Being a student with JIA

Let’s face it: It’s not easy being different at school. And when you have JIA, you can feel … different. The good news: There are lots of things you can do to make the best of your condition. And at school you will have a lot of support — from friends and classmates and teachers — every step of the way.

At SNAC, we have gotten to know a lot of kids just like you over the past 10 years, and we’ve gathered together some of the advice they’ve shared with us about dealing with JIA at school. Here are a few of their top tips:

  • Talk regularly with your teachers about how you are feeling. Communication is key to getting the help you need.
  • When you’re ready, tell your friends about your condition. And think about giving a presentation to your class about JIA.
  • If you have a locker, be sure to use it store your books so you don’t have to carry a heavy bag with you all day.
  • If your school has a lift, ask for permission to use it.
  • Get a pass to leave class early if you need extra time to walk to your next class.
  • Talk to your teachers if you need extra time to complete a homework assignment or an exam.
  • If your condition makes it difficult to take notes in class, ask for a copy of the class notes from your teachers.
  • Ask if you can use a computer to complete written assignments.

JIA at School: A Guide for Academic and Support Staff

If you have a child in your school with JIA, it is important to ensure that all relevant members of staff have a clear and consistent understanding of how JIA can impact on a student’s school experience. JIA: A Guide for Schools provides a basic introduction to the condition and offers some practical advice for teachers and support staff working with students with JIA.

The guide comes in two forms: a simple PDF document that can be downloaded and distributed to relevant school staff; and a set of PowerPoint slides that can be used in a public presentation.