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Medical / Dietary Needs

What you need to know

The list of possible medical problems in AS can be quite extensive. However, each individual usually has only some of these problems. Also, the severity of any one of these medical problems varies widely. Therefore, it is important to ask the parents about the medical issues for their child.

School age children who have AS should have annual doctor and, often, specialist’s visits to monitor medical conditions. 

Many children with AS will have seizures. The seizures can be of varying types. The children are very likely to be on anticonvulsant therapy.

Be aware, or ask parent, if the child has a medical alert bracelet.

The start of puberty, sexual development, and fertility are normal. It is important to provide appropriate sex education.

What you can do

  • Report any change in apparent seizure activity to the parents. Follow school protocols when seizures do occur. 
  • Seizure activity may be difficult to separate from the child’s abnormal movements. If the child is new to your classroom, make sure you speak to the parents about the child’s movement disorder and seizure frequency. 
  • Ensure a yearly check up in the child’s Medical Home.  
  • Ensure up to date immunizations. Most children with AS can receive live virus vaccinations. Record types of vaccinations the child receives. 
  • Support good hand washing to reduce the spread of viruses. 
  • Notify parents of changes in energy level. 
  • Be aware of any changes in behavior or mood. Notify the parents. 
  • Be aware of any changes in academic performance. Contact parents. 
  • Be an advocate for the child having communication supports to communicate effectively throughout the day. This may include alternative and augmentative communication systems or devices. 
  • Dietary: GERD (gastroesophageal reflux) is common. Talk with the parents about particular foods that might be triggers for the reflux and avoid those foods.  If the child has more vomiting or reflux than normal, contact the parents so that the cause can be determined.