Support for children with arthritis.


Preparing for Your Child's Doctor's Appointment

​If your pediatrician or family doctor suspects that your child has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis,


Karen, center, with mom Linda and sister Lauren in 2005.


Karen Mitterer was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis at eighteen months of age. She was affected by the disease every day of her life. Over time the drugs that were used to ease the pain, damaged her organs; the drugs that treated the arthritis lowered her immune system to almost nothing. But Karen had a resilient spirit, and fought every day to be and do better.

After graduating high school in her hometown of Oak Park, Illinois she would go on to attend Smith College in Northampton Massachusetts. There she developed her love of literature and government/law, honing her critical thinking skills. After graduation she returned home and studied law at Chicago Kent School of Law. Her passion for helping people guided her through her time there which ultimately led her to open her own Special Education Law Practice in Seattle, Washington. 

Over the last 15 years of her life Karen helped countless families navigate the education system, advocating on behalf of students and providing support for otherwise lost families.  Over those same 15 years she dealt with her own personal health struggles, surgeries, hospital stays, and pneumonia. Never once, even while hospitalized, did she give up on her goal of making the world a better and easier place for kids with disabilities.

It is by her example that Kids with Pain formed, and with her spirit will continue to provide education, advocacy, and support for kids with special needs and their families.


What is JA?

Juvenile arthritis




Juvenile arthritis (JA) is not a disease in itself. Also known as pediatric rheumatic disease, JA is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases that can develop in children under the age of 16. Juvenile arthritis affects nearly 300,000 children in the United States.

Although the various types of juvenile arthritis share many common symptoms, like pain, joint swelling, redness and warmth, each type of JA is distinct and has its own special concerns and symptoms. Some types of juvenile arthritis affect the musculoskeletal system, but joint symptoms may be minor or nonexistent. Juvenile arthritis can also involve the eyes, skin, muscles and gastrointestinal tract. 

Local Workshop for Parents

Signs Your Child May Have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
The most common signs and symptoms of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis are