Dealing With Disability News.
Once you have been told your child has a disability, it can be very distressing. It is normal to be overcome by overwhelming emotions of denial, anger, fear, shock, disbelief and despair.
- Denial: This is simply not accepting the fact the your child has a disability. It is used by most of the parents. i used it too. It is a way of responding to the distressing news.
- Anger: This is a basic emotion that you experience. you get angry at God, at times this anger is directed to family members or neighbors.
- guilt: Brought about from wondering if you could have done things differently. Feeling like you are responsible for the disability.
- Fear: If not all mothers, most of them experience Fear. fear of the unknown, how do you navigate through life not fully understanding what is happening and what will happen. Is my child going to make it, how will they turn out, who will take care of them when am not there, can they stand up for themselves when they grow up.
All this coupled with the demanding role of a special needs parent can put a strain on your family. If there are other children, make sure they are not left unattended as most of the time is spent on the one with a disability. Take time with them too. Talk to your family and let them help if they offer to.
What to do now that you are a special needs parent:
- Make an effort to learn and understand about the disability affecting your child- The medical professionals come in handy. doctors, nurses and therapists will be your go to people. do not be afraid to ask questions time and again. the more you know the better you will be prepared in this enormous task. If you attend therapy sessions pay attention and have them teach you what they are doing, do a repeat demonstration and after they clear you continue at home. ( only if you do a repeat demonstration with therapist).
- Do not isolate your self- find another parent who has child with disability. preferably the one you are dealing with. This parent will give you wealth of resources that you need. they will also advice on mistakes that do not need to be repeated.
- Take care of yourself- Taking care of a special needs child is demanding, make sure you do not neglect you. remember this is your child.
- Be hopeful- This is needed in walking the many miles you will with your child. when you go for multiple appointments, when your child does not meet a developmental milestone, when they are behind their peers or sibling, Hope is what will carry you through. hope against all hope during the good, bad and mundane of times.