All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for November 2002

Support Network Is Enlarged for Children and Teens with MS

The impact of MS is felt throughout the entire family system, affecting communication, relationships and daily functioning.

October 24, 2002—In support of its mission to end the devastating effects of MS, the National MS Society has begun a plan to expand and enhance its Children and Teens with MS Support Network.

Although MS historically has been viewed as an adult-onset disease, a small population of children and adolescents also live with this unpredictable disease and the Society recognizes the great need for support, education, and public awareness.

The Society's network was established in 1990 to provide services for children and teens with MS and their parents. To ensure that the Society continues to address the families' top priorities, a survey will be distributed to network members early next year to assess their needs and concerns. The results of the survey will also help create a Parent Handbook with articles written by MS experts on research, treatments, support mechanisms, and financial assistance resources.

For more information about childhood MS or available programs and services, please telephone your local Society chapter (toll-free: 1-800-FIGHT MS) or visit My Community.

Editor's Note

Parents with multiple sclerosis can be reassured that the risk of their children acquiring MS at any age is low—between 3 and 5%—versus .01% in the general population.

Current Services Available for Children and Teens with MS Through the Society's Support Network

Program Coordinators

Answer questions and arrange conference calls with MS staff, including health care professionals.

Parent Teleconferences Held quarterly for parents of a child with MS. Childhood MS specialists address topics such as research, treatment, cognitive issues, and children’s rights within their school systems.

Short-Term Counseling Short-term telephone counseling at no cost to MS families. Society consultant is a licensed social worker with expertise in MS.

Bulletin Boards

The Society has established three Bulletin Boards: One for teens with MS, one for children under 13 years old with MS, and one for parents who have a child or teen with MS.

Network Pen-Pal Program Children and their parents are matched with peers for on-going support. They may correspond through phone, letters or e-mail.

Registration Information

Contact the Society chapter nearest you by calling our toll-free number (1-800-FIGHT MS) or by visiting My Community.

© 2002 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society