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Living with Spina BifidaA Guide for Families and Professionals$
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Adrian Sandler, M.D.

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780807855478

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807867860_sandler

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The School-Age Child

The School-Age Child

(p.145) Chapter 8 The School-Age Child
Living with Spina Bifida

Adrian Sandler

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses how having a chronic illness in general and having spina bifida in particular affects middle childhood development. The author addresses learning and learning disabilities, attention deficit, and other school-related problems that may occur, as well as management of these problems. He then presents some habilitation issues, especially those of continence. Details about clean intermittent catheterization and bowel programs will be provided. Among the medical issues, the author covers growth, precocious puberty, urinary tract infections, scoliosis, tethering, and seizures. We shall also examine some emotional issues that may occur in middle childhood. The years of middle childhood are characterized by dramatic increases in demands and expectations. School-age children make major strides toward independence and self-reliance. As friends and the peer group become increasingly important, children begin the process of separation that gathers steam during adolescence—sleepovers and overnight camps are a milestone in this progression.

Keywords:   chronic illness, spina bifida, middle childhood development, learning disabilities, attention deficit, school-related problems

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