Those are the most terrifying words to come out of a doctor’s mouth. For most parents, it may boil down to their daughter having an ear infection or their son having a bad cold. But, in some cases, those words can be life altering.
I have two great kids! My daughter will be 15 this year and is perfectly healthy. My son will turn 12 next month and has…
-Asperger’s Syndrome (High Functioning Autism)
-Generalized Anxiety Disorder
-Asthma triggered by foods
-Food Allergies to Bananas, Dates, and Figs
Celiac Disease (can’t eat gluten – wheat, barley, or rye).
And, he is the most wonderful little boy I could have.
I will never forget what the specialist said when Patrick was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. He told me to allow myself to grieve. All parents have expectations for our kids. All parents have dreams. Before they’re born, we dream of the life we’d like for our kids. For some parents, it may be dreaming that they’ll be good at sports. For some parents, it’s dreaming of them graduating from college. They dream about the milestones that come in life…taking the first steps, starting Kindergarten, graduating from high school, getting married, and becoming grandparents themselves.
When a child is diagnosed with a lifelong medical condition, you need to grieve. I know, it sounds weird. But, we need to grieve for the expectations that we had in life for our child. At the age of 5, my son was diagnosed. I had to grieve that he may never fully accomplish all of the dreams that I had set forth in my mind for him. I had to grieve that in many ways, my life would forever be different. In grieving, I was able to accept that the path that I thought my life would go on was forever changed. In grieving, I was able to let that all go and focus on what was ahead for us.
My son turns 12 next month…and I wake up excited every day for the fun challenges that are ahead. We've survived ER visits, extensive therapy appointments, working with schools, struggling with behaviors, hospitalizations, and the day to day operations of life.
I hope in the weeks and months ahead, my insights and explorations amongst the issues associated with having children with special needs can help others. I hope that my experiences with special education, alternative therapies and diets, amongst general life experiences can help someone. If you can smile and laugh along with me, that’s even better. Oh, and by the way, I’m about to get married. He has two children as well. His daughter is almost 11 and his son just turned 8. And, his son has Asperger’s Syndrome too. Don’t you wish you lived in our house?
By: Danielle Ganz