A Letter to Parents
Parent, it may be a shocking experience when your child is diagnosed with a disorder. You may feel anxious, depressed, stressed, and wonder why it is happening to your child. You may wonder why your child is different from others. You may also be afraid and worried about your child’s future and challenges they may encounter.
It is okay to feel this way. This is your child and you will care and love them over everything else in the world.
You may feel lost and wonder who you can reach out to for help. Their Pediatrician? Psychologist? Therapist? What is the first step to take? You know that it may be a challenging parenting journey.
The first step is to slow down the emotions and take some time for acceptance. Educating yourself with the diagnosis is important to understand your kids. Support groups provide opportunities to connect people who are facing similar challenges. Support groups will also help you find out what resources you and your child will need in order to push through the challenges.
Sometimes we tend to hyperfocus on the issues and worry about the future. In life, we need hope as motivation. Let’s focus on your child’s strengths and have faith in your child that everything is going to be alright.
“Kids are the fastest learners in the world. Sometimes they just need a guidance to help them lead the roads, and they will be able to succeed in their own ways.”
I often say this to parents… kids are smarter than we think. They may know and realize that they are different from others. They get frustrated and give up easily because of the failure they experience. You may see kids saying sorry and getting frustrated easily when they do things wrong. It’s often a sign of anxiety that they have lost confidence in their abilities and are afraid of punishment and discouragement from adults. When we give kids a simple compliment, such as “good job” to something they do well, you will see a big smile on their faces. A simple compliment will give them confidence and security.
Being a parent, you want to be proud of your kids. In the same way, kids want their parents to be proud of them. The way your respond to your kids is extremely important to them. Kids understand the tone and emotion behind your words, and often take it to heart.
“Your kids work really hard to function in a challenging world.”
This world may be a challenge and unfamiliar world to them. Don’t forget to praise, encourage, and trust them that they are strong enough to fight every challenge in life and be successful. Diagnosis can come with many fears and worries, but by the end of the day, the most important thing is for our kids to live happy lives.
Please take a moment here to think about your child’s strengths. What are their highlights? Please give your child a bear hug and big kiss and tell them that they are superstars!
If you’ve read this far, I would like to say thank you as I appreciate your time and patience reading this blog. I see your struggle and child’s struggle. I am writing this blog because as an Occupational Therapist, I want to help you and inspire more people to understand how hard these kids have been working to overcome the ch
allenges in their lives.
Parent, just in case no one told you today,
You are doing an awesome and amazing job!
Ella Wu, OTD, OTR/L
Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Lead Occupational Therapist at Speech For Success, PLLC