January 27, 2013
When a child is ill and needed the adjustments of the family – Danai Papadatou
As weak and unable as they feel when they are informed about the [severe] illness of their child, parents slowly find the way to handle the new “givens” that the illness brings. Their adjustment to the changes and demands of the new illness depends on many factors. Four have special significance and have positive consequences in the long-term adjustment of the family:
The first is open communication amongst the family members; a) on the level of information regarding the illness and its therapy, so as to avoid the secrets which may isolate its members; b) on the level of exchange of feelings, thoughts, concerns and hopes.
The second is the coherence of the family and the active participation of its members in the confrontation and changes that the illness and its therapy bring on.
The third is the ability to recognize difficulties as challenges, resulting in the mobilization of facing problems rather than avoiding them or interpreting them as “catastrophic” and/or “disastrous”, which must be endured passively and fatalistically.
The fourth factor is the availability of a support system that offers quality support and responds to the special and variable needs of each family member with sensitivity.
“Supporting a child with a life-threatening disease”
From her presentation at the 1st Conference of Rhodes