Welcoming a specially-abled child in your family isn't as easy as falling off a log. Cosmic questions and thoughts halt your consciousness. Where do we go? What to do? and perhaps the most salient of them all, why us?
Conceding that your child is different from normal kids takes you through an emotional roller coaster revolving around shock, denial, guilt, confusion followed by fear, grief, loss, powerlessness, disappointment and rejection. This may seem the end, but it isn't.
Accept your child as he/she is differently-abled. Instead of looking down on him/her and mourning what had happened, embrace the flaws.
Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward together and finding the answer - Denis Waitley
Everyone is different, they will grow and develop at their own pace. Comparing your child with siblings, cousins, kids in the daycare class or even kids with the same disability will not make you feel any better. Your child is unique and you have to spend time with him/her.
Stop expecting, Start accepting.
Come what kind of impediments, spotlight the challenges and pains confronted by the child and work your way towards his/her growth. Get clued up about the medical, behavioural and psychological factors which are influencing his/her life.
Every state of affairs has a sanguine and a gloom-ridden outlook. Highlight the strengths and look for what is best.
Keep your behaviour plain simple. Make your goals and anticipations transparent. Be in touch with reality and progress one step at a time. For example, if your child isn't able to walk then, don’t expect him/her to run. Express admiration and celebrate with him/her on the slightest of accomplishments.
Believe in your child, it's going to be fine.
Take care of your mental health. Don't coerce things on yourself. Your stress and anxiety will have an impact on your child. Do not hesitate to seek emotional assistance from your family.
Build friendships with parents who have children with disability and seek their guidance. Their experience will help you make better decisions. Knowing what to do and sharing your experiences will also elevate your emotional well-being.
We did not ask for this experience but it has made us better people. We are polished smooth by conflicts and pain of every kind.
Remember, you aren't alone.
This is Ruchita Agrawal, I am a counsellor, psychologist and a special educator; currently pursuing PGDRP. Also, a proud mother of a differently-abled child.
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Eblity or its team members.