Children with McArdle’s Disease are at significant disadvantage. Children aren’t able to articulate themselves as well as adults and their symptoms are easily confused with being lazy or stubborn or simply uncooperative. Children who are lagging behind because they are experiencing painful muscle failure from McArdle’s Disease may find their discomfort compounded by scolding or teasing from classmates or teachers. At some point, all children endure some form of teasing from friends or siblings or classmates. However, those children more vulnerable to teasing for whatever reason – small stature, weight issues, appearance, or anything else – may be singled out, and excessive attention of this kind is unhealthy.
It is incumbent upon grade school physical education teachers, nurses, pediatricians and anyone else in a position of relevant authority to educate themselves on McArdle’s Disease and other conditions whose symptoms are easily mistaken for behavior issues or lack of cooperation. Even the most observant teacher cannot tell simply by looking at a child whether or not their muscles work properly, and the way the symptoms of McArdle’s Disease manifest is deceptively similar to a simple lack of physical condition or laziness.
How to Know if a Child Has McArdle’s Disease
Here are some things you may observe:
- Does the child complain of weariness on even moderately long walks?
- Do smaller children complain of weariness and ask to be carried?
- Do hills, stair cases, and other inclines elicit the responses above?
- Does the child complain of “pain” in the legs in such incidents?
- Does the child have difficulty performing even an average number of sit-ups or push-ups, even in a modified form?
- Does the child have difficulty or otherwise avoid running laps in gym class?
- Does the child demonstrate, in general, a lack of physical fitness that contradicts an otherwise healthy appearance, assuming they are not overweight?
- Has the child ever complained of or demonstrated unusual muscle stiffness and cramping?