The article was based in part on our own experiences. Our sons both became ill with ME/CFS in late summer 2004, at ages 6 and 10. The younger one had milder ME/CFS for about 10 years and then recovered completely at 16. Our older son also got Lyme disease plus two other tick infections - which went undiagnosed for over 3 years - at age 12, so his journey has been more difficult. He is now 24 years old and just graduated from college. So, both of our sons came of age with chronic illness, though the younger one was far less affected by it.
I also reached out to an amazing community to get input for the article - our Facebook group, Parents of Kids/Teens/Young Adults with ME/CFS and Related Illnesses. They came up with some wonderful advice and tips that I incorporated into the article - I wish I had though of some of this stuff 10 years ago!
So, if you have kids who are chronically ill, this article is a must-read, with practical advice for helping them to mature and develop, even if they can't leave the house. And if you do have sick kids, you are welcome to join our support group mentioned above. It is solely for parents of sick kids (I use the term "kids" loosely - some of our members' kids are now adults but still dependent or semi-dependent). Just click the Join button for our group and then answer the questions that pop up so we can add you quickly. In the meantime, here's the article:
One of the biggest challenges of chronic illness at any age, staying connected is especially important during the formative years. Sick young people are often isolated from friends and spend much of their time with their parents. Some tips for staying connected with peers: