Parenting a special needs child is not an easy task. When the diagnosis comes to you via your family physician or a clinician it is hard to accept.
You have had your suspicions that growth and development were not proceeding as you had expected, and now that you have the hard evidence in hand so to speak, you have had all of your certainties tossed out the window, with the few simple words that have changed your life, your spouses life and your entire family’s life you wake up to a hard cold reality that the life you expected to excel and grow immeasurably will not be.
The time to make decisions is now, not tomorrow, not next week or next month, but now. What will you do? Will you adopt the attitude that you cannot bear this stigma and want to put the life you so looked forward to in a group home or nursing facility? Or will you adopt the idea and attitude that your child will remain with the family and be brought along at his or her own speed? Will you adopt a never say die attitude and work towards your special needs child development with a diligence and focus that rivals a hawk on the hunt?
There is a sad fact that a small certain percentage of adults cannot and will not bear the “stigma” of having a special needs child, and those are the ones that inevitably are “placed” in a “constructive setting.”
There is also the bright shining fact that today, most parents will fight tooth and nail to keep their special needs child at home and help on a day to day basis with their development, at home and away from home in the public eye, they will assist in education of that special needs child, regardless of the level of intelligence that is there.
For those that seek such a route, there are faith-based and secular based support groups, there are also Federal and State Funds available to the parents to assist with medical and educational and psychological counseling services.
With the Internet today, it is possible to find a myriad of resources, most of them are legitimate, some are not, and if it seems as if a resource is too good to be true, it is.
The Yellow Pages in any decent sized metro area has listings that you can access for assistance with your particular special needs child.
Make no mistake about it, having a special needs child in the house, at home is not an easy thing, but flexibility and adjustment and tenacity are personal tools that both parents must have for the entire idea to succeed.
Yes, you will become over protective, this is an admirable trait, but it stresses your child and it definitely stresses you, you must adopt some sort of watchful eye, but never hover. You must never be put off by crass comments about your child in public, it is very easy to adopt a “smart mouth” in these situations, and your replies can even be humorous, and to the point. Visibly pregnant mothers know all about that kind of attitude.
All in all, your life will actually become richer and more insightful and more meaningful just because you did not allow yourself to be swayed by backward thinking family members or ill informed well meaning so called friends.
Tomorrow is always a new day.