Caring for Primary Students with Cystic Fibrosis: An Argument for Medical Identification

Proceedings of The 4th World Conference on Teaching and Education

Year: 2022



Caring for Primary Students with Cystic Fibrosis: An Argument for Medical Identification

Jennifer Barnett



In 2007 the Auditor General of Ontario, noted that 41% of identified students had a learning, intellectual, or developmental disability, while only 1.23% were identified with a physical disability. He also noted 32% of students on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) were not formally identified. In 2015, the Ontario Ministry of Education reported that 40% of identified students were said to have a learning disability and that there were a large number of students receiving services without being formally identified. This past tendency to legally identify those who need accommodation for the acquisition of traditional knowledge (aka math and language) and to not identify, and only sometimes accommodate, those with needs pertaining to other disciplines (i.e., physical education and dance), must change. We are risking Negligence. Negligence occurs when a professional entity fails to meet a Standard of Care and this breach results in a loss. With student care and wellbeing in mind, in 2019 the researcher began interviewing parents of young children with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Given Covid-19 attacks the epithelial cells lining the lungs, and CF clogs the lungs enabling bacteria to germinate and breathing problems to develop, the interviews abruptly ceased in 2020 due to the need to isolate. Today in 2022, as vaccines are given and students with CF slowly prepare for a return to on-site learning, they need formal identification to make sure they are safe and accommodated. Many of the accommodations required are not expensive compared to the costly loss of a young life. See attached file.

keywords: cystic fibrosis; duty of care; inclusion; negligence; primary school .