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Guidelines for Psychological Assistance to Chronically Ill Children and Their Parents 2544
Research Fellow, Laboratory of Psychology of Special Needs and Correctional Pedagogics, Child Health Research Center, Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia
Doctor of Psychology, professor, Department of Psychology, “Dubna” International University for Nature, Society and Man, Dubna State University, Moscow, Russia
PhD in Biology, Head of Laboratory of Psychology of Special Needs and Correctional Pedagogics, Child Health Research Center, Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia
This study explored psychological features in 33 children aged 8—17 years suffering from rheumatic disorder and in their mothers. 11 children were in the emergency department, 22 in the department of rheumatology. The following methods were used: observation, conversation, the Draw-a-Person and Three Wishes tests, the Dembo-Rubinstein self-esteem scales, and the Parent’s Essay technique. According to the level of their mental activity the children were divided into 4 groups: ‘inactive’, ‘passive’, ‘relatively active’ and ‘active’. Working with the ‘inactive’ children was impossible; the main task was to help their mothers cope with emotional distress. The ‘passive’ children received emotional support and were taught how to understand and express their needs; their parents were taught how to communicate with the child in various ways. Working with the ‘relatively active’ children and their parents had the aim of reestablish- ing productive interactions between them. Working with the ‘active’ children consisted of supporting their self-esteem, self-respect and interests; their parents were taught to better understand age-specific and indi- vidual psychological features of the child and to take into account limitations caused by the illness.
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