My son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) at three years old. At four, he was diagnosed with autism. He was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at age five. Then, two other disorders were added: Learning Disability (LD) in math and writing. Recently we learned of a new diagnosis: Emotionally Disturbed.
In some areas of the country, there is a different name for it that sounds a little kinder: emotional disability. It’s an umbrella label that allows my son and kids like him to receive much-needed support and services in the school setting.
I had a lot of feelings when I heard this diagnosis. Initially, my reaction was: “What now?” followed by a few tears. I let myself feel upset, leaving a clean slate to go forward.
Whatever is best for him, whatever gets him what he needs to succeed and keep these wonderful people who care for him in his life, is ok.
My ego and time spent asking, “what did I do wrong?” is wasted energy and not helpful for my son. My son needs my attention and support. I have no energy to be wasted on the negative, frankly!
My boy may have these labels and diagnoses, but he’s also so talented! He skateboards. He scooters. He is an awesome builder, artist and writer. I have even wondered if these differences in his brain contribute to his unique viewpoint and set of talents.
Emotional support for parents with children with specific needs is so vital. Having another parent you can talk with and hear, “Yep, I’ve been there,” is so important. Finding someone who’s walked your path can make all the difference. Things don’t seem so overwhelming or unmanageable. We, as parents, deserve support too.