted in me being bullied by my peers, who did not understand why I was unable to participate.  I wish that a resource like this comic book was available to me when I was in school.”

The Arthritis Society is encouraging everyone to learn more about JIA with the help of the “MediKidz” in this playful yet informing and meaningful comic book.  It was written by doctors for kids and the digital flipbook is available at www.arthritis.ca/childhood.

Hard copies of the comic book are also available through the society by calling 604-714-5550 or emailling info@bc.arthritis.ca.

Just Posted

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Kelowna city councillor suggests bringing back photo radar

Gail Given says it could help generate traffic fine revenue for the city—and make roads safer

‘Game changer” research deal between three B.C. Interior universities

UBCO, TRU, UNBC say deal will help innovation, research, aid students and increase quality of life

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Annual Christmas meal held as Kelowna Gospel Mission

The meal will be held tomorrow from 12 to 6 p.m.

Michaels: Big Brother has become a big letdown

“You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide, but privacy should still have some appeal.”

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Most Read