How do parents of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (jia) understand the illness?

Speak with the doc. The best way is to speak with the child"s doctor. The doctor will have experience and training treating jra and will be able to help the parents understand the condition. Also there are national organizations associated with jra which distribute educational materials.
Consult. The best way to understand any complicated medical problem is to schedule time with your doctor specifically to talk and go over all of your questions.
JIA Resources. A great resource would be to read some of the information on the Arthritis Foundation Website. Other good sources include the websites for: Mayo Clinic, KidsHealth, CARRA, PR-COIN.