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The effect chronic and life threatening illness

Spina bifida Congenital heart problems Even though these are very different illnesses, kids and families dealing with any chronic condition have a lot in common.

Learning to live with a chronic condition can be very challenging for a child, for parents, and for siblings and friends. Read on for more information, support and resources. How common are chronic conditions? Children with chronic illnesses are more likely to experience frequent doctor and hospital visits. Some of their treatments may be scary or painful. Hospital stays can be frightening and lonely.

Children with chronic illnesses will feel "different" than other children. Their activities may be limited, and, in many cases, their families must the effect chronic and life threatening illness how they live to accommodate the child. How do kids adjust to and cope with chronic illnesses? Infants and Toddlers are beginning to develop trust and an overall sense of security. They generally have very little understanding of their illness.

They experience pain, restriction of motion, and separation from parents as challenges to developing trust and security. Parents can help by being present for painful procedures, staying with their children when possible during hospitalizations, and holding, soothing, and interacting with their baby as much as possible.

Preschool Children are beginning to develop a sense of independence. They may understand what it means to get sick, but they may not understand the cause and effect nature of illness. For example, they may believe that throwing up causes them to get sick, rather than the other way around. The child may try to counter lack of control over their world by challenging limits set by parents. Here are some tips for helping young children learn to cope with stress.

Find out more about resilience page thorough to find the section on preschoolers. Early School-aged Children are developing a sense of mastery over their environment. They can describe reasons for illness, but these reasons may not be entirely logical.

Quality of Life in Chronic Disease Patients

Children also begin to sense that they are different from their peers. Parents can help by allowing children to help in management of their illness with close adult supervision.

They should also reassure their children that the illness is not their fault. Parents can help elementary school kids develop resilience in the face of a chronic illness. Find out more about resilience page thorough to find the section on school-aged kids. Older School-aged Children are more capable of understanding their illness and its treatment, but they should not be expected to react as adults do.

They may feel left out when they miss school or activities with their peers. Parents may feel the need to protect their children by restricting them from activities with other children. Find out more about resliliency in middle school kids page through to find the section middle school kids.

  • It's important to be very familiar with your child's illness, no matter how scary it is;
  • Keeping kids involved with their peers and making extra efforts to maintain those connections can go a long way in helping a kid cope with an illness;
  • Telemedicine The Eye of the Hurricane for Chronic and Life-Threatening Illnesses Patients with chronic pain neuropathy, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and other conditions , autoimmune illness multiple sclerosis, diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and others , neurologic illness Parkinson's Disease and others , infectious diseases AIDS , cardiovascular disease and many other conditions and illnesses have received exceptional benefits from joining a Mind-Body Medicine Skills Group.

Information and support can be empowering, and reading what other kids have to say can make a kid feel less alone. Here are some websites just for kids: Bandaides and Blackboards for kidsis a site for kids with chronic illnesses or other medical problems. Adolescents begin to develop their own identity separate from their family. Self-image becomes extremely important during the teenage years. Teens are also beginning to develop a real independence from their families.

The Eye of the Hurricane for Chronic and Life-Threatening Illnesses

Many teens will go through times of denial of their illness when they may neglect to take medications, follow special diets, or check blood sugars. It is important to help the teen to gain control of their disease management. Keep in mind that even with chronic illness, teens are teens!

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There are some great websites just for teens: On Chronic Illness Resources for Teensteens share their stories of their experiences. Resilience for Teens—Got Bounce? The whole family must come to terms with the illness, make major changes in schedules and priorities, and somehow manage to remain a family. Divorce is somewhat more common in families with seriously ill children, mainly because of the great stress of parenting an ill child.

While your child will need at least one parent with them during times of acute illness or hospitalization, it is important for you to find at least short times now and then to spend alone together with your partner. Siblings of the ill child may feel left out, and later may feel guilty at any bad feelings they have toward their sick brother or sister.

While less time will be available to spend with the other children in the family, parents need to let them know that they are still special and important. If you can carve out just 10-15 minutes a day to really focus on each sibling, it will go a long way. Caregiver burnout and stresses on relationships in the family can become overwhelming.

Sometimes counseling can help everyone in the family make the adjustment more smoothly. Find out when your family should seek help and what kinds of help are out there from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Chronic condition

The most successful families tend to be those that are able to move on from seeing the illness as an intrusion toward working together as a team to face the new responsibilities of managing a long-term illness. They build on their family's strengths to cope with the new stress. Get some tips for how families can deal with stress in a positve way. What can our family do to cope better, and to help our child cope better with the chronic illness?

Stay involved and give information Discuss with your child at their age level what their illness is all about, and what will happen to them in the hospital.

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When you don't do this, kids may imagine the worst. Plan for procedures Unexpected stress is more difficult to cope with than anticipated stress. Some procedures can cause physical and psychological distress. Some children do better with several days to prepare, while others worry themselves sick.

Good communication and flexibility are essential. Give them choices Some tasks for children with chronic illness must be done no matter what. Others are more flexible. Conflict may arise when a child tries to assert independence. As preschoolers, and even older kids test adults' limits, there is natural conflict with adults' demands. Children with chronic illness, more than other kids, need chances to make choices—to have control over any part of their lives they can control.

Support their friendships and activities with peers Illness often interferes with routines and activities. For children and teens, a particularly devastating consequence can be the weakening or loss of friendships.

Friends can grow apart as a result of these changes. Keeping kids involved with their peers and making extra efforts to maintain those connections can go a long way in helping a kid cope with an illness.

Helping your child to find new ways to make and maintain new relationships is critical during this time. You may also need to help your child find ways to cope with teasing from peers. Children need to feel like they belong. Their peer relationships are an important arena for them to do this.

Try to help your child find interests and activities that provide opportunities to connect with other kids with similar illnesses. Give them opportunities to spend time with friends. Teens need to be exposed to other caring adults they can trust. Contact with these adults should be encouraged in order to help shape the direction of their lives and provide stability.

Most major hospitals and clinics can help you find support groups for parents, families, and for children affected by the illness. Finding a camp for your child with special needs —the basics on types of camps, benefits of camp, starting your search, and questions to ask—from kidshealth.

To learn more about camps specifically designed for kids with chronic conditions, the Federation for Children with Special Needs has a summer camp listing find it on their publications pageupdated each year, which includes useful information on selecting a camp.

The Hole in the Wall Camps are free of charge. There are camps across the United States and around the world. The University of Michigan C. Sleep-away camps for kids on medications —some things to the effect chronic and life threatening illness about in planning.

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Be hopeful Coping with a chronic illness can be discouraging and scary. It is incredibly important to stay hopeful. If you try to find the positive side of things and keep your eye on the potential positive outcomes, you will be teaching your child a valuable lesson, and maintaining your ability to cope as well.

Listen Be available so your child can talk about the problems they are facing. Listen to their troubles and help them find solutions to their problems. Be able to recognize the the effect chronic and life threatening illness signs of depression. If your child talks about suicidetake it seriously.

There's nothing worse than feeling scared and confused and not being able to talk about it. Find out more about depression in children and adolescents with chronic illnesses. More on recognizing depression in children and adolescents —also available in SpanishChinese and Korean. Be flexible To help your child adapt to their illness, you will need to both recognize their limitations and help them to continue with life as usual, whenever possible.

Have fun together as a family You can expect the whole family to be under increased stress. Maintaining your commitment to your family and getting support from each other may be harder during times of stress, but it is also even more important!