In the U.S. alone, more than 40% of school-aged children and adolescents experience at least one chronic health condition.
Children with chronic illnesses often require continuous healthcare treatment and daily management, making it a challenge to stay on top of their work while in a classroom. Some children may even experience frequent emergencies and need immediate care.
When a child is consistently missing school or making up assignments due to health-related issues, you may see their interest in school and academic performance decline. Cyber school can help with these issues, enabling kids to work from home while still engaging in their education and keeping up with the curriculum.
The Effects of Chronic Illness
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a chronic disease is a health condition that lasts over a year, requiring consistent medical care or limiting a person’s daily activities and quality of life. Some examples of chronic illnesses include the following conditions:
- Asthma: Children with asthma may experience chest tightness, wheezing, trouble breathing, coughing, and tiredness.
- Diabetes: Diabetes can cause increased thirst, extreme hunger, irritability, frequent urination, and unexpected weight loss.
- Epilepsy: A child with epilepsy may experience memory gaps, confusion, stomach pain, unusual movements, sudden stumbling or falls, and attention blackouts.
- Cerebral palsy: Cerebral palsy can lead to movement and developmental issues, poor coordination, stiff muscles, lack of balance, and difficulty walking, speaking, and engaging in fine motor skills.
- Cystic fibrosis: Symptoms of cystic fibrosis include coughing, sinus and respiratory infections, constipation, shortness of breath, and poor weight and height growth.
In addition to these day-to-day symptoms, behavioral and mood disorders like depression and anxiety are particularly common among children with chronic illnesses. Children with chronic illnesses may struggle to focus in school because of physical limitations, pain, or fatigue. Those struggles can make it challenging for children to keep up with other students and participate in the same activities.
These additional challenges can influence how they can work, often leaving them feeling frustrated and less motivated to engage with others. Online school provides an alternative where your child can work from the comfort of their home while managing their illness.
Cyber School Benefits for Students With Chronic Illness
Managing a chronic illness can be extremely tiring and frustrating, and traditional school settings often lack accommodations for students with a chronic illness. It can be challenging to know what to do for students with chronic illness when the system seems designed to work against them.
Cyber school, on the other hand, offers children the opportunity to gain an education without excessive disruptions in their learning. Here are some ways that online school can help alleviate issues in the education of students with chronic illness.
1. Schedule Flexibility
With online learning, your child can choose between synchronous and asynchronous courses, either following a set schedule with live classes or watching pre-recorded lessons on their own time. This flexibility is an advantage for students with chronic illnesses, especially those with health needs that aren’t compatible with a traditional school schedule.
With online school, your child’s schedule fits their daily needs. For example, children who need to eat a meal at a specific time so they can take their medication can do so and pick their lessons back up afterward.
When your child’s schools schedule works with them, it sets them up for success. At Commonwealth Charter Academy, many students benefit from a flexible schedule that allows them to pursue outside goals and aspirations while maintaining their education and building their future.
2. Students Can Learn From Anywhere
In addition to flexible schedule options, your child will also benefit from the convenience of getting to work from any location. Students with chronic illnesses often deal with body aches, pain, mood swings, and exhaustion. These symptoms and side effects can make it extremely challenging to get out of bed in the morning and make it to school on time.
With online learning, your child’s location can adjust to their needs. Students can remain on their couches or in their beds when they experience pain or other debilitating symptoms of their condition.
While your child can gain an education from anywhere, it can still be difficult for them to stay focused in the face of nonacademic barriers, which is why CCA provides the Student Assistance Program (SAP). This program focuses on helping families overcome various challenges — from students experiencing low grades to those dealing with bullying, grief, or abuse. The teachers and counselors in SAP work closely with many organizations to bring students the resources they need to succeed in their education and beyond.
3. Strong Anti-Bullying Policies
Students with chronic illnesses frequently experience bullying in a traditional school setting. Kids may tease or mock others with physical limitations and try to exclude them. Other students, especially younger ones, have trouble understanding why the school allows students with a chronic illness to miss many days in a row. They might also tease that it’s contagious, making the student feel socially isolated.
It can be extremely challenging for your child to focus on their school assignments if they’re also trying to shield themselves from their peers. Bullying can even make your child refuse to go to school for fear of what they will experience. While some students may keep quiet if they’re getting bullied, they often still feel worried or anxious about going to school every day.
With online school, students can work somewhere they feel safe, letting them focus on their studies more effectively. Schools like CCA also offer resources for students who experience bullying and commit to protecting all students from any type of teasing or harassment.
4. Building Success for Students
Children find it easier to experience academic success when they feel comfortable and safe. The flexibility of cyber school lets students with chronic illnesses focus while remaining confident and empowered. The comfort of a home learning environment can help subdue their worries and concerns about going to school, allowing them to concentrate more on their academic instruction.
School schedules that align with students’ individual needs minimize interruptions to learning. Many students with chronic illnesses need extended leaves from school to treat their symptoms caused by chronic conditions. In traditional settings, they may find it nearly impossible to catch up with the rest of their peers. However, online schools provide the tools, resources, and support necessary for students to engage in academic continuity that leads to greater success.
Schools like CCA understand the struggles that students with chronic illnesses face, which is why we strive to provide every accommodation and opportunity for them to achieve their goals and prepare for life after graduation.
How CCA Can Help
At CCA, our goal is to ensure every student gets the education they deserve regardless of the challenges they may face. Our dedicated community of teachers, coaches, counselors, and mentors works to create personalized learning and socialization opportunities that provide your child with all the benefits of a traditional school. Our team is ready to show you how to navigate online school for students with chronic illness and support your family through any obstacles you may experience.
Learning from the comfort of their own home at their own pace gives your child the flexibility they need to succeed in school and beyond. CCA provides accommodations that students with chronic illness can use to better their journeys towards success.
Contact us today with any questions you may have about our online learning program.