As a parent, discovering your baby has special needs can be overwhelming. Perhaps it was something you expected because of prenatal testing or birth trauma, or maybe your baby’s disability or diagnosis was discovered because of developmental delays. Either way, it can feel like you’ve been thrust into an advanced parenting class with no preparation. Where do you possibly begin to help your child take on the challenges ahead? Here are a few suggestions.
Become Your Own Expert. As a parent, you are your baby’s best advocate. Trust your medical professionals but arm yourself with everything you can learn. Rely on information from reputable organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and Easter Seals. The Arc is a national organization serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. As you navigate medical and other appointments, ask questions for understanding and clarification. The more you know, the stronger your confidence in speaking up when you need to for your child.