Consequences of Stress on Children’s Development

My youngest son is yet the inspiration for me to write about. He is 13 years old and has gone through a great deal of surgeries and hospitalizations to still not have a definite diagnosis to what is wrong with him. Each specialist he sees is able to give his/her opinion to what is wrong with him. The only part that they all seem to agree upon is that it is congenital. The diagnosis that they are currently contemplating is intestinal pseudo-obstruction. It is a rare disease that there is no cure for but can be managed. He has been hospitalized for staph infections that can only be treated with I.V. antibiotics; he meets with a pediatric dietician/nutritionist to ensure that we are doing everything possible to keep him healthy. Yes, he is also underweight for his age and height. In addition to his pediatrician he has four specialists that he sees on a regular basis. Most importantly he does see a child psychologist to help him deal with his multitude of emotions. We are currently dealing with the fact that he has had to have a stoma created in his belly button so that he can catheterizes and empty his bladder. Dealing with all these medical issues and becoming a teenager at the same time has been very stressful on him or any child. I am thankful for a country with health care that can help my child. Not only are they trying to keep him physically healthy but they are also providing him with the ability to stay mentally healthy also. I do not know what we would do if we were in a country where this kind of health care is not available. Yes, we have our own issues with our health care system but there are families out there that have nothing and our watching their children suffer and/or die.

I chose to look at the Ukraine because this is where my grandfather is from. From what I have been told by relatives that are still living in the Ukraine there are many children who are without any health care or immunizations. Children are being born to mothers who are HIV-positive. Many of these children are abandoned and living in orphanages or on the streets if they are older. The fact that children are sick is stressful and then they are abandoned one can only imagine what they are feeling or going through. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is working to correct the problems with the rights of children in the Ukraine. The progress is slow and causing great concern because the children are not being protected which is causing deterioration in their health and other matters. “The Committee also addresses the issue of the existing stigma and discrimination against socially vulnerable children, particularly children with disability, children with HIV, children of ethnic minority and stateless children” (UNICEF, 2011). These children are being exploited sexual which is allowing the transmission of HIV to increase, children are being forced to work, they are on the streets which results in drug abuse, and there are issues of police brutality toward children when in custody. This is all disturbing. I cannot imagine having a child live in these conditions. I also cannot believe that I still have families that are living in a country with these conditions. Granted the children are all grown and it is elderly family that is residing there but it is just the thought of what they may have had to go through themselves or raising their children. I know that situations are different in each city but the country as a whole is great need of help to help the children.

UNICEF. (2011, February 10). Child rights situation in ukraine: Still many issues to be addressed. ukrainian children need more attention from the state. Retrieved from

UNICEF. (n.d.). Children in ukraine. Retrieved from

(2008). Intestinal pseudo-obstruction(NIH Publication No. 08–4550 ). Retrieved from NDDIC website:


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. sharee mitchell
    Nov 27, 2011 @ 23:31:12

    I am so sorry to hear about the illness that your baby is having to endure at such a young age. I commend you for striving to better yourself and your family through all that is going on in your life. I send many blessing and prayers to your family as well as your son.


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