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April 1983

Educating the Chronically Ill Child

Author Affiliations

Wilson Health Center 800 Carter St Rochester, NY 14621

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(4):411. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140300089035

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The education of children with chronic disorders has always been problematic. To many teachers, administrators, and school staff, these children have represented variants of normal, threats of the unknown, and extra work. As recently as a few years ago, some wheelchair-bound children were excluded from schools because administrators feared liability in case of accidents. Similarly, children with seizure disorders have been excluded from gym class because of the teachers' fear of seizures. Public Law 94-142 has contributed greatly to assuring equal educational opportunities to the 7% to 10% of the student population with physical handicaps. Yet, the impact of chronic illnesses creates tremendous challenges for educational planning.

Susan Kleinberg, a child-life administrator, has recognized the need to bring together in one reference book a discussion of a number of issues relating to the education of the chronically ill child. Her goals are clear: (1) to provide a background of historical

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