Navigating Your Child's Disability Diagnosis
Having a child diagnosed with a disability can be overwhelming. The range of emotions that accompany a diagnosis can range from deep depression to intense anger, with variations of other feelings in between. The next several blog posts will be devoted to discussing various stages of a disability diagnosis.
In the time leading up to diagnosis, it may be common for parents to feel a sense of denial about their child's difficulties. You may see developmental delays as awkward phases or conclude that your child is just being lazy. Even when a determination is made affirming the presence of a disability, you, as a parent, may still have a hard time excepting the diagnosis, possibly blaming themselves for poor parenting.
During the initial phase of a diagnosis, it is important to have a strong support system to encourage your emotional well-being. Everything changes during this period and parents must now adjust to their new reality.
Some parents may remain in denial or in the initial phase for longer periods of time, depending on how quickly they are able to transition from the shock of the diagnosis to a proactive role of deciding what is in the best interest of their child.
In the initial phase, parents may also be overwhelmed by the uncertainty of the future. This is the time to remember that "one day at a time" is the best mantra to live by. The more overwhelmed you, as a parent, become the greater your stress levels, which will impact your ability to take adequate care of your family and yourself. Unless there is an urgent matter that needs immediate attention, try to focus on the immediate needs for the time being.
Remember, a diagnosis is not the end of the world. Seek advice from others who have experienced raising a child with a disability. Their insights can help you more effectively navigate a world of uncertainty and provide you with a greater sense of comfort knowing that your child's life outcomes are not limited by a diagnosis.