What do I do? How accurate is this? What does this mean? What can we do to help?
As I talk to parents, especially moms, who have just been given a diagnosis or who know something is not quite normal with their child and are in the process of testing or diagnosis, these are the questions they come to me with most often. Their minds and hearts are in a jumble, so many questions, fears, and unknowns.
I remember being in that place and the confusion and consternation that swirled in my mind and soul. There are no simple answers. However, over the last decade, I’ve gotten to travel further along that journey and fight many a battle both within myself and to get the help my child has needed. While not all of those questions are answered even now, I’m much more settled – emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.
No two children or situations are the same, so there’s never one right answer or process to follow. I have five principles of how to navigate this. Today, I’ll share the first two of the five principles that I’ve found to be true and helpful at this stage of getting help for our children.
1. GET HELP! Do seek out help for your child. Don’t let fear, excuses, or denial (He just likes playing by himself. She just doesn’t show much emotion; that’s just who she is) delay you very long. Sometimes the sooner help is found, the more difference it makes in the long-term outcome for the child.
2. GET ANOTHER OPINION. My son’s first pediatrician’s office told me he had Separation Anxiety. Umm…he was three weeks old and NOT separate from me. When one doctor, therapy or test doesn’t feel right to you or doesn’t help, try another one. I’m a firm believer that if Plan A doesn’t fit or work, there is a Plan B, C, D, E,…keep searching.
If you are a Mom or Dad in this situation, you may feel like you are carrying the weight of the world as you are dealing with so many unknowns and don’t know what to do. Next week, we will look at the remaining three principles that have been helpful for me personally, as well as for other parents I’ve talked with.
If you are a parent who has already walked this road, what was most helpful for you during this time?
*List highly adapted from Different by Sally & Nathan Clarkson
About the author: Sarah is the Co-Founder of Hope Anew and has a background in counseling but the title she treasures the most is Mom of two boys. The youngest of whom has his own additional struggles.