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10 Tips On Coming to Terms with Your Child’s Diagnosis

My opinion from my experience

I believe coming to terms with any diagnosis is hard no matter the situation. When it comes your child, in my opinion, it is one of the biggest pills to swallow. They say it gets better with time. But I don’t think these feelings ever truly end. You learn to adjust to it and in time deal with it a little better. My son was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. For the first two years, coping with this diagnosis seemed to be extremely hard for me. I’m a person that hates the unknown and not knowing what the future would hold for him killed me. I knew there would be many struggles and being strong, positive, and motivated would be challenging. As I became more and more educated about Cerebral Palsy in general, I could better understand my son’s special case. Although many palsies may have a lot of similarities, each diagnosis is different. With education, the pieces started to come together for me and made me realize that our journey would be different. This article will review some things that have helped me cope with my son’s diagnosis.

Tip #1: Dealing with the unknown

I think it’s the same for all parents when we find out that we were expecting a child. Pure joy! The furthest thing from our minds is that something could be wrong. Constantly, we fill our minds with thoughts of how our child will be. What kind of personality will they have? What kind of hobbies or things they will be into? What kind of things we want to do with them? You start planning your child’s life before they are physically here. There is nothing wrong with that. How could you not think this way? It’s an exciting time. Especially, when you wanted something for so long. Then you get hit with it, something is wrong. The picture you painted of your child’s life has completely changed. It’s really sad. I know this is not how you expected things to be. Keep in mind that this is still your child. The diagnosis doesn’t change them, just their abilities.

Tip #2: It’s okay to feel

It’s okay to have mixed feelings. You have every right to feel that way. You may feel angry, sad, lost, confused, and the list can go on for days. Allow yourself to feel those emotions. Eventually you will learn to embrace them and possibly grieve. Grieving can help the soul. Holding back doesn’t help the situation. In the same breath, it’s not the end of the world. You are not alone. There are millions of moms that battle similar situations just like you. Moms that have felt the way you are feeling. But at the end of the day, we all hurt and need to be as strong as we can be. Remember, our little people need us.

Tip #3: Educate yourself

I believe what has helped me the most is to become educated. Get educated not only on the diagnosis but on your child’s specific case. The things that I find helps a great deal is to talk to doctors and therapists, ask all the need to know questions, go through the multiple tests needed, and talk to other parents that might be experiencing the same things as you do. And in return, share your knowledge with those who are in need of support. You can find that this experience can expand your knowledge and be rewarding as well. Knowledge can go a long way and the key is finding resources that can help shed some light on the subject at hand. Know, what makes your child so "special"? They should not be defined by their disability or diagnosis. They are uniquely special because they are your child and are one of the greatest gifts that has been given to you.

Tip #4: Don’t compare your child to others