How to come to terms with finding out your child has cognitive disabilities.

Jennifer - posted on 09/16/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )




This my sound rather selfish on my part but I'm curious as to how other Mothers/Parents dealt with the initial discovery that their child is special needs. What advice would you give someone, such as myself, who has just recently been told their son has a significant cognitive disability? Any recommendations on how to come to terms with the fact my son will never be a "typical" child cognitively.


Chet - posted on 09/16/2014




1. Give yourself some time. Parents rarely come to terms with this sort of news overnight.

2. Connect with other parents in a similar situation. It was very shocking to my mother when she found out that I had a profound disability, and she always said that connecting with a support network of other parents was the best thing she could have done for herself in terms of coping.

3. Educate yourself. The more you know about your child's condition, and the services and treatment available, the better you will feel. Take the time you need to be sad, but being sad doesn't help anything. Taking control of the situation and making the most of what you have available to your child is far more productive.

4. Understand that it is in the best interest of your child for you to come to terms with this. I know a lot of people with disabilities. The kids with the twisted up parents who weren't comfortable with their child's situation definitely had a harder time than the kids whose parents were rational, practical, comfortable, and on an even emotional keel.

5. Remember that everyone has a cross to bear, and no child has a "typical" life. When a baby is born they're a blank canvas and I think most parents dream at least a little and imagine some type of perfect future for their child. But nobody knows what the future holds, and everyone faces challenges as they grow up and live their life. Sometimes you just find out sooner rather than later what your child's difficulties will be.


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Elizabeth - posted on 09/16/2014




As a speech-language pathologist, I often am the first to discover that my patients have a cognitive disability. I tell families that there is a lot of support out there and resources to help thier child learn to use strategies to help him/her function in his/her everyday environment. Schools provide aids and services to work on goals to help with academic goals. I suggest that you have his/her PCP submit a refferal for a speech-lanuage therapy evaluation. Also if he is under 5 years put him/her in preschool. Early intervention is key. This diagnosis is an answer to all of your questions and now you can provide the services neccesary for your child to be a well rounded heathy functioning adult. Best wishes and god bless!

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