Social and familial difficulties as a consequence of the neurological illness of a child: the perspective of health and social work
Summary. When we speak of children with special needs, who require the aid of a number of professionals and who have a severe disability, it is necessary to have available a comprehensive group of different professionals (paediatrician, nurse, social worker, psychologist, etc.) who work together as a team. The specialist physician or doctor responsible for the sick child alone cannot take responsibility for all the psychosocial consequences that result from the neurological disease, which is a chronic illness that, generally speaking, means the families arrange their lives to revolve around the sick child. The set of guidelines or social work field tools for doctors such as neuropaediatricians outlined in this article could help to facilitate an increase in the quality of the care delivered, and of the lives of the children and of those who are looking after them. The children and their relatives have a social complexity as a consequence of their disease that can be detected by the doctor, who then refers them to the social worker in order to be able to deliver a more global response to care for the child’s health. It is important to have the concepts clear in our minds when speaking about children with severe disability and high dependence, and also about the institutional abuse in the form of medical bureaucracy with numerous visits and a variety of professionals all requesting clinical tests.
Key words. Family. Interdisciplinary. Neurological disease. Paediatrics. Social care. Social risk.