Advocacy in Schools
School can be challenging for almost any child, but even more so when that student has an autoimmune skin disease that results in hair loss and emotional pain like alopecia areata - or any percievable difference that classmates, teachers and administrators may not understand or have good skills to cope with. From its beginning, the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) has been here to provide you and your child the tools to educate teachers and classmates.
- The Alopecia Areata School Guide provides lesson plans, classroom strategies, tips for parents and teachers, facts about bullying, ideas for awareness projects, recommended readings, and so much more.
- A unique 9 minute video entitled Why My Hair Falls Out is designed for viewing by families and classrooms and presets children with alopecia areata as just like their classmates. Kids with alopecia areata discuss their experiences and esteemed researcher Dr. David Norris provides an easy-to- understand explanation of why this autoimmune skin disease causes the hair to fall out.
We understand that schools have dress codes. We also believe children with alopecia areata should be allowed to wear caps, hats, wigs, scarves and other coverings which may not normally be allowed on campus or in the classroom. NAAF has come to the defense of children across the country whose school dress codes did not make these allowances and, in some extreme cases, sent the students home. Contact us if you would like help to engage school officials and explain why exceptions to the dress code should be made for children with alopecia areata, and why it’s wrong to punish them for covering their heads if that’s their choice.
We encourage parents and educators to contact NAAF to help make every school a safe place for students with alopecia areata - and safe for students with any form of autoimmune disease or skin disease or hair loss or emotional pain or perceivable difference.
Please contact Laura Ralph, Director of Education & Support laura [at] naaf.org (via email) if you would like a School Guide mailed to you.
Videos for Education and Awareness
“Head Full of Doubt” is about Katarina, an 11-year-old girl telling her story as she prepares to inform her classmates that she has alopecia areata. This inspiring and touching video was made by Brian Lewis, the broadcasting instructor at Katarina’s school, and can be used for all grades along with our other school materials.