What next? Maintaining friendships in the longer term
Any brain tumour diagnosis, high grade or low grade, can hugely impact a person. Children often have to deal with uncertainty for many years, especially around upcoming scans and results – will the tumour have come back or started to regrow? This can be emotionally draining for a child, with increased anxieties and potentially less tolerance. At these times, the child is likely to need more understanding and empathy from friends.
This is why supporting a child with their social relationships is likely to go beyond their initial return to school. So there’ll be points when it may be useful to re-visit the themes identified in this resource, e.g. during transition or if there are concerns about friendships.
Remember! We often hear from people affected by a low grade tumour that others expect everything to go back to ‘normal’ after treatment, but we know that this isn’t the case
Tips for continuing support
- Regularly check in with the child affected, and their siblings.
- Keep an eye on how the child is getting on at school, through general observations and conversations with other school staff.
- Keep friends involved and feeling like they can help.
- Keep in contact with parents and keep a record of upcoming dates, e.g. hospital appointments, upcoming scans which may cause ‘scanxiety’. Scanxiety is a fear or anxiety about MRI or CT scans and their results. It’s commonly felt by those affected by a brain tumour. Scanxiety will look and feel different in every child, so ways of supporting them will vary.
- Make sure you prepare the child and teaching staff prior to transition times. This may be between classes, year groups or even schools. Keep a record of all the work you’ve done with the child around telling their story, as this can help to support the child when preparing for a transition.
Communication with future schools and creating links for visits prior to joining will be key. This would include a list of who to contact for help.
Please do remember, if you need anything at all, our Children and Families team is here to listen, support and answer any questions you may have. You can contact us on 0808 800 0004 5000 or by email at email@example.com
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In this section
Our Children & Families team offers support to children, young people and families affected by a brain tumour diagnosis. We’re here to help with any information you might need, answer your questions, listen and provide support.
Jake explains brain tumours
Meet Jake! In this video he helps children to understand their brain tumour diagnosis in a comforting and reassuring way.