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Accepting Your Childs Diagnosis

By Ambreen Suhaib

The moment a woman conceives a child the parents start dreaming. The dream to be the perfect parent with the perfect child. Fast forward a few years the dream is shattered when the parents are given the diagnosis that their child is going to be a special needs child. Sadness, depression, stress and anxiety become part of life right after. Parents go into this hyperdrive mode where they want to look into all the possible solutions. Some start running after ‘the cure’. Plethora of information on YouTube and Google makes you more worried. While doing all this the parents usually forget themselves completely. And also the fact that it is still their child who needs nothing but love, care and affection. Finding out about your child's diagnosis is a life changing experience. It hurts you to the core because no parent imagines their child to be special needs. It hurts you so deep that you need time to heal. Everyone reacts differently so there is no right or wrong way of dealing with it. Each parent deserves time to accept it.

Accepting a child's diagnosis is a process. Denial, guilt, disbelief, depression, stress and anxiety are tiny steps that eventually lead you to acceptance. Once you accept a new journey will start; a journey that will be difficult, unique yet beautiful. You will become the lead of your child's life. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself. It's not a matter of a week or a month; it's lifelong. Your fight will be on a daily basis. The best support that you will get is from fellow parents on the same journey. No one will understand your struggle better than them. It will give you the comfort that you are not alone. You will have to lower your expectations according to your child's pace and caliber. You will have to look at positives; the strengths, not the deficits.

To survive better you will have to separate your child from his diagnosis. For what he has is not anyone's fault and he deserves to be accepted and has the full right to enjoy life to the fullest. The worst thing special parents do is isolate themselves and make life more miserable for them. Don’t do that. Ask for help, talk to family, write about your feelings, educate yourself on your child's condition, join parent's forums, and connect with the community that has kids with the same condition. Don’t compare because it will just increase your pain and it's the most unfair thing that you can do to your child. Each child has different strengths; each child is different. Stop worrying about how will society react to his condition? Focus on your child. Don’t worry about the future and over-stress yourself because you can't predict the future. Work hard on your child's present. Celebrate his little advances.

Look after your health too. You are not the only parent going through this. You will find many. Coping up with stress is a continuous process because as your child grows different kinds of challenges will pop up. Therefore be courageous and strong. If you need help to keep your mental health intact don't feel ashamed. You will have to make tough decisions so be firm and believe in yourself.

Looking at typical children might upset you because that's how you imagined your child too. But remember it can happen to anyone. Never stop loving your child and always remember he needs you. Fear for the future of your special child is real. You will be scared but remember

you are not alone and you are doing the best you can for your child. The pride in being a special parent. You are no less than a warrior.


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