Coping with epilepsy as a familyCCoping with epilepsy as a familyCoping with epilepsy as a familyEnglishNeurologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+) EducatorsNA2010-02-04T05:00:00ZIrene Elliott, RN, MHSc, ACNP;Janice Mulligan, MSW, RSW11.000000000000049.0000000000000820.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Siblings may receive less attention because of the needs of a child with epilepsy. How to help other children cope with having a sibling with epilepsy.</p><p>When a child has epilepsy, it often affects everyone in a family - the child, parents, siblings, grandparents. Siblings may receive less attention because of the overriding needs of your child with epilepsy. The specific "focus" on the child with epilepsy can result in siblings feeling isolated and left out. Parental worry and concern about the child with epilepsy can also filter down to the siblings. </p> <p>Coping well with epilepsy means not only managing seizures but managing its impact on your entire family and making the most of your day-to-day lives. This page offers some suggestions to help all the members of your family cope with your child’s epilepsy and treatment. </p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>Factors to help the entire family cope with epilepsy include parents setting an optimistic tone, sharing healthcare responsibilities and making everyone feel involved.<br></li> <li>Siblings may experience a range of emotions including guilt, fear, anger, jealousy and helplessness. Educating siblings about epilepsy may help them cope with their emotions.</li></ul>
Composer avec l'épilepsie en familleCComposer avec l'épilepsie en familleCoping with epilepsy as a familyFrenchNeurologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+) EducatorsNA2010-02-04T05:00:00ZIrene Elliott, RN, MHSc, ACNP;Janice Mulligan, MSW, RSW10.000000000000049.00000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Les frères et sœurs de l’enfant épileptique pourraient recevoir moins d’attention en raison des besoins de ce dernier. Comment aider les autres enfants à composer avec le fait d’avoir un frère ou une sœur atteints d’épilepsie.<br></p><p>Lorsqu’un enfant est atteint d’épilepsie, il arrive souvent que tous les membres de la famille soient touchés : l’enfant, les parents, les frères et sœurs et même les grands-parents. Les frères et sœurs peuvent recevoir moins d’attention en raison des besoins impérieux de l’enfant relativement à sa maladie. La préséance accordée à l’enfant épileptique peut faire en sorte que les frères et sœurs se sentent isolés et mis de côté. Les inquiétudes et préoccupations des parents au sujet de l’enfant épileptique peuvent également être transmises aux frères et sœurs.</p><p>Bien composer avec l’épilepsie signifie de gérer les crises, mais aussi d’en gérer les effets sur toute votre famille et de profiter au maximum de la vie quotidienne. Cette page présente des suggestions qui visent à aider tous les membres de votre famille à composer avec l’épilepsie et avec le traitement de votre enfant.<br></p><ul><li>Voici des facteurs qui peuvent aider toute la famille à composer avec l’épilepsie : l’attitude optimiste des parents; le partage familial des responsabilités concernant les soins de santé et la participation de tous.</li><li>Les frères et sœurs peuvent ressentir une variété d’émotions, dont la culpabilité, la peur, la colère, la jalousie et le désarroi. L’éducation des enfants au sujet de l’épilepsie peut les aider à composer avec leurs émotions.<br></li></ul>

 

 

