What are these letters behind my child’s name? I don’t understand what R/O means? I am not sure how many diagnoses he needs before someone will help me? What do you mean with this diagnosis I can’t receive help?
Understanding the diagnosis is only the first step to the road of success for you and your family. Acceptance is the next step on your road to discovery.
Alex was struggling in school and his mother Rhoda was not sure how to handle his situation. She knew he was intelligent so failing seemed wrong to her. She knew he understood the words on the spelling test, he could spell them back, but he was failing?
Rhoda began to ask questions, ready books, and watch her son’s playtime. She began to notice he had put letters backwords, he was moving the opposite way when playing, and he was more advanced in his large motor skills. She went to school and asked for testing. She was denied due to his age. She went to the daycare and asked for an assessment. They complied and noticed he passed a development stage which might indicate he had a learning disability. “Ok, what next”? thought Rhonda.
When parents struggle with their children they can either look for answers or ignore the problem- until they can’t. Accepting your child might have an issue is hard. Accepting your child is anything but the norm is extremely difficult for most parents. We have this baby come to us and it looks perfect only to find out it has something going on that is a little different from other children.
Rhonda was confronted with her son’s diagnosis of dyslexia. She had never heard of that before and did not know how that happens. She was informed during delivery when he was without oxygen it may have caused his learning disability.
Now she felt guilty, her husband blamed her, and her son had a learning disability he would probably have all his life. What next?
Many parents struggled to accept their child’s diagnosis at first. They bargain with themselves that it is just a phase. The testing or assessments are incorrect. Or they just ignore it because we can push through it. Many do not understand it or their options. This all leads to either ignoring it or embracing it.
Rhoda decided to embrace the new information and run with it. She went to the library, online, and spoke with professionals in this area to find the right education diet for her child. She would not understand how he felt so she also found an exhibit at an area museum that put you in your child’s shoes.
We never know what someone is going through until we can see it from their eyes. This step can take a few minutes or years depending on the diagnosis.
Understanding ADHD, SPD, or ASD is difficult as each is on a spectrum. Some require medication and some do not. All these and other letters behind your child’s name can be daunting. It is difficult to accept your child’s diagnosis can be the hardest part of his/her treatment and recovery.
Once a parent or guardian can see past the idea of who they expect their child to be and accept that child for who he/she is, everyone in the relationship is allowed freedom to move on.
When a parent or guardian adequately accepts their child’s diagnosis the family is allowed the freedom to move on. This does not mean you agree with the treatment set for your child by others, it also does not mean you have to accept your child will struggle all their life. What it does mean is you can look for answers that fit your family.
Now your child can receive the treatment they may need to successfully move forward in their life with the skills to succeed. Will this be easy? I would have to say no, it is never easy raising a child with special needs. Is it rewarding – absolutely!
A child who is not allowed to be accepted for themselves and embrace their diagnosis will always feel unwanted or unaccepted. Parents who cannot face the truth of the diagnosis holds back the process of healing, recovery, and stays in a place of limbo. This place of limbo may adversely affect the self-worth and confidence of the child resulting in additional issues and struggles the child may not have had to deal with.
Receiving a diagnosis or the reality of the truth can take a parent’s breath away or cause them to deny any problems. Once parents are on board with a true diagnosis of their child or situation, they can begin the journey to acceptance, treatment, and success.
Success is very different to everyone. One person may measure success by others in the community, some may measure it as a daily event happening or not happening: like meltdowns. A good day equals no meltdowns.
As different as success is measured so is the measurement of failure. Children who have special needs will always feel a failure if compared to other ‘normal’ or neurotypical children.
A child who has special needs or requires therapy to help with specific traumatic experiences is not a failure. These children need a little help to overcome simple daily tasks or life choices.
Understanding your child’s needs allows you to look at life in a new way. Give back with a new zeal. Understand a new dimension of our world. It offers a new life choice, new normal, and an awesome blessing to help cultivate and grow.
A child who can understand their challenges, struggles, diagnosis, or disability is a child who can learn to advocate for themselves and others. They can accomplish great things.
The special needs child or family member who is struggling has options; let us make one of them advocacy- learning to build self-wroth and acceptance of not only their differences but other’s differences also.