Scoliosis isn’t always an easy diagnosis to face, especially for a young child or teenager. It often impacts them more than just physically, with many emotional aspects as well. The challenges that children with scoliosis face can have lasting effects on a child’s psyche, especially if it goes untreated. While not all children are unhappy with their scoliosis, it can be problematic. By knowing the issues that children may face, you can help support your child through their scoliosis diagnosis.
Body Image Challenges
Sometimes, children with scoliosis face issues with body image. Because it can dramatically alter the shape of your child’s ribs, shoulders, hips, and back, scoliosis can be easy to notice, especially during the ages where children start to look at how people are the same or different.
Some children may be afraid of wearing bathing suits or form-fitting clothing because they don’t want to draw attention to their appearance. However, others may not mind much at all. Especially when treating scoliosis, doctors may be interested in asking about how a child feels about how they look to determine the course of treatment.
Bullying and Emotional Issues
Sometimes, children can be bullied for their appearances, especially if they look different. Even if their scoliosis isn’t that bad, some may make fun of them for wearing a brace from time to time as well.
Children with scoliosis often face several fears and emotional issues. They have to face the fear of surgery and the potential risks that come with it. They need to worry about how they will look when they’ve recovered or if they will be in pain. They will worry about being bullied, or in some extreme cases, even if they will live a normal life.
Anxiety and Depression
Other challenges that children with scoliosis face include denial about the situation. Your child may refuse to acknowledge that they have scoliosis or even develop depression. When your child faces a diagnosis for a lifelong issue like scoliosis, it is normal for them to be upset. They may also be anxious or even depressed about the situation.
Supporting a Child With Scoliosis
With the right kind of support, your child can thrive after their diagnosis. Be aware of mood issues and stress, and always be open and willing to talk to them. And, if they do show signs of struggling with their emotions and the diagnosis, consider getting a professional therapist involved to help your child come to terms. By acknowledging their feelings and offering them the support they need, you set them up for success as they cope with their diagnosis.