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One of the biggest challenges for someone with a bleeding disorder is disclosure—letting people know about their bleeding disorder. Right now, the child with a bleeding disorder is at an age of asserting more independence, identity discovery, and making new friends. They will want to fit in with new peers, and this will affect the decision of if — or how — to tell friends and classmates about the bleeding disorder.

Some children are very open and readily tell friends about their bleeding disorder. Some use their knowledge about bleeding disorders and their experiences for class assignments. This information can make for a great science project, health report, or personal essay. Other children want complete privacy. They may want only the school nurse and administrators to know or they may tell only a few of their closest friends. This decision is up to them and their parents.

Be sure your student knows that you respect his or her decision about disclosure. If you have questions about his or her bleeding disorder, request it from the school nurse and parents.

Questions to consider:

  1. Is your student comfortable disclosing and discussing his/her bleeding disorder?
  2. Would they like time to explain it to the class and answer questions? Would they like the school nurse to be involved?
  3. Would they like to have a guest speaker come in to talk about it?
  4. Is there a way you can add a discussion around hemophilia into your content and curriculum? For instance:
    1. Math classes could discuss the prevalence of hemophilia and the number of people infected in America.
    2. Social studies classes could discuss the royal lineage in Europe of those with hemophilia.
    3. Science classes could discuss hemophilia as an example when teaching genotyping or genetics.

It's important that your student feels safe in the classroom and, when it comes time, feels comfortable disclosing his/her bleeding disorder to his or her peers.

For more information, go to Disclosure.