Our entire world seems to change instantly as soon as we have a child which is born or diagnosed with any disability. Feelings of Shock, numbness, panic, disbelief and anger are common. We have many questions and uncertainties. The first few days & weeks feel overwhelming & isolating. We suddenly are introduced to a maze of professional, services, diagnoses & jargon. Fortunately currently families do not need to travel such road all alone.
- Understand the situation and give yourself time to process – It is very essential that, as parents, we also take time for identifying our own requirements as an individual, as much as it is important to identify support and resources for our children. Being parents of children with the special needs we do all for them that usually parents of typical kids do & take responsibilities to meet special needs of children. This may for example, include frequent medical appointments, special educational interventions, therapists, etc. All of us require time for replenishment of our selves; take 1 day at a time & for celebrating our accomplishments and strengths.
- Talk to someone close – The pain which we initially face could be triggered again & again throughout the lives of our children. Missed birthdays, special events, milestones and holidays, can trigger very strong emotions. Whenever possible, talking regarding our feelings with our spouse or some other trustworthy person, could help us to work through some of these feelings. Talking to other parents that have similar children if also very helpful as they may have experienced similar sort of challenges & could comprehend our fears, frustrations and anger and also share some celebrations of the many victories and accomplishments.
- Become involved in the community to raise awareness and create support groups – We do change our roles as parents as the children grow from their early childhood to the adolescence & we assist them in dealing with individual changes and also the vocational & social issues. Some of us could become the advocates that work for ensuring that the schools, community sources and recreational facilities provide appropriate & welcoming ambience for the children. Complete participation in community life helps the children make friends & relationships which would sustain them throughout life.
We desire that the children live a highly satisfied life as much as possible. We aim that the children would live, make friends, wok in communities and attend schools. With more communities learning to embrace all members, such dreams would become a reality.