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What happens when parents focus on the hope that their child will walk again?

What happens when parents focus on the hope that their child will walk again?

Sara Klaas, MSW

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

Read Bio More Videos by Sara Klaas
Transcript
I think one of the things that’s very difficult for parents in dealing with a child with a spinal cord injury, particularly early on in the rehabilitation process, is the focus on walking. Often times parents hope that their child will walk, an... Show More

I think one of the things that’s very difficult for parents in dealing with a child with a spinal cord injury, particularly early on in the rehabilitation process, is the focus on walking. Often times parents hope that their child will walk, and perhaps don’t see any value to the rehabilitation and teaching a child how to transfer, how to get around in their wheelchair, how to use specialized equipment. So, if parents are struggling with that adjustment, often time kids are not able to make the process go as quickly as we would like. What we encourage parents to do, and make sure they understand is, we certainly want to hold hope out, but we need to work with where the child is today. We need to work with what their skills are and what motor skills they have in order to be able to get through today, and continue to progress to the next day. We don’t want any of our children feeling like they’re just going to sit and wait in the corner until the day they can stand and walk. We certainly want make sure that they understand that rehabilitation will continue to help them reach all of their goals, that we want them to be able to participate in life as quickly as possible, and sometimes that does mean from a wheelchair.

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What happens when parents focus on the hope that their child will walk again?

Sara Klaas, MSW

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

More Videos by Sara Klaas
Transcriptadd

I think one of the things that’s very difficult for parents in dealing with a child with a spinal cord injury, particularly early on in the rehabilitation process, is the focus on walking. Often times parents hope that their child will walk, and perhaps don’t see any value to the rehabilitation and teaching a child how to transfer, how to get around in their wheelchair, how to use specialized equipment. So, if parents are struggling with that adjustment, often time kids are not able to make the process go as quickly as we would like. What we encourage parents to do, and make sure they understand is, we certainly want to hold hope out, but we need to work with where the child is today. We need to work with what their skills are and what motor skills they have in order to be able to get through today, and continue to progress to the next day. We don’t want any of our children feeling like they’re just going to sit and wait in the corner until the day they can stand and walk. We certainly want make sure that they understand that rehabilitation will continue to help them reach all of their goals, that we want them to be able to participate in life as quickly as possible, and sometimes that does mean from a wheelchair.

What happens when parents focus on the hope that their child will walk again?
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