Children use metaphors to explain or describe their asthma, say researchers.
One boy described his asthma as a jellyfish, saying that it ‘stings like a jellyfish’, whereas a 12 year old girl, whose asthma was described as not being severe, used the comparison of a troll that ‘sleeps all day in the dark… kind of hidden, until I wake him up with the activities I do.’
Another child described her asthma as dry crackers: ‘When you breath out, the crackers go out and when you breathe in the little pieces come back in.’ She adds that ‘If you take medicine, it kind of settles down the cracker pieces, so they don’t bother you.’
Children who explain asthma in their own terms will feel valued and invested in their own healthcare as they find that their voices make a difference in decisions about their care.
Children use imagery to make sense of asthma. Asthma.org.uk.
Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.