A spinal cord injury (SCI) is not only a significant change to your life, but also to your family’s life, especially your children. Your children may not have the emotional maturity needed to handle the impact of a traumatic injury such as an SCI.
With all the changes, emotions, and stress that come on after an SCI, your children may not be able to cope on their own. It is important to watch for signs that your children may need more support from a professional. The following behaviors or changes may indicate the need to seek professional help:
- Change in behavior to engage in more risk-related activities such as alcohol or drug use or fighting
- Refusal to admit that they are feeling any kind of emotion
- Acting more mature and emotionally stronger than normal
- Decreased motivation to engage with others, perform daily tasks or physical activities
- Change in mood that has your children seeming sadder and more down than normal
- Feelings of anger expressed either physically or verbally
- Change in relationships with friends and family members
- Inability to sleep or an increase in nightmares
- Deterrence from routine activities like going to school or sports practice
Many hospitals and rehabilitation centers offer support for the children of patients. If you notice any of the changes listed above or feel your child may need additional support, ask a member of your healthcare team to talk to a psychologist, social worker, or other professional who can help your child.
Source: www.aci.health.nsw.gov.au, Accessed: 8/21/17