Finding out your child has special needs

What happens when you find out your child has special needs?

Whether you make the decision to have a baby or have a surprise baby one thing you don’t always think about it whether your child could have special needs. You take a pregnancy test it comes up positive and you have a rush of emotions.. Surprise, shock, happiness, worry, what ifs, what now and it’s the same as when a teacher, health care professional, educational physiologist tells you your child has some sort of special need/disability along with more emotions than you don’t think about.

I remember being told by my sons school they thought my son had special needs. Considering he hit all his physical milestones up to 18 months and I realised he had some difficulties after that it was a complete shock, it’s something you really don’t think about.

I sat across from the table from the teacher as she told me and I took it really well or so I thought at the time, listened to what she had to say. Afterwards I took my children home from school, cooked their tea, helped them do their homework and put them to bed. Afterwards I sat there on my own and suddenly it hit me out of nowhere I burst out crying. I was in shock, I didn’t know what was going to happen, everything was running through my head. Why my child, what caused it, was it something I did or didn’t do and then what about his future, what to do now. My head was spinning.

The following day I spoke to his teacher again and told her it hit me hard, she replied I knew it would you took it too well when I told you.

Some emotions you might experience after being told your child has special needs are:

Denial - Can’t be happening, not my child.
Anger - Why did this happen
Bargaining - Finding what you can do to make it better
Depression - Upset for your child or and yourselves as parents

Tip Number 1 - Take the Time to Grieve

One of the first things is to take time to grieve. Grieve for the what ifs, the moment  s that you might get, the moments you may not get

Tip Number 2 - Find Appropriate Resources for Your Child

Go to your GP discuss with them any referrals that they/you feel  your child needs. Discuss with nursery/school/ child care provider what needs they suggest to be put in place. The internet is great place for resources.

Tip Number 3 - Coping Tips for the Everyday

Take one day at a time, today might be a bad day but tomorrow is another day.
Write everything down you need to do. Take a break when you can, Enjoy time with your children

Tip Number 4 - Get Support

Meet with friends for a coffee when you can, I know it’s easier said than done and not always possible, Lean on family and friends if are able to. See what other support is available