"Find Your Passion and Go For It."
"Just because you have PD doesn’t mean it is the end of the world... I have never looked back."
Talking to Children about Parkinsons
You may be reluctant to tell your children that you have been diagnosed with Parkinson disease. Often this reflects a fear that your relationship with your children will alter and that you will be seen differently by them: no longer the strong, in-charge parent, but a weaker version of what you once were.
Parkinson disease affects children as well as a partner. Telling them may help them cope with changes that they may be observing but do not understand. An open discussion can be beneficial to all concerned. Young children can understand if the information is presented simply. They will take their emotional cues from you. If the information is presented in a matter-of-fact way, children are less likely to feel overwhelmed or burdened.
Children will benefit from the opportunity to ask questions, voice their fears (is it contagious, will you die?) and seek reassurance. It may come as a relief to you to have the opportunity to explain the changes that your children may be observing and establish realistic expectations for the future. Adolescents, particularly, may find it difficult to accept the physical changes that accompany Parkinson disease.
Children and adolescents may go through similar stages as their parents (denial, resentment, anger, and acceptance) as they attempt to understand the changes in their life. If children are having difficulty accepting the situation, professional counselling may be considered.
The following publications may be of interest to those with young children.