• School presents special challenges
      for children with Lyme disease.

      School can present special challenges for children with Lyme disease. Physical and cognitive impairments can make functioning successfully in an academic environment difficult. Lyme disease can cause a range of symptoms in children that directly impacts their education. Short term memory problems, difficulty processing information, and sleep disturbances can make participating in class or taking tests arduous. Children may have to be home-schooled or enroll only part-time.

      Children can be mistakenly labeled as having attention deficit disorder (ADD) or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Fatigue and malaise can be mistaken for laziness. Symptoms may be subtle or change day-to-day, making it hard for teachers to recognize the child as truly sick, and not willfully daydreaming or being disobedient.

    • Kids can be robbed of creating
      memorable childhood moments.

      The physical symptoms of Lyme disease ─ headaches, fatigue, loss of coordination, muscle and joint pain ─ can be so debilitating that participating in school and social activities is impossible. Kids can be robbed of creating those memorable childhood moments.

      Playground play dates, music lessons, dance classes, school plays, proms, graduations, extracurricular sports, family trips, even spending time with friends, can be too physically demanding. One teenager with Lyme disease explains how hanging out with friends for a few hours zapped him of so much energy, he had to spend the next two days on the couch.

      Children can also struggle with sensory processing issues, particularly light and sound sensitivity, which makes it difficult to participate in regular school activities. Events like eating meals in a noisy cafeteria, attending music class, going on field trips may cause too much discomfort to a child with Lyme.

    • Children’s social interactions can
      be limited by disabling symptoms.

      The highest infection rates occur in children, ages 5 to 9. This age group contracts Lyme disease more than any other. These early years are a crucial time for children. They’re beginning to develop social skills, gain a sense of independence and build self-esteem. Yet, young children with chronic Lyme disease can be so disabled by symptoms, their social interactions and activities may be limited.

      Adolescents may struggle with maintaining relationships. The intensity of Lyme disease symptoms can vary from day-to-day, making it hard to plan activities with friends or for peers to recognize how serious the illness truly is.


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