Helping Child Amputees Find a New Normal with Prosthetics
Children who lose a limb as a result of cancer or an accident seem to recover physically quite quickly, but they need individual support as they come to terms with being an amputee and a life with prosthetic limbs.
There are many practical ways family members and loved ones can help child amputees, like staying focused on ability, letting them take risks, and encouraging prosthetic use without being the enforcer. But that’s not all.
For years, we’ve watched adult amputees feel inspired and validated by the successes of amputee athletes in sports, and personal heroes like humanitarian and cancer activist Terry Fox, who lost his battle to cancer but whose legacy lives on in annual fundraising runs around the world.
Seeing others who share your journey is just as important for children and teens. Knowing that you aren’t alone and that there are others who understand what you have been through and what you are facing is very affirming and validating.
Our prosthetic specialists know that everyone adapts to life with prosthetics differently and their feelings about limb loss may vary considerably. Children, in particular, may have changing feelings about their prosthesis as they grow and reach different milestones of development.
We are happy to see depictions online that help children and teens normalize being an amputee, like this award-winning cartoon short by a very creative fellow named Jacob Frey called The Present.
This fantastic little short has been screened at roughly 180 film festivals around the globe and – no surprise – it’s won more than 50 awards. The beauty of this movie is that it doesn’t shy away from the difficulty this boy faces in accepting a three-legged puppy. But oh, how poignant is it when he realizes he can focus on ability rather than disability!
We love sharing stories that celebrate the successes of child and teen amputees and all the amazing things they can do with their prosthetic devices and artificial limbs. Please share with us any you find so that we can highlight them to our wonderful clients.
Contact our specialists at Teter Orthotics & Prosthetics with any questions you have about prosthetics for children and teens. We’ve been providing expert prosthetic services in Michigan since 1955 and currently have more than 20 Michigan locations, including Traverse City, Cadillac, Petoskey, and Marquette.