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When Your Child Goes to School After an Injury.

by Marilyn Lash, M.S.W. Published by Exceptional Parent in collaboration with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, New England Medical Center. [C]1992 Tufts University. For information about purchasing When Your Child Goes to School After an Injury and When Your Child is Seriously Injured, see ad at right.

The following excerpt is from the chapter Preparation and Communication Between Families and Schools.

Preparing Your Family

Parents often say that arranging for special education was so timeconsuming that they neglected others in the family. Siblings can feel excluded during the hospital stay and may even resent their lost time with and attention from parents. School is yet another change.

With all the attention on the injured child's return to school, it is easy to forget that it is also an adjustment for brothers and sisters. If siblings go to the same school as the injured child, there may be new responsibilities and pressures for them. Giving physical help is the most obvious need, but siblings are expected to give emotional and social support as well. This is not always easy. Siblings may be embarrassed by how their injured brother or sister looks or acts. They may feel torn between spending time with their friends and helping their brother or sister at school. They may resent the extra attention given by teachers and friends to the injured child. Reactions vary widely. It is important to talk with siblings about their feelings and to be sure that each child receives attention and help.

Many times siblings find it difficult to ask for help and even feel guilty that they were not hurt. They may fee1 badly about having fun while their injured sibling is unable to take part. They may be confused about mixed feelings of anger and sadness.

... Parents suggest meeting with the teachers of all your children and the school social worker to explain what has happened. They can talk with siblings and give them extra time and attention and can alert you to changes at school .... Sometimes reactions of siblings are delayed and the connection between difficulties at school and the accident is lost. Consequently, children may be punished without the cause of the problem being understood and discussed.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Lash, Marilyn
Publication:The Exceptional Parent
Article Type:Excerpt
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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