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Conner's Dad
02-23-2005, 10:04 PM
My son Conner is seven years old and will start wearing a brace this Friday. We have been monitoring Conner since he was five, but his curve recently increased to 28 degrees. Conner also has a pectus excavatum condition, but the doctors have never been too concerned about that.

At this point I don't think Conner totally realizes what is going on, but I know that is about to change. Does anyone on this forum have a child that was braced at this young age? If so, I would appreciate any suggestions for things that I can do that might make life a little more bearable for my son and any words of encouragement that you can offer for my wife and I.

02-24-2005, 12:05 AM
At age 8 I was diagnosed with extreme Scoliosis and Kyphosis. Less than a month after I was diagnosed I had to wear my first of three different braces, and wore it till I was 15 (23/7), before, in between, and after surgeries. It was really hard for me to understand what was going on at first. My parents were my main support. It was really hard at that age for me to go from thinking I was just clumsy to understanding that I had a problem. For me, the most important thing that my parents did for me was to let me try and do as much as any other kid. (Obviously not things that would definetely hurt me). Because my parents believed that I could handle whatever was thrown at me, I believed it. It was hard for them, I know. There were some days that I just cried about how unfair it all was and argued about wearing the brace. But my parents would sit me down and remind me that I had choices. I could wear the brace and maybe get better or I could just have surgery, or worse. In the end, as much as I hated my brace I made the decision to wear it. Also bargaining helps. For instance one summer it was really really hot and I was complaining a lot so my mom told me that if I wore the brace for two weeks 23/7 without complaining then I would be able to have one full day or night without it. Of course once the summer ended we had to come up with a new bargain. Also, I'm not sure how long your son might have to wear the brace but when I was in school I did have a hard time with other kids understanding and was picked on. One of the things that helped the most was that my mom came in to my class and did a little lecture on what was wrong with me, why I had the brace, and even let some kids try on my brace so they knew what if felt like. (Fun fact: In midevil times they use to put ppl with scoliosis on the rack and stretch them to straighten them out. Kids like gross stuff :-) In my opinion the best thing you can do is sit down and talk it out. Explain what is going on the best you can and be ready to listen or not listen when the time comes. As for the parent's perspective, I am not a parent yet, but don't forget for you and your wife to talk and support one another was well as your son. Everyone needs strength to draw on, even mommy's and daddy's. I hope that some of this helps. Feel free to email me if you like.