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Involving your Child in the Decision Making Process

Treatment should never be a process done to your child. Rather, decisions about care should be implemented with your child’s input—as much as possible—with support, guidance, and assistance from you and other care team members.

The clinical report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Shared Decision-Making and Children with Disabilities: Pathways to Consensus, states that children, when cognitively able, should be involved in decisions about their care. Too often this is mistaken by parents and professionals to only mean “the big decisions,” but research shows that inclusion in smaller decisions as well can have a significant impact over time.

Presenting children with information—appropriate for their developmental age—can help in their understanding of their condition and treatments, reduce fear, and enhance self-confidence. This article shares several tips for parents to ensure that their child is appropriately informed:

  • Educate your child about his or her condition
  • Identify future goals
  • Have quick check-ins with your child
  • Have your child present
  • Consider who else should be present
  • Ask about breaking up appointments
  • Know teens need time alone with the doctor
  • Realize participation prepares your child for adulthood

To learn more about each of these tips and what they mean, read the article at:
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/developmental-disabilities/Pages/Involving-Your-Child-in-the-Decision-Making-Process.aspx

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