Many hospitals have groups or organized therapeutic activities for the siblings of seriously ill children. Caregivers also refer families to community resources, including summer camps and other recreational programs.
Child-life specialists give individualized attention to siblings of sick children. They help identify siblings' needs, talk to them about difficult topics, and coach parents on how to talk to their kids and answer their questions. Specialists also prepare children to visit a sibling in the hospital, explain procedures and diagnoses using props, and offer expressive outlets through guided art and play activities.
With parents' permission, specialists can work with the children's schools. Experts stress the importance of letting school teachers know what's happening. Teachers can then look for and understand signs of distress. PAC specialists can coach teachers and counselors on how to address the needs of siblings and other students impacted by the circumstances. They can also can give presentations for the classmates of sick children and their siblings.
Chronic or life-limiting conditions bring a host of new responsibilities for parents. Among them are the new and unique needs of all their children. PAC specialists can help parents nurture all their children through this difficult time.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
Archived: March 20, 2014
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