How to answer your kids' hardest MS questions
The uncertainties and unknowns of MS, not to mention the emotions involved, can make answering your child’s blunt questions anything but easy. But knowing the truth helps kids understand and cope with the physical and emotional changes they see, as well as with their own fears.
The amount of information you provide and the language you use will depend upon your son or daughter’s level of maturity, but all children should be told the basic facts and be encouraged to share their questions, thoughts and concerns.
Here’s a sample Q and A to help you address some of the more difficult questions you’re bound to get:
Q: Are you going to die from MS?
People don’t usually die from MS. That is very rare. People with MS can and do live long lives. I’m going to do everything I can to stay strong and healthy.
Q: Will I get MS?
There can be more than one person with MS in a family, but that doesn’t happen very often. Doctors don’t know what causes MS, but they do know that it isn’t contagious, like a cold. Being around me won’t make you get it.
Q: Is it my fault you have MS?
Sometimes kids think they cause MS. But no one is to blame. It’s nobody’s fault. It is just something that happens.
Q: Will your MS get worse or will you get better?
I don’t know how MS will affect me in the future. MS is different for everybody. Some people have problems that come and go, or get worse, or stay the same. I get shots of medicine to prevent my MS from getting worse, and I’m doing everything I can to stay healthy.
Q: Why are you so grouchy?
I’m grouchy because MS is making me feel… tired/frustrated/angry/sad (This might be a good time to talk about your feelings and symptoms). I’m not angry at you.
Support for Families Grants
Support to families grants are available to help support experiences that may not otherwise be possible due to the challenges of MS. Examples of past grants include payment towards school pictures for children, participation in after-school activities such as youth groups, rental of mobility equipment during a family trip, and more. All families impacted by MS are eligible to apply; family is self-defined by the applicant. In order for a family’s request to be considered, a completed financial assistance application must be submitted. If you have any questions about this grant, please contact our Information Resource Center at 1-800-344-4867, Option 1.