What To Do First?
Once your child has been diagnosed with a medical condition or disability it is important for the parent to do several things. The most important is learning everything you possibly can about your child's immediate day-to-day personal care needs. Learn what medical requirements you child has and become accomplished in performing those tasks. Find out about the medications your child may need or other medical treatments required. Stay in close contact with your child's physician and his/her nursing staff. They should be one of your most valuable resources in learning what you need to do for your child's daily care needs.
Parents of a newborn or toddler newly diagnosed with a medical condition or disability are often overwhelmed by the new and unfamiliar responsibilities they face, feeling a sense of inadequacy and isolation. Some feel guilt or anger over circumstances of which they have no control. It is important to know that even if your infant or toddler has a disability it is not the end of the world. It is time to roll up your sleeves and get to work!
One important item a parent must learn early when raising a child with a disability is their child has the same right to SELF-DETERMINATION as any other child. What is Self-Determination? Self-Determination is the right to build your own dreams and make them come true regardless of physical or mental condition. It is important that persons with disabilities be allowed to live the fullest life they possibly can. Start early by allowing your child to make as many choices and decisions as they can possibly make themselves. This is an important skill to have later in life.
The next important step is enrolling your child in the appropriate Early Intervention Program.