For this post let’s take some time to talk about parents, in paticular, parents who have a child with a disability. I did some research and shockingly discovered that 41% of parents with children aged 0-5 in the UK are not helped with their child’s diagnosis (Scope charity). Disabled charities like scope are trying their best to change this through petitions, social media and helping professionals. Hopefully with the help of organisations like Scope as well as some really great others, the future for parents new to the world of disability will get the help, support and reassurance that is so desperately needed.
I can not begin to imagine the heartache a parent first feels when told that their child has a disability; Whether that be a physical or “invisible” one. We know (or should be mindful) not every disability is visible or as obvious as mine (I’m in a wheelchair all day everyday apart from when I am asleep , but have been known in the past to fall asleep in my wheelchair; Thats a tale for another post). Knowing that your child is having to do things slightly different for the rest of their lives must be one of the scariest, confusing piece of news a parent could ever get!
It’s ok to greive for the child you thought you were going to have, or for fathers. It’s ok to be frightened about what the future holds. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty because you wondered why that happened to your baby. I have no doubt most, if not all parents will have gone through the exact same thing, you’re not alone in that. However, look at it as a new slightly different bright adventure. Will it be hard at times? will it feel like your hitting your head against a brick wall sometimes? Of course it will, but that’s what being a parent is right? Even without a child with additional needs! You are what will shape your child and will be the inspiration behind your child’s success later on in life. My parents have brought me up as able bodied as possible, despite my limitations and it’s because of what they have taught me and their never ending support that I continue to prove every able bodied person wrong that say that disabled people can’t achieve the goals because we can, and we continue to do so at every opportunity. I know my parents will of gone through all the why’s, but they never let me see that , they love me for me regardless of my disability and they are proud of what I have overcome. I can hear my mum saying “remember to say if anyone asks, we are a normal family” and she doesn’t mean my disability! She cracks me up!
I guess my point is being a parent is hard work with or without a child with additional needs, you choose to become a parent and I assure you it will be the best decision you have made. Remember to talk your thoughts and feelings through, you are not alone. There is lots of support available. Charities such as Scope, they are there to give help and advice to anyone that requires or needs it. There is also a website called Feedspot, there is a disability section with lots of information (link below).
Keep going parents, you’re doing an absolutely amazing job