To the Parent Struggling with Your Child’s Diagnosis
Note: This article does not address having a child with a terminal diagnosis. If this is your situation, my heart goes out to you. Please let me know how I can pray for you by leaving a comment or sending me an email or private message through social media.
Your child just received a new diagnosis, or you’ve had a diagnosis for a while and it’s just hit you—or something else has happened and you have a whole new understanding now….
I’ve been there. In your shoes. Right where you are.
Through the years, my daughter has received medical diagnoses, neurodevelopmental diagnoses, and diagnoses of learning difficulties. We’re still seeing genetics every two years, waiting for science to catch up with her DNA, looking for the elusive genetic disorder that ties everything together. Even though I suspected and was expecting most of the diagnoses she’s received, they still threw me for a loop. Some took my breath away, leaving me speechless.
For a while, I would look at my precious child and be unable to see anything other than the diagnosis, the new treatments, medications, or therapy needed. I would fret about the cost of what she needed. I would care for her needs on autopilot, trying to process all the new information coming at me.
Sometimes I was in denial, unsure of (or not wanting to deal with) the ramifications of the new diagnosis. Later, I awakened to reality and had to deal with everything the new diagnosis meant while still living with the uncertainty of exactly what the future holds.
Often, after making my peace with a diagnosis, something happens much later that causes me to face the reality of a diagnosis again. I have been confronted with the continuing social issues that a diagnosis of high-functioning autism brings, or a health crisis after seeing her in a stable place with her medical issues for a while.
It’s hard. So hard.
More than anything, what helps me is to take a step back from all the jargon, medications, and other treatment options to really look at my child.
She’s beautiful. She smart. She’s kind and loving. She has an innocence that’s lacking in a lot of children today. She is slowly figuring out humor, and that makes me laugh because she’s constantly asking, “That’s funny, isn’t it? Is it funny?”
She’s the same child I fell in love with before all the diagnoses. Each diagnosis is just a tool that shows me what treatments, therapies, and medications will help her to reach her full potential and be her best self.
You’re struggling today? Look at your child. Really look at him. What made you fall in love with him first? That child is still there. Look past all the new information you have and realize that your child hasn’t changed. You just have the information you need to meet her needs in a way you haven’t been able to before.
Breathe. Take one day at a time.
Still struggling? Please let me know if I can do anything to help. Leave a comment, send me an email, or connect with me on social media. I still have those days too, but they don’t come as often. Take heart.
What is your best advice for making peace with your child’s diagnosis?
- Labels Have a Place
- KCS Holiday Express! (And a Note about Leaving Denial Behind)
- Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs
- 10 Ways I’ve Changed Since Becoming a #specialneeds Parent
- 10 Little Things that Make a Special Needs Mom’s Day
- A Special Needs Mom’s New Year’s Resolutions
- The Problem of Special Needs Siblings