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Schools with no gym?


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  • Schools with no gym?

    Hey everyone,

    I hope everyone is doing well....Kylee is now 1 years old! I know its a long way off until she starts school, but I have already started thinking about it. Does anyone have any HCM children in the situation where they are required to take a gym class in school? Does anyone know if there are private schools that allow you to skip the P.E. or Athletics option? I saw a commercial the other day for batteries on TV, and they showed what looked like a high school basketball player falling over and going into cardiac arrest...it made me start thinking about what we are going to do when she starts school, and if there is a way to get around gym class....


  • #2
    Re: Schools with no gym?

    Dear Marche,
    I have a form from my son's cardiologist that is put out by the American Heart Association. It is titled "Recommendations for Physical Activity in School for Children with Heart Disease". There are various categories on it from" 1. May participate in entire PE program" to "5. Restricted from entire PE program" with various in between restrictions. My son falls into one of the inbetween categories as he is able to participate in some activities and, according to my son's cardiologist, encouraged to do so. Exclusions listed by our doctor on the form include football, hockey, wrestling, lacrose, soccer, basketbal, rope climbing, weight lifting, sustained running (laps). I took this to his PE coach and talked with her about his condition. He is in no way penalized for his inability to compete in some activities. He is in middle school now and still maintains an A grade in PE. There are also stipulations on the form that say he must rest when tired and to allow him to have water with him at all times. We have encountered no problems, and the gym coaches have been sympathetic to our requests.


    • #3
      Re: Schools with no gym?

      Dear Marche,
      Controlling if, or to what extent, your child participates in P.E. is as simple as getting a letter from the cardiologist – At least it was when my children were going to school. (My baby is now forty.)

      According to what Vickie posted that procedure is still in place – and I think many doctors now have a set form they can use to detail the child’s needs.

      Actually, any school that does not strictly abide by a doctor’s orders opens themselves to a major lawsuit, and I have yet to hear of any school being so foolish – and that includes nursery schools. Almost every school will bend over backwards to accommodate the child’s limitations – providing a doctor has spelled out the requirements.

      The only time I have ever heard of a student running afoul of the gym teacher was when no medical order was on file – usually prior to a medical diagnosis – and the student could not physically perform to the normal standard. I hope this allays your fears. Your child has already been diagnosed, and getting the proper form should be child play (if you’ll pardon the analogy.)


      • #4
        Re: Schools with no gym?

        I'm an HCM girl in a public school in a county where gym is required. being the lazy bum i am, i procrastinated taking gym til my senior year, and was diagnosed with HCM the end of my junior year. I told my cardiologist that i was supposed to take gym and he gave me a note saying i could not participate without hesitation. I brought this to my guidence councelor and he had to send the note to the PG county school board (because the board requires .5 of a gym credit, not the school) and they sent back saying that i was excused and i just picked another semester class to take.

        There's not a whole lot that school's can say to the fact that someone has a heart condition. as long as the school knows reasons and has a doctor's note, they will switch her out to some other class. I've heard that some schools will require you to be in the class (pretty much so you can say you have the gym credit) but they do the job of a student aid, maybe dressing out in the gym uniform and taking attendance or keeping stats, entering grades, stuff like that.

        no worries, when the time comes get a doc's note and she'll be fine.
        \"The heart swells at the magnificance\"

        1 timothy 4:12: Do not let others look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.


        • #5
          Re: Schools with no gym?

          HI Marche,

          My son and daughter were excused from all gym classes starting in Jr. high school. The were able to go to gym in elementary school because they do not compete they just "play". My kids also have notes from their cardiologist stating they cannot compete in gym class and are able to sit out if they need to. My daughter has not been in gym class since 6th grade and my son will be withdrawn from gym class starting next year (6th grade). I have not had any problems with the schools so far. My daughter starts high school next fall and I'll bring her doctor's slip when we sign up for classes. I do not anticipate any problems. The school does not want any lawsuits if they deny your cardiologists recommendations, so I would not worry about getting your child out of gym class.

          Hope this helps.
          Michelle - mom to Krista and Tyler both HCM
          Krista surgeries: 3/97 myectomy, 2/99 mitral valve replacement
          Tyler surgery: 1/98 myectomy


          • #6
            Re: Schools with no gym?

            I missed the first day of high school b/c I had a work up (my 1st) at the local children's hospital. My mom didn't think to call me in absent so every single teacher thought I ditched the first day of school (thanks, mom!).

            So first period was gym with the head football coach (and ex-marine) as my teacher. when he asked where I was the day before, I said, "I was in the hospital. I have a heart condition."

            he blanced as, unbeknownst to me, a baseball player had dropped on the track that summer during practice with a "heart condition." He asked for a doctor's note that "we aren't going to lose you." And proceeded to let me sit down or sit out at any moment for the rest of the semester. I love that man!



            • #7
              Re: Schools with no gym?

              Sounds like you had a great teacher!


              Husband has HCM.
              3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


              • #8
                With or without gym

                It is important that a letter explaining your condition will be handy in a place where all the teachers will know and find!
                We try all the time to teach other ways to have fun in life, other than sports.
                In the kindergarten his teacher always gave him a role during gym/physical activity and when dancing or jumping - she thought him to move his legs one after the other but without lifting them from the ground so his movements where similar to the others, but it was not a physical effort for him.
                We also had meetings with his friends to help them understand why Mattan can not run, jump etc...
                Every year I update all the staff about his condition and meds.
                I receive a lot of support and also his friends learn how to help Mattan during breaks or lunch time.
                Wishes for healh, peace and love!

                Daniela E-H, Mother to Matan-Ben (13 years old) who had his AICD implantation (29/03/04) and Myectomy (14/12/08) and Noga (4 years old) not affected
                Haifa - Israel.