Receiving a diagnosis of a disability for a child can make a parent feel as if the earth has suddenly tilted off course.
You love your child and want the best for her or him. But how will you find the resources you need to help? What support will you need? What will you tell family and friends? What about the hopes and plans you had for their future?
Additionally, a child with disabilities might require care beyond your ability - physically or financially.
All parents of children with disabilities go through a spectrum of feelings - from fear, anger, confusion, and despair to love, joy, and hope. This roller coaster of feelings can happen over years - sometimes in the course of a day. This is normal.
But the best place to start, with any child, is always from a place of love. And know that you are not alone.
There are resources. There are others who know what you are feeling. There are people to help your child. There are other parents who feel the same way you do - and who have dealt with the things you are dealing with. There are people to listen and to help.
The most important words for a parent of a child with disabilities to remember and feel may be compassion, love, patience, empathy, innovation, motivation, and possibilities.
Perhaps no where else are we reminded of just how much any human is a very unique individual, as we are reminded of this when spending time with people with special needs. Your children may have special needs - but they are special people too.