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A Rare Lysosomal Storage Disease
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Dementia in Our Kids – The Uninvited Thief

Dementia in Our Kids – The Uninvited Thief

Dementia, who was the thief that thought up this bright idea? Sorry honey, what did you say again? OK that might be a case of selective hearing. We’ve all have had family or known people who have suffered with this horrible symptom. When you mention dementia, Alzheimer’s comes to mind or we all tend to think of an elderly person with their hands on their head not able to remember out of frustration pounding the table with their fists. STOP!… WAIT!… Did you know our children can suffer from dementia too?

I recently read a post from another family who has twin girls with Niemann-Pick Type C (Addi & Cassi Hempel) and it prompted me to finally put some of my thoughts down on “paper”. I agreed so much with what was wrote on that blog post that I couldn't wait any longer. Niemann-Pick Type C is just one of many diseases that dementia plays a critical role in the quality of life that children/ young adults will have. I think about our caregivers, teachers at school, and even our children's peers that are uneducated about dementia who could benefit from understanding the signs. They would be more equipped to cope and manage someone with dementia, especially our precious little ones who we love so much.

“Our lives are made in these small hours, these little wonders, these twists and turns of fate. Time falls away, but these small hours still remain.”
Rob Thomas-musician

Dementia causes a loss of memory, confusion, issues with speech and language, changes in mood or behavior, loss of building new skills, losing their appetite and having the ability to complete simple tasks. Being a parent of Brisan and Parker Stults who has Niemann-Pick Type C, you learn to deal with a lot of patience. It's not an easy task but with education you can better equip yourself to handle this additional burden. For instance with Parker we notice restlessness, unable to sleep at night, and very repetitive with phrases or just words. To most parents that can become pretty annoying!   The underlying issue is due to dementia but backed by their horrible disease Niemann-Pick Type C. It’s such a sad reminder that they only have a childhood to live a lifetime yet they’ll never remember it.

I read a website recently that said “dementia doesn't happen to children”. That is false because of the stigma placed with this topic. Dementia is an uninvited thief who holds nothing back. Just remember children can have dementia to and this isn't just an elderly issue. Find the education you need to bring awareness to your community about this issue.

Dementia in children, teenagers and young adults A guide for parents, teachers and care professionals

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