How To Help Your Kids Come To Terms With Your Autoimmune Disease Diagnosis

71352706 - african american parents giving children piggyback ridesSo, you’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. How are you going to explain this to your children? How are you going to help them understand and feel comfort through this trying experience? It’s going to be okay. There are things you can do to help your kids through this time. Your kids may not completely grasp what an autoimmune disease is, or what it will mean for you, but you can help them. You can comfort them. You are a mom. You can do this.

When you stay positive, be honest, make time for your kids and understand what they need, you will be able to help them find some peace. You will be able to help them know that this autoimmune disease doesn’t need to completely change everything about their lives. Instead, there will be changes. There will be adjustments that they won’t like. But you will be able to make it through this as a family.

You can help your kids come to terms with your autoimmune disease by following these tips (and adding a few of your own, if you need to).

Keep things as positive as possible.
When you receive your autoimmune disease diagnosis, you will probably feel a lot of negative emotions. This is completely natural. There’s no shame in it. You are absolutely allowed to feel sad, scared or discouraged.

However, these emotions can be contagious to kids. When you talk to them about your diagnosis and what this will mean for you and your family, be sure to keep things as positive as possible. Make sure to smile. It’s okay to even crack a joke or two, if you can.

Remind your kids that you are still going to be around. You are going to work with your doctors and do your best to stay as healthy as possible. Positivity can be powerful with your kids.

Make quality time with your kids a priority.
It’s easy to get lost in the rounds of doctors and blood tests and exhaustion. But it’s really important to still make your kids a priority in your life. Take time every day to talk to your kids about their lives.

It doesn’t have to be a large gesture to keep your kids as a high priority in your life. Ask them about their day. Invite them to sit with you when you’re too tired to stand. When you’re feeling up to it, spend time doing an activity with them.

Your kids will be able to handle the stress of this new journey better if they still feel like you’re their mom, who loves them. Make sure they can feel that. Make sure they can still come to you with their bad days and problems.

Be as honest as you need to be.
An autoimmune disease isn’t easy for a child to understand. They may have questions. They may not fully grasp exactly what you’re saying to them. Still, it’s important to be honest with them about what this diagnosis means for you.

Make sure your kiddos understand that you may need to take more naps, or spend more time at the doctor. Be honest with them about what you’ll be able to do with them and what you might not be able to do.

Your kids deserve the opportunity to understand what you’re going through, even if it’s only a tiny slice of the whole experience. Make sure they at least feel able to ask you questions.

Understand what your kids need to get through this.
You know your children better than anyone. Nobody will be able to know exactly how to handle this new chapter in your lives better than you. If you feel that your kids deserve to know the full extent of your diagnosis, tell them.

If you don’t think they’re ready or don’t believe they’ll understand, find other ways to let them know what the future holds for you. Don’t be afraid to do something different than people tell you to do. Your kiddos are your babies. You know what they need.

Although you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, you’re still a mom first and foremost. This journey will be exhausting and terrifying for you, but it will also be a trying experience for your sweet kids.

There are things you can do to make sure that they feel comfortable, safe and happy regardless of your health. It is possible for your children to find comfort from you, even when you are figuring out your new life as a person who has an autoimmune disease.


About the Author
Katie Cleary is founder of  She lives with her autoimmune conditions and her family in Austin, Texas.

This post contains opinions of the author. is not a medical practice and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  It is your responsibility to seek diagnosis, treatment, and advice from qualified providers based on your condition and particular circumstances.  Camino Real Ventures, Inc., the company that makes available to you, does not endorse nor recommend any products, practices, treatment methods, tests, physicians, service providers, procedures, clinical trials, opinions or information available on this website.  Your use of the website is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


Speak Your Mind