Having a child with an illness is any parent’s greatest nightmare. MS being an unpredictable and progressive disease can invoke a lot of emotions for the whole family once a diagnosis has been established. Hug your child from time to time and let them know that it is going to be okay. Give them the reassurance that you are by their side no matter what. Be your child’s greatest cheerleader and encourage them to continue with their regular activities to keep them engaged. Practicing physical activities, getting adequate sleep and following healthy diet patterns can have a huge impact on a child’s MS journey.
Keep your child’s neurologist informed on any developing symptoms or concerns. It is important that families find support to navigate their child’s MS journey so that they do not feel isolated. Connecting with other families facing the same situation through support groups or online forums can ease the stress of navigating the illness alone. Reaching out to organizations that cater to individuals with MS is a great way to increase knowledge about MS and tap into resources to make your child independent and self-sufficient. Getting a therapist on board can help a child to process their emotions and accept the changes that may be coming along the way.
Children with MS may have issues with learning and memory. Keep your child’s teachers and school counselors in the loop so that they can make necessary accommodations at school. Schools generally offer Individual education plans (IEP) and 504 plans to allow kids with disabilities to be successful.
Parents must remember to take care of themselves by practicing self-care routines to relax and rejuvenate. You need to be in good health so that you can care for your child in the best possible way. Take one day at a time and help your child beat their MS because there is nothing more priceless than a smile on your child’s face and a twinkle in their eye.