ENCOURAGING THE PARTICIPATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR OWN HEALTH CARE

Most, if not all, of the decisions about your child’s medical treatment have fallen on your shoulders. It’s never too early to involve your teen or preteen in health care decisions and give him or her more control over their own treatment.

Why Involve Teenagers?

It’s only a matter of time till you’re an adult. So now is the moment to assist kids in taking more control of their life, and this includes their health care.

The process might be as easy as having them call in a prescription and pick it up, or it can be more involved, such as allowing them to select their own healthcare professional. This teaches adolescents how to plan ahead, make decisions, and take responsibility for their own actions. They’ll need these skills in adulthood.

Including Children

Parents of preteens and teens know that giving kids new duties do not guarantee that they will follow through on their end. This responsibility will remain with you, so it is important that you do everything you can to help your child succeed in fulfilling the tasks that you set for him or her.

As they grow older, children with chronic medical conditions like asthma or diabetes should become more self-sufficient in their own medical treatment.

It’s possible for children with special needs and developmental impairments to take charge of some of their own care. A medical professional’s approval is often helpful in determining how and when to begin helping your child become more self-sufficient.

Recommendations for Parents of Children with Disabilities:

For children with special needs or chronic conditions, the transition to adult health care might be more difficult. If your child has special needs, a diagnosis-specific organization (such as the National Association for Down Syndrome) can give you information on how other parents have helped their children become more self-sufficient individuals.

Family members with similar experiences can provide a lot of information, such as which doctors specialize in treating individuals with special needs, what additional services are available, and which programs should be considered or avoided.

Family advocacy groups can also be a useful resource. Children with exceptional health care requirements are the focus of many people’s efforts. Local Family Voices chapters, for example, can assist families to make educated decisions about health care for children with disabilities.

For further information on what federal and state programs your child might qualify for when they grow up, you may want to contact a local social worker (who may be linked with your local hospital). There may be assistance in locating a job, housing, and transportation as well as health-related services.

It is possible to enroll your child immediately (or at the very least put him or her on a waiting list) in some of these programs. If you do this now, it may seem like a waste of time, but in the long run, it could save you money.

Inspiring Others

Consider including your kids in the decision-making process when it comes to medical treatment. Even if it takes some extra effort and patience from you, your children can become more self-sufficient in their healthcare management.

While they still have you as a support system and a safety net, your children can take their first important steps into adulthood with your help and direction.

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