Coping with epilepsy as a family2110.00000000000Coping with epilepsy as a familyCoping with epilepsy as a familyCEnglishNeurologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+) EducatorsNA2010-02-04T05:00:00ZIrene Elliott, RN, MHSc, ACNP;Janice Mulligan, MSW, RSW11.000000000000049.0000000000000820.000000000000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Siblings may receive less attention because of the needs of a child with epilepsy. How to help other children cope with having a sibling with epilepsy.</p><p>When a child has epilepsy, it often affects everyone in a family - the child, parents, siblings, grandparents. Siblings may receive less attention because of the overriding needs of your child with epilepsy. The specific "focus" on the child with epilepsy can result in siblings feeling isolated and left out. Parental worry and concern about the child with epilepsy can also filter down to the siblings. </p> <p>Coping well with epilepsy means not only managing seizures but managing its impact on your entire family and making the most of your day-to-day lives. This page offers some suggestions to help all the members of your family cope with your child’s epilepsy and treatment. </p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>Factors to help the entire family cope with epilepsy include parents setting an optimistic tone, sharing healthcare responsibilities and making everyone feel involved.<br></li> <li>Siblings may experience a range of emotions including guilt, fear, anger, jealousy and helplessness. Educating siblings about epilepsy may help them cope with their emotions.</li></ul><p>In some situations where siblings do not have the opportunity to discuss their feelings or are not old enough to express their feelings about their brother or sister’s epilepsy, they may show a change in behaviour (for example, developing physical ailments with no physiological basis or acting younger than their age). These changes can be overt or subtle, but it is important to be aware of and address them. One key thing to do is explain to your other children about their sibling’s epilepsy and why it requires so much of your time. </p> <p>Although there has been more research published in the childhood chronic illness literature in recent years, there is still very little information available about the effects of chronic health conditions on a child’s siblings. Some studies have found that, compared to children without chronic illness in the family, siblings of children with chronic illness are slightly more likely to experience psychosocial difficulties. These may include behaviour problems, lower self-esteem, shyness, poor peer relations, loneliness, anger, anxiety, depression, or poor school grades.</p> <p>Not all studies have found these negative effects. Some research suggests that siblings are also likely to experience positive effects, such as greater compassion, over the long term.</p> <p>Good communication and support are important for helping children adjust to their sibling’s chronic illness. </p> <h2>Emotional impact on brothers and sisters</h2> <p>The needs of siblings often get overlooked temporarily when they have a brother or sister with epilepsy in the family. Siblings may experience a range of emotions, including: </p> <ul> <li>guilt that their brother or sister has epilepsy and they don’t</li> <li>fear that they too may develop seizures</li> <li>fear that their sibling’s condition may worsen</li> <li>anger that they can’t do all the things they used to do</li> <li>jealousy because their sibling seems to get all the attention</li> <li>feeling helpless because they want to support their sibling but don’t know how.<br></li> </ul> <h2>How to help siblings cope</h2> <p>A first significant step in coping is to learn about epilepsy. Take the time to educate your other children about epilepsy and the ways in which it has changed their sibling’s life. Talk about changes and adjustments that the family will need to make. Create an environment where siblings know it is acceptable to express their feelings and emotions. </p> <p>Here are some specific ideas that you as a parent can do to help your other children adjust to the new situation:</p> <ul> <li>Give your other children the opportunity to express their feelings and emotions.</li> <li>Explore their perceptions about your child’s epilepsy. Ask them what they wish to know.</li> <li>Involve them in the new situation: let them help in the care of your child with epilepsy or take on new responsibilities.</li> <li>Include them in discussions of the diagnosis, based on their understanding and interest.</li> <li>Tell them what to expect in terms of the changes they will see in family life, and in their sibling.</li> <li>Update them about their sibling’s treatment and condition.</li> <li>Seek out sibling support groups through epilepsy organizations if you feel your other children might benefit from meeting other siblings of children with epilepsy.</li> <li>If your other children seem to be struggling a great deal, seek help through your "local" epilepsy chapter, the health team, or other parents who can identify strategies to help.</li> </ul> <h2>Suggestions to normalize family life</h2> <p>Since children often take their cues from their parents, parents’ healthy attitudes are very important in helping children adjust. If the parents show acceptance of the situation and make epilepsy part of their daily routine, this will set a positive "tone" for the family. Some suggestions to normalize family life include: </p> <ul> <li>Try to maintain typical family roles. Older siblings can help, but should not take on primary caregiver roles.</li> <li>Routines for the other children are important. For example, have a schedule so siblings know who's at the hospital and when, who's fixing dinner, and who’s picking the kids up from school.</li> <li>Schedule special "family time" together where the "focus" is on the whole family, not just the child with epilepsy.</li> <li>Try to spend some time alone with your other children. Talk to them. Review their day; ask about their interests and their concerns.</li> <li>Arrange for your children to keep up with sports or music lessons, play dates, and other activities.</li> <li>Follow the same rules for behaviour at home now as before the diagnosis.</li> </ul>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/coping_with_epilepsy_as_a_family.jpgCoping with epilepsy as a family

Thank you to our sponsors

AboutKidsHealth is proud to partner with the following sponsors as they support our mission to improve the health and wellbeing of children in Canada and around the world by making accessible health care information available via the internet.