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How can parents help their child with a spinal cord injury make the transition to adulthood?

How can parents help their child with a spinal cord injury make the transition to adulthood?

Sara Klaas, MSW

Director, Spinal Cord Injury Service, Shriners Hospital for Children, Chicago

Read Bio More Videos by Sara Klaas
Transcript
The transition to adulthood is a big one, and we talk about it all the time in pediatrics and we love to the term "anticipatory guidance." And when we say that, we're talking about helping parents and children prepare for the next stage... Show More

The transition to adulthood is a big one, and we talk about it all the time in pediatrics and we love to the term "anticipatory guidance." And when we say that, we're talking about helping parents and children prepare for the next stage in life. And if it's that transition into adulthood, we want to start preparing early. It's never too early to start talking to a child about learning their care, learning their independence as much as possible; learning medications, even things like— "how would I make a doctor's appointment ?"—becomes important. We want to take little steps to ensure that children are ready for the transition to adulthood, and to take over their true care from their parents. Importantly, we also want to make sure parents remember to stick around as a safety net. Every 16-year-old isn't ready to take on all of their care and information about their spinal cord injury totally independently. And even if they are, it's important that their parents are there as a safety net, and the child knows that they have someone, a caregiver or a parent, who's available to them at any time they may need them.

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How can parents help their child with a spinal cord injury make the transition to adulthood?

Sara Klaas, MSW

Director, Spinal Cord Injury Service, Shriners Hospital for Children, Chicago

More Videos by Sara Klaas
Transcriptadd

The transition to adulthood is a big one, and we talk about it all the time in pediatrics and we love to the term "anticipatory guidance." And when we say that, we're talking about helping parents and children prepare for the next stage in life. And if it's that transition into adulthood, we want to start preparing early. It's never too early to start talking to a child about learning their care, learning their independence as much as possible; learning medications, even things like— "how would I make a doctor's appointment ?"—becomes important. We want to take little steps to ensure that children are ready for the transition to adulthood, and to take over their true care from their parents. Importantly, we also want to make sure parents remember to stick around as a safety net. Every 16-year-old isn't ready to take on all of their care and information about their spinal cord injury totally independently. And even if they are, it's important that their parents are there as a safety net, and the child knows that they have someone, a caregiver or a parent, who's available to them at any time they may need them.

How can parents help their child with a spinal cord injury make the transition to adulthood?
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