There is a wealth of information available for families of children living with cancer. Download this helpful resource list for reading recommendations, videos, and Web sites that cover cancer-related topics. These resources will help families talk about cancer, and children make the transition of returning to school.
What You Can Do
It may be helpful for you to seek support and learn more about cancer and the issues that may be affecting members of your school community who are dealing with cancer. Learning more can help you decide how to best work with your students, their families or your colleagues.
Learn more about cancer and cancer treatment options:
- Learn what to expect from their specific diagnosis. Talk to your colleague or your student's parent. You can also do your own research to gather more information.
- Visit the LIVESTRONG Foundation's website at http://www.livestrong.org/Get-Help/Learn-About-Cancer/Cancer-Support-Topics to learn more about diagnosis and treatment for different cancer types.
Find resources to support your student or colleague and their family:
- ‘Supporting adolescent and young adult siblings of cancer patients in the education system' highlights the needs of siblings and provides recommendations of supportive strategies that can be implemented by those working in the school system. 'Supporting adolescent and young adult siblings of cancer patients: the family context' offers information and recommendations for engaging with the siblings of a child with cancer in the context of their family and other relationships.
- The Q&A about Children's Grief will help you understand how to support school-age children through difficult times. Working through grief, children will need the support of both their family and teachers as they begin to understand what has happened, express their emotions, adjust to changes, commemorate the loss and finally go on with day-to-day living. The Q&A also provides information on how children cope with grief at different ages, what red flags to look for and how you can positively impact the process.
- Learn more about cancer and the common issues that impact someone diagnosed with cancer at http://www.livestrong.org/Get-Help/Learn-About-Cancer/Cancer-Support-Topics
- Order a free LIVESTRONG Survivorship Guidebook at http://www.livestrong.org/. You can provide this to your colleague or student's family as a way for them to learn more and guide and organize their cancer experience.
- Contact LIVESTRONG Navigation Services at 855.220.7777 for emotional support, counseling and referrals to local resources. They can be helpful to you, your colleague, your student's family and anyone else affected by cancer.
For children with cancer and their parents, returning to school builds hope for the future. Attending school is a big part of feeling normal and productive. Yet, going back to school also brings new challenges to families whose main focus has been getting through treatment. LIVESTRONG and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, through a national partnership, have created resources addressing the educational needs of children and adolescents with cancer.
The educational booklet, Learning and Living with Cancer: Advocating for Your Child's Educational Needs, can help parents advocate for their children's needs. This booklet is a starting point to give you:
- Insights about the challenges your child may face and what can be done
- Information about the laws that protect your child's educational needs
- Specific ways that schools can help meet your child's educational needs
Download the booklet Learning and Living with Cancer: Advocating for Your Child's Educational Needs (PDF)
The resource guide can help school personnel and parents to identify organizations, Web sites, books and videos that help with the educational needs of childhood cancer survivors.
More Publications, Web sites, and Videos
SuperSibs! Visit this site to learn more about this national not-for-profit dedicated to ensuring that the siblings of children with cancer are honored, supported and recognized. Their comprehensive program includes direct to the child Comfort and Care support mailings; information and support tools for families, educators and communities; as well as consulting services for hospitals and organizations to ensure that medical and psycho-social professionals have the tools and resources needed to integrate sibling support front-line.
The Marjorie E. Korff PACT Program (Parenting At a Challenging Time) Visit this site for extensive web-based educational materials for parents and professionals. This program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center is a nationally and internationally recognized center that offers clinical and educational guidance to loving parents and other caring adults, helping them meet the challenges of raising children while undergoing cancer treatment and beyond. The PACT Program, staffed with specially trained child psychiatrists and child psychologists, is built on the belief that parents and experienced clinicians working collaboratively, create the best plans for promoting the resiliency of children and adolescents facing the challenges associated with a parent's cancer diagnosis and care.