Patricia is married to Sean and they live in Newtown, with their four-year-old daughter Hannah. She is a pretty little girl, with two long blond ponytails and a love of all things to do with Princesses. Hannah was born with severe atopic dermatitis (or eczema) and a nut allergy. The first two years of Hannah’s life were a huge adjustment for Patricia and Sean. Not only did they have to get used to being parents for the first time, but they had also learned to live with atopic dermatitis (AD) Patricia is Hannah’s primary carer and this involves considerable planning for each day. Patricia’s sister sees an unexpected positive to Hannah’s condition believing the care associated with it has brought out a hidden depth of strength that she didn’t know her sister had.
Living with eczema and allergies means that Hannah’s day is often dictated by pain and discomfort by her inflamed skin. Sometimes the rashes on her skin become crusted and weepy and they are always extremely itchy. The skin at Hannah’s joints is particularly affected. She is constantly scratching the folds of skin behind her knees and at her elbows, never complaining, but obviously in a lot of discomforts. Hannah’s diet is also strictly controlled. Not only has she to avoid all food with nuts, but she also is not allowed any dairy or wheat products in an attempt to better control the AD.
Every morning and evening her mum has to apply lubricant creams to her skin and when flair-ups are particularly severe, the regime also includes steroidal creams. This procedure can take up to one hour and is often very uncomfortable for Hannah and she cries a lot. It can be a soul-destroying experience and it must be done twice a day no matter what. Patricia is also restricted by the demands of the condition. She has given up work and she does not get to go out socializing much like she used to. She also used to be a regular gym-goer but she has let her membership lapse.
Patricia once commented to her sister “No matter how much we like to think we are controlling the AD, it is really controlling us and all we are doing is keeping it at bay”. The best advice they have been given from medial teams is to try to keep life as normal as possible. Patricia has a good relationship with her Montessori teacher and often stays in school with Hannah during meal times and in the mornings. However, Hannah has not really managed to make any friends herself because her movements are strictly controlled and she is not allowed on play dates with friends from Montessori.
Hannah’s next big step is starting primary school in September. For Patricia, this is a huge step as she has also planned to go back to work part-time so it will be less available at short notice. She feels she is letting a little piece of her daughter go but knows they have made it this far. Patricia’s biggest fear is that Hannah will unwittingly eat something she is not supposed to which would at best aggravate her AD, at worst cause a serious allergic reaction.
The learner is required to write a case study about a child’s needs, using information from at least one specified developmental theorist. Your case study should include the following information: