What about adolescence? If parents worry about their limb-deficient or amputee child starting school, they are likely to worry even more about the approaching teenage years. Again, the best thing to do is not to worry pointlessly in advance, nor to pre-judge the situation. Your child’s disability does not mean that they will be less capable of handling teenage uncertainties than their peers. As your child becomes interested in the opposite sex, you may like to point out that few, if any, of us are instant social successes. If they are not attractive to someone they fancy, the limb may not necessarily be the reason. Attractiveness and social acceptance do not depend on limbs but on the person as a whole.

Many children at this age, particularly girls, do not wear their artificial arms because they feel they are not attractive. If this happens, neither you nor your child should feel guilty because you have not done ‘what the doctor said’. The earlier training your child had in wearing an artificial arm will have been all to the good. Often these children, realising the advantages of wearing a prosthesis, start to wear one again in later life.

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