Asthma was just one of the things we managed when DD was little, along with her bleeding disorder.
But with the bleeding disorder, we'd learned about managing chronic health issues from our hemophilia treatment center (HTC) … the hemophilia and bleeding disorder community is BIG on independence and teaching advocacy. They actually have a transitions chart with skills that a kid needs to be able to demonstrate by certain ages.
- By age four, a kiddo with a bleeding disorder ought to be able to answer this question:
- Can you say what you have that makes you come to the special doctor? Or get special medicine?
- Between 5 – 8, that same kiddo ought to be able to explain how to report a bleed to a grownup and why he needs to wear a medical ID bracelet.
- Between 9-12, the real push for independence is on. A kiddo needs to be able to name his doctor, his nurse and other members of his care team.
- And by age 12, the HTC wants to see kiddos be able to give themselves infusions (treatments for bleeds) without any help — or at least, with parents watching but not helping. They even encourage kids to place their own orders of factor with parent supervision.
- By age 15, a kiddo should be able to self-infuse and tell you not only the name and location of his doctor, but also who his health care insurance carrier is and carry his insurance cards at all times, as well as order and/or pick up his meds.
I've adapted these to asthma and food allergies, but sometimes I still feel a bit at sea, like maybe I've missed things. My DD is 16, and college is on the horizon.
So what do you think kids ought to know? And when should they know it?
I'm particularly interested in hearing from both parents who manage their kiddo's asthma — like @pinkladycha and @Shea and @CAPuttPutt and @Tiffany F. and @Anne P – and also adults who've managed asthma from a young age, like @Nemo88 and @Eric E. Viereck, Jr. and @mrklove.
Thanks in advance!