I live in a city where families with special needs can navigate the system though difficult and daunting at times. That city is New York City. So, to help you get through, here are 5 tips you can use to help as you venture out on your journey with your family.
Look At The Big Picture
- Address First Things First: If you suspect that your child may have developmental delays, don’t hesitate to discuss the topic with your pediatrician. He should be able to help you with referrals or help in scheduling an evaluation.
2. Deep Breathe. If your child does have delays and requires services such as physical therapy, speech or occupational therapy, say to yourself “it is going to get better”. The city has some of the best programs to help children with developmental delays, do not start anticipating the worst about your situation.
3. Your Child Is More Than The Diagnosis: along with the diagnosis comes labeling, however do not lament over the label. You will hear a litany of alphabet terms such as NOS, PDD, SPD, and ADHD. Remember your child is still the same child he was last night and the day before that.
4. Stand Tall and Tell Yourself That You Are More Than Your Child’s Diagnosis: If your child’s delays or special needs requires several therapies, it’s very easy to let them take over your life. Set aside time for yourself–even 8-10 minutes daily. Do not forget the rest of the family.
5. Don’t Refuse Help: It takes a village to raise any child, however it may take a larger village to raise yours. Please accept offers of help from family members, friends, neighbors and your grandparents. Some parents panic when they have to leave their special needs child with anyone and their lives become disrupted and restricted. Do not let this happen to you.
More tips to follow on this topic.