Explaining Crohn’s disease
Having a chronic disease means that you may have chronic symptoms—and may have to deal with some aspect of your condition frequently. That’s why it’s beneficial for friends and family members to understand Crohn’s disease and what you’re going through, since it will be helpful to have their support. Similarly, depending on your situation, you might want to be mindful about informing your co-workers, classmates, and supervisors or teachers of what having Crohn’s can be like, so they can prepare to be flexible in case you have to stay home. You might also want to be mindful about letting teachers and supervisors know what your rights are as someone with a chronic disease.
When you register for the Crohn’s & Colitis Advocate Program, you are assigned your own personal advocate who can provide you with educational information and resources.
Learn more about free support and one-to-one education.
Being open about your needs up front is important so that others will know what to expect if your symptoms flare up.
Here are a few things you can do that can make explaining Crohn’s disease and advocating for yourself easier:
- Learn about the disease. In order to explain the basics of Crohn’s disease and how it can affect you, you need to know about Crohn’s yourself.
- Have information handy. You may want to give a teacher, colleague, or even a friend or family member Crohnʼs Disease 101 or other printed material, or refer them here to do some of the explaining for you.
- Understand your rights. There may be means to access reasonable accommodations at school and at work through laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It may be helpful to explore these means about guidelines and eligibility requirements for potential services and accommodations.