Five Things to Do The Day Your Child Gets a Diagnosis:
1, Hug Your Child.
Quiet your mind, scoop up your little love bug, hold them close to your chest and take time to just be present righ there, right now in this moment with them. Whether they seem to understandwhat is going on or not, all children are very in tune and with and aware of their parents' emotions. They are picking up on your feelings. Your grief. And, they are probably feeling very confused. Your embrace tells them everything they need to know. They are loved. They are safe. You are there for them.
2. Make a Love List.
Immediately start to count your blessings. Make a list, a collage or maybe a photo album of all the things you have to love and be grateful for. Consider the progress your child has made, the support system you have, list your family members--each of them by name, your doctors, therapists, nurses. Document your child's strengths, the things they do well, the things they do that make you laugh. Is the sun shining? Count that. Did you wake up this morning? Count that too.
Cry, scream, yell. Whatever feelings you are feeling, don't hide them or stuff them deep down inside. Let them out.
4. Google It.
After you have filled your family and your mind full of loving thoughts..."Google it" or check some materials out at your local library. Why? Because, it is important to be informed about your child's diagnosis. Plus, that is what you will want to do. Curiosity is normal. As you explore the results from your Google search, continuously remind yourself that this information is from one persepctive, one study, one experiment. Take it all with a grain of salt knowing that medicine evolves daily. What was true 6-months ago may not be the case today. Keep your mind open to the possibility that your child's prognosis, symptoms, and progression can look completely different.
5. Find a Support Community.
It is completely normal to search the internet and Facebook for support groups. It feels good to know you are not alone on this journey. There are people out there who have felt what you are feeling and can hold your hand and share their stories with you. Rememebr that each and every blog post or Facebook post was created from the viewpoint of that individual's personal experience. This does not have to be your experience. Each child expereinces their diagnosis uniquely.