Helping Teenagers Cope with Parental Illness and Loss

Supporting teens and their families when a parent has a serious or terminal illness requires specific knowledge and skills. Current research will be highlighted with focus given to the distinctive characteristics of the teenage brain, including what teens need and want related to support during a parental illness, anticipated death, or sudden unexpected loss.  Specific communication techniques for professionals to use with teens and to coach parents to use with their teen will be provided. In addition, time will be spent on helpful activities that engage teens and allow them to express feelings, strengthen positive coping skills and work through challenges of bereavement. 

After this webinar, participants will have:

a familiarity with the teenage brain and behaviors, noting differences between males and females

an increased knowledge of ways to relate to teenagers, including how parents and professionals can improve communication with teens

new therapeutic activity ideas to engage teenagers in understanding illness, expressing feelings, and building helpful coping tools

Meredith Cooper


Former Executive Director and Co-Founder of  Wonders & Worries, envisioned, launched and grew the organization from its beginnings in 2001. Following 15 years of success, Meredith stepped into a founder role in 2017, where she continues providing strategic direction for national growth. Meredith has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Child Development. She is a certified Child Life Specialist and a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been involved with children’s healthcare in the Austin community for more than 25 years, including being the first pediatric oncology child life specialist for Austin. She is the chair of the standards and guidelines sub-committee for the ACLP Community Based Non-Traditional Role Committee. 

Kim Fryar


Kim Fryar has been a child life specialist for more than 25 years. She started her career at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where she worked with seriously ill children and their families for nine years. Kim moved to Austin and joined the Wonders & Worries team in 2002. Kim now serves as one of two program directors, a role that gives her the privilege of providing initial support to newly referred families, supervising child life staff members, and overseeing client services. Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in Family Relations and Child Development and Masters’ degrees in both Human Development and Family Studies and Counseling – with a play therapy emphasis. She is a certified Child Life Specialist and National Certified Counselor (NCC).


Helping Teenagers Cope with Parental Illness and Loss - Video
Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Helping Teenagers Cope with Parental Illness and Loss - Quiz
3 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  2/3 points to pass
3 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  2/3 points to pass
Helping Teenagers Cope with Parental Illness and Loss - Certificate
1.50 PDU credits  |  Certificate available
1.50 PDU credits  |  Certificate available