We’ve recently come across a great little booklet you can print out and staple together to have a tool that is interesting to your kiddo to explain multiple sclerosis. We know that the people who have MS are just a percentage of our visitors here, but it may provide some helpful ideas to even create your own booklet or talking points about your disease. This is also a great resource if you are a church member or resource center and looking for more tools for helping children cope with a parent with chronic illness. This one is called “Someone You Know Has MS: A Book For Families" (just click the link to download pdf) and is 38 pages long.
This booklet for kids with parents with chronic illness was obviously put together with great purpose and skill. It has fun cartoon-like photos that kids are naturally drawn to, easy language, and good content. For example, kids as, “Why did this happen in my family?” It helps kids answer the questions other kids may have such as “Will your mom die?” or “Will you catch it?”
The booklet also explains some things that are hard for mom now and how she may use some assistive devices like a cane or wheelchair that may be a bit embarrassing for kids.
And it concludes with feelings, how to do fun things together as a family, and how the family may even get involved in advocacy or fundraising and awareness events.
Regardless of your illness this free booklet is worth downloading and printing out and just replace some of the information on multiple sclerosis to your own disease and read it with your child. It’s a great tool to start conversation and validate what your kids may be feeling and are not verbally talking with you about. This is also an excellent resource for teachers and if you are a parent with an illness, pass along a copy to his or her teacher so s/he gets some refresher tips on handling kids’ questions.