Long-term Follow-up Service

1. My son has already been free from illness for several years and he is planning to work now. He faced many difficulties in finding a job and it was only after much effort that he was successful. However, he’s given up the job after only a short time. How can I help him?

It's not unusual for young people to face difficulty job-hunting.  They lack work experience and a lack of success in finding work can leave them feeling anxious and frustrated.  You can help by listening to your son’s frustration and by showing understanding.  It is important to guide and support them in their efforts.  Help him to realise his own strengths and weaknesses, to seek out employment that relates to his interest and abilities.  Most important is to make sure that his job-hunting objectives are realistic.  Our long-term follow-up service can help by providing career counselling, training on writing resumes and cover letters, job interview preparation, and referrals for job placement.

2. My daughter completed her treatment several years ago. Her academic performance was fine at primary school. However, I’ve noticed that she is having difficulty meeting the academic demands of secondary school. I have enrolled her in tutorial classes but no significant improvement was seen. She has poor memory and cognitive ability. How could I help her?

As a parent, it's important to find out the reason for your daughter's problems – whether they are due to learning motivation, study methods or learning abilities.  Sometimes poor memory and poor cognitive ability may be the side effect of treatment.  Children look to their parents for encouragement and it's important that you set realistic expectations for your daughter.  Remember that school results are only a measurement of how much a young person has learned.  They are not a measurement of their value as a person.  Our long-term follow-up service can help by providing mathematics and English tutorial classes for school-age children.  We also provide a range of developmental activities for youths and adolescents to develop their potential.  If appropriate we can also refer childhood cancer survivors to a clinical psychologist or occupational therapist for a comprehensive assessment.

3. When my son was suffering from cancer, my only hope was for his recovery. I did everything for him. Now he is free from the disease and has grown up. But I have discovered that he lacks confidence in himself, and has poor social skills. What can I do to help him?

It is not easy to balance the need for growth with taking care of a sick child during the long and difficult treatment process.  Where this is a need for growth, this can be turned into an opportunity for learning.  Our long-term follow-up service provides volunteer training for survivors to equip them with knowledge and skills on how to organise programmes and how to work with others in a team.  Voluntary services give young cancer survivors the opportunity to help others, and by doing so, to help themselves by increasing their self-confidence.  We also encourage parents to join in the volunteer groups and work closely alongside their children – it's a chance for children to learn from their role models.