Mom hugging her son with mental disability

Depression in Parents of Children with Special Needs Is a Real Thing

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We worry about taking care of our children. We worry about how we’re leading them by example. We worry about finances, logistics, health, and so much more. The stress can drive us to depression and anxiety. But can you imagine how much worse it is for parents of special needs children? How much more challenging it is to be a parent to someone with physical, mental, or learning disabilities?

You can undergo applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy in New York or other cities to help your child deal with learning or behavioral deficiencies. This kind of therapy helps regulate a child’s mood swings and developmental delays. But you also need to remember to take care of yourself. Depression is real in parents of special needs children. Nothing will ever prepare you for the pain of seeing your child struggle because of their disabilities.

Dealing with Denial

Children are diagnosed at different stages of their lives. Some parents can prepare better because they’d learned about the condition before they gave birth. Some are surprised to find out that their children have disabilities after they are born. Some take years before a diagnosis can be made.

The common reaction is one of denial. How can this happen to your child? You were careful when you were pregnant. You ate the right food and took your vitamins. While there is no absolute explanation of why certain abnormalities develop, rest assured that there are ways to deal with them.

But first, you must deal with your feelings. It is normal for parents of special needs children to get depressed following a diagnosis. If you need to seek counseling and medication, do so. You have to do everything to take care of yourself and survive the onslaught of anxiety, stress, and depression. You need to be healthy to take care of your special needs child because this is going to be a bumpy ride.

Learning About Your Child’s Condition

Mom and child with mental disability

While taking care of yourself and seeking support from your loved ones, you also need to learn as much as you can about your child’s condition. Talk to a developmental pediatrician, occupational therapist, and behavioral psychologist. Read books and journals. Subscribe to YouTube channels and watch documentaries. If there’s one thing that technology can provide, it’s tons and tons of information.

Your special needs child will need you to be strong. They need you to fight through feelings of guilt and loneliness. They will depend on you in ways that a normal child wouldn’t. You have to understand that for your special needs child, you are their solace and comfort. They’ll never be as comfortable with anyone as they are with you.

After you’ve accepted the diagnosis and sought treatment, you will fall into a routine. Things will begin to normalize once more. Although there are still rejections, challenges, and problems, you’ll find that these become easier with time and acceptance.

It is all right to feel overwhelmed. Your pain is valid. The impact of a child’s diagnosis varies per family. Hopefully, with help, yours will be stronger.

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