Find a Balance with Local Support and Online Groups
Kalamazoo mom, Danielle J., felt isolated when she and her husband found out their son Beckett was deaf. “We knew absolutely no one who was deaf, or had a child who was deaf, or who suffered any form of hearing loss – so we didn’t even know where to start.”
After referrals to audiologists and specialists from their doctor, Danielle quickly sought out a support group. “I eventually found support through Facebook groups which helped me feel less alone, and I was able to ask questions about my son’s diagnosis, the cochlear implant devices, troubleshooting, behaviors, and more.”
A quick search for groups and pages on social media should result in local and national options for any caregiver.
Psychologists & Family Counselors
“One thing I tell parents is that it’s ok to grieve, and we try to give parents the space to do so,” explains Rebecca of Santosha Wellness. “It’s absolutely normal and healthy to feel those feelings. You’re grieving the loss of expectations you had for your child prior to their diagnosis, and feeling anxious about shifting expectations. We all feel guilty, but it doesn’t make you a bad parent. You have to allow yourself to grieve.”
Your mental health as a parent and caregiver of a special needs child is important. Make the time to speak with a counselor – it’s part of the whole child approach.
Also, there are a number of Sensory-Friendly Activities and Places in greater Kalamazoo that put forth special effort into creating an environment conducive to sensory and limited mobility individuals.
What other resources have you used that we should add to the list?