Disclaimer: None of the content of this article should be considered medical or psychological advice. You should consult with your health care professional for specific advice relating to your medical and psychological questions or conditions. An important issue for psychologists, pediatricians, and other specialists working with children is physical and mental development of children and adolescents. There are many age periodizations in child’s development and going through every period, child learns and gets new abilities. However, children with chronic illnesses like diabetes, sickle cell anemia, severe asthma, cancer and others cannot go through regular physical and mental development. Due to special treatment they cannot go to ordinary school like healthy children, sometimes they have to stay in hospitals for a long period of time. How to help children with illnesses develop mentally and not drop behind children of the same age? 1. Create special home or hospital-educational plan and organize short mathematics, logics and reading lessons every day or week. Together with your child you can make this time very interesting and useful. New information, which you can find for your child, will help him or her to feel completeness of life and self-efficiency. 2. Create homework assignments for your child. Begin with easy arithmetical (or any other subject) tasks. Doing it successfully will help your child to raise self-confidence and interest to new knowledge. 3. Even small tasks which demand accuracy (for example, measuring table in centimeters or inches) can be very interesting if you explain that every item around us should be planned and measured very accurately first, before constructing. Manual tasks demanding attention and accuracy are very useful, because they increase ability to concentrate and regulate attention. 4. Be patient and teach your child to be patient. This will help your child to be optimistic during treatment process and have positive attitude to the environment – some of the major components of psychological and physical health. 5. Contributing to your child’s mental development will help your child feel all your love. Receiving interesting information, positive attitude and cheerful mood create a special condition to improve health and stop illness progress. Help your child be interested in knowing more and more about this world, prompt him or her to be healthy and you will see positive changes in your child’s life.
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