Working with students with Fibromyalgia

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Working with students with Fibromyalgia

Postby muzzerrrr » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:22 am

Hi everyone. I teach occasionally at a University and I'm about to start a project with a group of students, one of which has Fibromyalgia.

The student has sent me a fact sheet so I can understand a lot of the symptoms and how it may impact on the project but it would be great to hear from others as to what has helped them when dealing with teachers / directors. I really want it to be a positive experience for everyone so I want to make sure I do what I can to facilitate the students' needs.
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Re: Working with students with Fibromyalgia

Postby FluppyPuffy » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:55 pm

:welcome: to our little escape from it all xx

It's really nice to hear that you're wanting to try and make your student's time with you memorable for all the right reasons xx Hopefully you'll get some advice that both you and your student will find beneficial xx

With FM, altho we share a range of symptoms and problems, it tends to affect everyone differently, so whilst some of what you could get from here could be helpful, some of it may also not apply to your student. If possible, before classes start, it might be worth having a talk with your student to see how they are actually affected, use the fact sheet you have been given as a starting point and let it go the way it needs to go xx

Noises, bright lights and strong smells can be quite overwhelming for folks with FM, it's as if our senses are turned up far higher than everyone else experiences. If you can ask your student if they are affected by this, and find out what signs/tells they have when it strikes, it could help with spotting something starting up and taking action to help them deal with it xx

Being in one position for a prolonged period of time can cause stiffening or ceasing up, being able to get up and move around can help with this, so room to stretch out is always appreciated.

Fibro Fog, side effects from meds can all have an effect on how well things may be remembered. Also pain when writing and/or typing can mean notes may not be a complete/detailed as those of other students, so an alternative/additional way to take notes, such as recording what is said in class, could help. Extensions for assignments to be handed in may also be needed at times.

My head is now going foggy, so hopefully there is a little in my waffling that can set you off in the right direction. Most importantly tho, treat them as the person they are xx Don't let them become defined by their illness xx
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Re: Working with students with Fibromyalgia

Postby muzzerrrr » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:41 am

Thanks so much for this! We've had our first working day and it seemed to go well. I could see they were struggling at points, and head did meet table briefly but just knowing what was going on made it easy to just accept and carry on. We've agreed to keep communication open throughout the process, but it all seems fairly positive so far. Thanks for your response x
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