My daughter was diagnosed with JRA when she was around 3 years old. It started with a small lump on her hand. She was given tests for lyme, lupus -- negative. Her RA factor has never been positive. She was started on the basic naids, then graduated to trillisate, then indocin. Her hands, knees and ankles are affected. In spite of the meds. she was taking, her hands became very deformed and at the age of 16 had to have her wrists straightened and fused. She is now 23 years old, a very beautiful girl. When I look at her hands it makes me want to cry. She is very limited as to what she can and can't do.
Now that she is "grown" I cannot make her understand the importance of taking her medicine.
I guess what I am attempting to say is don't let these doctors tell you that your child cannot have JRA due to a negative ra factor. IT DOES HAPPEN! It is extremely important to aggresively treat your child. I can look back now and say I wish I had been more assertive when it came to her care. The resources weren't as available as they are today to "help the doctor" treat her.