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Newborn, Child and Youth - Family Resources

Dealing with Your Child's Diagnosis

​No one is ever ready to hear that their child has a serious illness and might not have the chance to grow up. You hope it never happens to you, but if it does you may not know where to start.

The news may be hard to believe at first. Remember that every family deals with getting news like this in their own way. It's important that your child's health care providers talk to you in a caring way, in private. They must work with you to respect your family's needs for how you would like to get information and how you would like to make decisions.

As a parent, it might help to:

  • ask lots of questions so you understand your child's illness and what's going to happen
  • have health care providers (e.g. doctors and nurses) repeat anything you don't understand
  • ask health care providers to write things down - it's hard to understand complicated information when you're dealing with shock and stress
  • find out how you can plan for the future, and what services (such as the children's palliative care team) can help you
  • get the support you need to cope
  • find ways to explain what's going to your other children (get help if you need it)

Take things at your own pace. If you ever feel like you can't cope, talk to a friend or go see your own doctor. There are services and people who can help with the grief, sadness, and worry you might be feeling right now.​​​