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Advocating for Children with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (page 2)

By — Education.com Member Contribution
Updated on Mar 15, 2011

Support for Children with Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis

Teaching your child to communicate comfortably about his or her disease is one way to help him or her become an effective advocate. Caring gastroenterologists such as Dr. Mel Heyman makes that support possible. Dr. Mel Heyman, a physician and advocate for children with inflammatory bowel disease, is the chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of California, San Francisco Children's Hospital and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. He says that while children with inflammatory bowel disease live in pain, they need not live in isolation.

Dr. Heyman founded and runs Camp Gut Busters, a week long, free overnight camp for children with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Children with inflammatory bowel disease go to the camp to have fun and relate to other children with inflammatory bowel disease. Besides participating in typical camp activities such as boating, horseback riding, and wall climbing, campers are also provided medical and emotional support. Campers find comfort in sharing stories with peers who also have inflammatory bowel disease. Campers also learn to communicate comfortably about their condition, a skill which can help them better advocate for their needs in school.

Below are Resources for Crohn’s and colitis camps:

While Crohn’s and Colitis summer camps provide children with inflammatory bowel disease a supporting environment away from home, it is important to teach your child to advocate for his or her needs in all environments. Encourage children diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease to feel comfortable with their condition and openly communicate with family, teachers, and physicians.  Your child’s ability to speak knowledgably about the disease will result in greater understanding and support from others.

References:

  1. Dr. Mel Heyman http://www.education.com/profile/mheyman/
  2. "Inflammatory Bowel Disease." The Nemours Foundation. http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Inflammatory_Bowel/
  3. "Public Health (410 ILCS 39/) Restroom Access Act." Illinois General Assembly. http://www.ilga.gov/LEGISLATION/ILCS/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2726&ChapAct=410%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B39 2F&ChapterID=35&ChapterName=PUBLIC+HEALTH&ActName=Restroom+Access+Ac
  4. "Restroom Access Act - Ally's Law." Crohn's and Me. http://crohnsandme.com/thescoop/advocacy_old/default.asp
  5. "Restrooms on the Go." Interstitial Cystitis Association. http://www.ichelp.org/LivingwithIC/RestroomsontheGo/tabid/613/Default.aspx
  6. "Ryg Receives Award for Bill Sponsorship." Illinois House of Representative, State Representative Kathy Ryg. http://www.kathyryg.org/press_releases/apr_07-26-05.pdf
  7. The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America http://www.ccfa.org/
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