Tuesday, August 17, 2010

From One Parent to Another

I recently asked some parents to share with me the top 10 (or so) things they would say to parent who had a child recently diagnosed with a special need. I truly believe there is nothing better than sharing and talking with people who understand (no matter what you are going through) so I hope this blog serves as a way to connect people in some way.

Here is one family's TOP 10

  1. Take a deep breath and say to yourself….”it is going to be ok”.  It may not seem like it right now but it really IS going to be ok.

  1. You are your child’s number one advocate!

  1. Knowledge is power. Start asking questions, read, talk to professionals and learn everything that you can. It will help you feel more capable of making the decisions that lie ahead of you.

  1. Talk to other parents! There are lots of people out there who want to help you and who are willing to share their experience with you.

  1. Act quickly. Early intervention is the key to success regardless of the primary communication path you choose. Once you feel that you have adequate information about all your choices, don’t put it off….make a decision and move forward.

  1. Make a serious commitment to your decision and follow through. Making a decision about your child’s path is just the beginning. Now you have to do the work. Your child needs to develop good habits early on so make sure those hearing aids are on as often as possible. If they come off, put them back on. Go to therapy consistently. Do whatever you can to help make your decision a success for your child.

  1. Surround your family with a strong support system. Talk to your extended family and friends about your situation. Try to help them understand and ask for their support. Once again, other parents who are going through what you are going through are extremely supportive as are the professionals working with you and your family.

  1. Trust your instincts. If you feel strongly about something, let your voice be heard. You are the parent and you know your child best.

  1. Do not be intimidated by professionals. It can sometimes be overwhelming to be surrounded by a group of professionals and you may not have the confidence to say what you would like to say. You are a very important part of the process and what you have to say matters.

  1. Keep breathing. You are going to have very happy, successful days and you are going to have set backs and tough days. Just keep breathing and keep moving forward.
Hope this helps!  Any of you veteran parents feel free to leave some comments about what would be on your top 10 or shoot me an email at gjones@jonesslp.com with a list.  

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