Heading back to school is an exciting time. Whether you’re headed into a new year or a new school, it’s a time of a lot of change. For young people with Alopecia Areata, school can have some extra challenges and considerations, but there is a lot of support available. Here are some of our top tips for managing Alopecia Areata at school. For more ideas, we recommend checking out our School Pack or Teen Alopecia Support Group.
Here are some great tips from our community:
S: “My daughter’s school was amazing. They put up pictures of kids that looked different all around the classrooms & library, filled the library with books of bald heroines that rotated every week to a different classroom. I didn’t want to do a big announcement and draw attention to my daughter, so we worked on normalising it. The school and then families were all very supportive.”
K: “Our child’s school used the “The Best of Friends” story about Alopecia as the library book for the week so the whole school had a better understanding of our little man.”
D: ” We had a special learning floor discussion in the prep room about 4 weeks into the year to talk about all the things that can make us different and then my gorgeous then 6 year old got up and talked to her class about her Alopecia with the help of her Kindy teacher. It made for an amazing transition and I couldn’t believe how the kids were so accepting. They all were desperate to talk about the things that made them different too.”
S: “The principal Went around to each class and told everyone when I was in Year 5. It was only a small school but at least no one was shocked to see me with no hair.”
L: “[My daughter’s] teacher did Friday hat day and everyone in the class got to wear a hat.”
K: ” A teacher/adult informed the year level I was in about alopecia, what it was and what it looked like. Once kids know, it doesn’t phase them anymore. The kids that teased me were in the above and below year levels. A whole-school approach would be good, so the whole school community know as well.
I am now a school teacher and I request for some information to be put in the first newsletter of the year to let the whole school community know. That way, if kids come home from school and ask, the parents have an answer.”
What is the best thing a teacher, staff member or friend did to help with alopecia at school? Share your experiences in the comments!