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Five Tips to Help a Child Understand a Sibling’s Illness or Special Needs

Autism Resources in Carmel IN

When one of your children has an illness or a special need that can make life complicated for the rest of the family. These ideas can help you to make sure that everyone is coping with the situation as well as possible.

Schedule One on One Time Regularly

One of the biggest ways that you can start to help your children deal with a sibling’s illness can involve simply allocating one on one time for everyone. This is easier said than done, of course, especially when you consider all of the various other responsibilities that you have. Make sure that you have help that you trust, such as pediatric home care providers, on hand and then schedule time with individual family members.

Answer Questions Openly and Honestly

When your children ask questions about their sibling’s illness, glossing over the truth can only make bigger problems later. Instead, answer the question as openly and honestly as you can in the moment. If you need time to answer, that’s okay, too. Just make sure that you say that so that your child knows that getting the right answer is important to you.

Use Art to Help Connect

Art is a powerful way to connect with other people and it can be a fantastic way for children to express themselves when they can’t find the words. Encourage you children to use art to help them share how they’re feeling. You might even want to use prompts, such as asking them to draw your family or to draw what certain situations feel like. From there, you can ask questions to get deeper into what’s going on.

Fictional Stories Can Also Help

There are more and more books coming out for kids that describe complicated family situations. If you’re having trouble finding some of them yourself, take a trip to your local library. The librarians can help you to find just the perfect book for your situation.

Find Ways to Interact as a Family, Too

As important as it is to have all sorts of individual time together, it’s also important to have family time, too. This helps all of the immediate family members to learn more about interacting with the child who has special needs. Family time can be as simple as nightly meals together or a game night. It doesn’t have to be complicated for you all to have fun.

If your family is still having trouble dealing with the changing dynamics that illness can bring, it might be time to consider family therapy. A trained counselor can help everyone in the family to work through what they’re feeling and how to cope with those feelings effectively.

If you are considering autism resources in Carmel, IN, please call the caring staff at RSI Cares. Serving Greater Indianapolis Area. Call for Immediate Info & Assistance: 317-471-0750.

Etelka Froymovich

RN, MHA, Founder at Residential Services Inc.
Etelka Froymovich founded Home Services Unlimited in 1997

As a practicing Registered Nurse, Etelka was keenly aware of a void in quality patient care that could be provided in the home. She embarked upon a journey to develop a home health care agency that would exceed all expectations and become a trusted partner to physicians and patients.

A Distinguished Career From Nurse to Director of Nursing to President of Home Services Unlimited
Etelka’s distinguished career followed a logical progression to her position as President of Home Services Unlimited. She graduated as a nurse practitioner with a Bachelor of Nursing (RN) in 1972 from Meshgorya University in the Ukraine, close to where she lived with her family. She married her husband Phil in 1973 and decided in 1977 that they would relocate to the United States to be closer to family and to come to this land of opportunity. With an eagerness to continue her budding career, Etelka sat for and passed her Boards in the U.S. in 1979.

A Love and Talent for Working with the Elderly
Etelka began her nursing career in the U.S. at Colonial Crest, now part of Golden Living, where shewasthe In-service Coordinator, the Director of Training and Education and Director of Nursing, a position she occupied for several years.
With a group of partners, she co-founded Adept Corporation, which operated group homes for the mentally challenged. The business was successful and in 1996, Etelka sold her share to return to her roots, caring for the elderly.
In January of 1997, Etelka opened Home Services Unlimited as a fully licensed business to provide home health care. In her quest to learn to do better for her patients, she had already obtained a Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA) in May of 1990 from the College of St. Francis. As President of Home Services Unlimited, Inc., Etelka guides the trusted, experienced care model Home Services Unlimited uses to continue providing excellent home health care.

Giving Back to the Community of Indianapolis
Volunteering for community services is a high priority for Etelka. Her memberships include the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Executive Women in Health Care and the Indiana Association for Home and Hospice Care, where she is a member of the Board of Directors.
Etelka has also served on the Board of Directors with Hooverwood Home, a highly regarded geriatric facility, since 1997 and as the President for 2005-2006. Through her community work, she has received several awards and accolades, including the Nora McFarland award in 2002, from the Indiana Association of Home and Hospice Care.
Etelka was honored as a “Health Care Hero” by the Indianapolis Business Journal. The issue can be read online here:

After clicking on the link, then click on the image of the issue’s front page. After that, you can browse through the issue or click in a box near the top of your internet browser to adjust the page to 17, which is where Etelka’s article appears.

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