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Supporting young people

During the teenage years there is a period of change as your son or daughter moves from being a child to an adult. There are several key transitions that take place such as moving schools, entering further education, taking more responsibility for decisions and starting a job. A child with a liver condition must contend with growing into adulthood with their disease. This can affect the whole family.

Recently young people shared their thoughts with us on how parents can support them through this stage and what they want parents to know:

  • There’s a different atmosphere in adult services that you need to prepare for. It is very matter-of-fact in adult services
  • Transition is like moving from junior to senior school, it’s terrifying, it’s bigger, you don’t know anyone and they don’t know you…but just like senior school you get used to it
  • Sometimes I am too tired for family things, it’s not that I’m avoiding them
  • Recognise that I do have bad days and that is OK
  • Encourage me to do things I want to do and reassure me that it will not hold me back
  • Let me take responsibility for my illness
  • You’ve taught me about how to care for myself, so trust me to use your lessons
  • It’s good for us to have our own independence
  • Trust that I know my body and can have responsibilities
  • If I say I’m OK, I’m OK. Don’t worry too much
  • Biopsy – I need you to be reassuring for me. In adults, you must have it when you are awake but it’s not painful and can be over quite quickly
  • Although your child is starting transition, they may still need you there at appointments for support
  • Although I am older it doesn’t mean I don’t still struggle
  • Keep pushing me to do things that are out of my comfort zone as they end up being really good
  • Don’t push me to talk


“Parents – it is not your fault”

“Thank you for being strong”

“Thank you for all the time you give up for appointments and for always being there”

As can be seen by these comments, thoughts and feelings of young people can vary. We hope this insight helps you to further understand your own child’s transition into adulthood. You can read more in our Supporting Young People: A guide for parents/guardians leaflet here.

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