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Mental health services for kids?

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MMLynch Find out more about MMLynch
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  • Mental health services for kids?

    My husband has HCM, with an ICD, no other surgical procedures. We are having our oldest child screened, an 8yr old boy who is active in sports etc. I am curious about whether anyone had used therapy or other mental health services to help a child this age process things. I am reluctant to consider this at this point because I think treating things matter of factly and not making too big a deal works best for this kid, (although I could see my husband and I needing some additional support depending on the results of the testing), but I also know it's hard to know!

  • #2
    Re: Mental health services for kids?

    This is such an individual thing and can vary from day to day for each person. As parents, you know your child better than anyone. I personally did not to do any counseling as a preventive thing(we used the "matter-of-fact"approach too), and chose to wait and see. I didn't want to add to his concerns where there may be none. I was always a bit nervous about causing some he never would have thought of unless someone suggested them to him. If and when it became necessary, I had researched and knew the most appropriate person for us and could call when needed. You will get ans from many here telling of the different ways they dealt with it. No one can say right or wrong, but you will get some good ideas to help you plan for your situation. Best wishes, please keep us posted. The waiting for the test results seems to take forever. Linda

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    • #3
      Re: Mental health services for kids?

      I can only speak from my own experience, but my husband also has HCM. When I tested my kids, I told them simply that if they are clear they can play soccer (insert your own sport) and if they weren't clear they would have to find something else to do. It worked for me. Good luck.

      Reenie
      Reenie

      ****************
      Husband has HCM.
      3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Mental health services for kids?

        Hi MM,
        Welcome to the board – and both you and your husband are welcome here. I am seventy-two years old, and have observed close up, some of the problems you face with this situation.

        I guess the most important rule is to never lie to your child. It will do great harm to your relationship when he finds out you lied, and that damage can go on for decades after. Now, you can answer his request for information in a matter-of-fact manner if he is at a point where he just wants a little information and reassurance. If however, he is head on serious about getting answers, then you have to be serious also. You don’t have to give more information then he is ready to hear, and you can judge how much to say based on his body language, but I advise you play it straight with him.

        Remember he not only wants to know what’s going on, he wants assurance that whatever happens, you and dad will be there for him. Kids generally are amazing creatures. I think of them as tennis balls. They can be batted around quite a bit by circumstances and they just keep bouncing back – they often take difficult situations much better then the adults. But if they are mistreated mentally or physically it is like cutting open that tennis ball, and the damage is all too often un-repairable.

        I guess the best guideline is to think what you would want to know if you were his age, with his disposition, in the same situation. I hope this is of some help.
        Burt

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        • #5
          Re: Mental health services for kids?

          I guess I should have been more specific. I have a girl who is almost 13 and two boys who are 11 and 9. They have known about their dad's HCM for the last four and a half years. They have been screened many times. Their dad does have an ICD and they understand why. We don't make a big deal about it but we are cautious. Let me know if I can help in any way.

          Reenie
          Reenie

          ****************
          Husband has HCM.
          3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Mental health services for kids?

            As so many have already said, this is really an individualized thing, and you know your son better than anyone. Trust your instincts.

            My husband also has HCM. We discovered his HCM following family screening. It was our 13 year old daughter who was first diagnosed, and subsequently one of our sons (7) has also received a positive diagnosis, and our youngest daughter (4) is considered borderline. Our older son (11) has screened clear so far.

            When our son was diagnosed I bought a book from the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series called "Hear your Heart" by Paul Showers. It offers a simple, straightforward explanation of how the heart works, including simply labelled diagrams. We read through it with him after we told him what the tests had shown, and then took it with us to his first visit with the cardiologist so that the Dr. could explain to him what was wrong with his heart. We found that this worked really well with him.

            I hope this helps.

            Abby

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            • #7
              Re: Mental health services for kids?

              Thanks to the people who responded. Our 8yr old's initial screens were negative for HCM, which is obviously a relief. We have to wait to see what develops, of course. He had a lot more questions after the tests, which makes sense. In retrospect, one of the things that probably helped a lot was that he had gone with his dad to one of his regular ICD checkups, seen an echo there and some of the other stuff. He was able to link up his dad's experience with his. I'm glad that we decided to wait for these results and for the actual experience of the screening before doing anything about specific outside counseling etc, and we don't plan to do anything at this point, but as some commented it's so specific to the family and child. Thanks again.

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              • #8
                Re: Mental health services for kids?

                How wonderful that all of you can relax!
                Enjoy his sports this year.
                Rhoda

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                • #9
                  Re: Mental health services for kids?

                  I'm so glad he's clear for now. I'm glad that the experience wasn't too traumatic for him too. That makes it easier on everyone.

                  Reenie
                  Reenie

                  ****************
                  Husband has HCM.
                  3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                  Comment

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