Want to participate?

Band-Aides and Blackboards:
When Chronic Illness Goes to School

Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Hi there, thanks for coming to visit... Here's my idea. I want to help kids understand what it's like to grow up with medical problems, and I thought that you might like to tell them. I'll ask you some questions to help you to write your story--a story about life and school and hospitals and friends and whatever else you think is important.
I figure that the more people know about what it's like, then the more thoughtful and considerate they'll be. You may want to take a look at some of the stories that kids have already written. Just catch the dog and he'll lead you to their pages!
Hey, wait up!

The pages of Band-Aides and Blackboards have been created with the help of lots of kids with all sorts of medical conditions. Some of them now have their own web pages. If you'd like one, too, ask one of your parents to write me a note giving permission, OK? If you and your parents would like your story included on my website, I will be delighted to help you tell it.

By the way, everything that you tell me will be confidential...it won't identify the real you in any way...that is unless YOU and your parents tell me that it's OK to let the world know who you are. Because the Internet can be dangerous to kids, first names are better to use than first and last names. You may want me to put your picture on the Web page, too, but because people just might recognize you from your picture and your name, you'll need to ask your parents if that's OK, and they have to agree. If you do send pictures, think of what you'd like everyone to see...maybe you playing, or just hanging out, or going to the clinic, or to "Club Med" (that's what some kids call the hospital!)

If you'd like to tell me your story, you don't need to answer any questions that you don't want to, and you can stop at any time that you'd like. It's OK for your parents to help you to tell your story-that's not cheating, but you may prefer to do it all by yourself.

I think that you'll enjoy answering the questions, but some of them may remind you of tough times that you've had in the past. Sometimes it helps to write about those memories, and sometimes it's OK just not to think about them. It's up to you.
You may want to write your own story, without using the questions at all. That's OK, too. Either way, I'll get to know a little bit about the world according to you. And just think, through your story and the stories of other kids, other children may learn some REALLY important lessons!

If you decide to be part of Band-Aides and Blackboards, I will be happy to update your story any time you'd like (as you get older, for instance). I will remove it from the site at any time, too, if that's what you'd like me to do. You are definitely the boss.  Should you ever get weird mail from your web page; mail that is confusing or mean, or mail that asks you to write more information about yourself through email, please don't answer. Instead, tell your parents, and let me know. Not one child on my site has ever told me of any such mail, but it could happen, and I think it's better to be prepared. Don't you? One way of protecting you from strange mail is to use one of your parent's email addresses instead of your own. Then you will only get mail that they think is OK. Whether you use a parent's email address or your own, I need permission for that, too. Hey, it's all to keep you safe and happy!

What a bus!
Hop on to go the questions. 
Buckle up your seatbelts!
I am NOT made of cheese!

Just tap this moon on its chin, and you'll
 zoom back to the frog ponds!

So what do you think of my idea? 
Hope that you'll let me know. 

Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: March 27, 2009