Psychological Impact of a Special Needs Diagnosis
As I am going through another milestone transition stage with my son moving to secondary school, I am now reflecting on the impact on myself and our family.
After reading a post on Netmums about a lady waiting for a diagnosis I wrote a reply to her as the memories flooded back from that time.
‘I felt terribly sad when I got my son’s diagnosis and cried for England! It was the small part of me that was holding on to the fact that everyone (including myself) was wrong and that perhaps he really was normal! Later, I realised that those small words on a piece of paper were the cue to me starting the grieving process for the child I thought I was going to have. Not that I would have swapped him for the world but still the implications for him and us were huge’
The feeling of helplessness and resignation that I got when I found out and was told that there was nothing I could do was earth shattering. With very little support, especially in rural areas, and seemingly no ‘treatments’ available it is easy to feel at a dead end and become very negative about the future. Whilst things felt bleak I was still able to feel relief that it was not my poor mothering skills and that there was an explanation for the behaviours we were experiencing. There is more about this on the NAS website.
By word of mouth (as these things often are) we attended a course run by Sonrise and my attitude started to change. I realised that I could change things and that all was not lost. It made me determined to find a way to help my son. It was not until a few years later that by coincidence I ended up doing Brainchild with my son.
One reason why I and other mums have been helped by Brainchild is that it hands control of the situation back to the parents and empowers us at a time when we are placed at the mercy of the ‘professionals’. As parents we really do know our children best and being given the confidence back to realise and act on this is a gift. To be able to actually do something that makes a difference, to start to have fun with your child and see the best of them and to do this all by playing games is a wonderful thing that brings the pleasure back to parenting. Our children are only young once so investing in them now is sure to pay off in the future. Lessen the psychological impact of a special needs diagnosis in every way you can and find ways to help you help yourself and your child.