Saturday, October 5, 2013

Are Your Kids Diagnosis Aware?

Recently we had a discussion on the Facebook page about letting your child know about their special needs.

Liz asked: Does your child know they have special needs?  Have you told them what condition they have and what age do you think that this is helpful?

Jennifer responded: Yes, my kids know. I told them when they started asking and realizing they were different. I have given more details here and there as needed. However, my youngest the NT kid, has known always and is given a lot of facts, when he asked.

Amy commented:  What a great question! I've been thinking about this lately myself...

Brenda added:  My son is 13 and even though we have discussed his cerebral palsy, he still thinks he is just like everyone out there. When the day comes that he asks 'Why am I different?' I will handle it then.  My son is in a wheelchair majority of the time and uses a reverse walker. When he is given a head start in a race, he refuses since in his mind it's not fair. I know most kids with disabilities get to a point where they realize they are different, my son just hasn't got there yet.

There are articles online that discuss this question, but I was surprised to find how few there actually are, considering how many parents would be dealing with the “to tell or not to tell” question.  I also commented on this question mentioning that we have never really sat down with Chatterbox and explained her (numerous) diagnoses.  I feel that her language delay wouldn’t allow her to understand about her conditions.  We do, however, talk about the conditions around her, to other people, so that she knows the words and that they are associated with her, just as we talk about her positive points in front of her.  When we do have the discussion, we will make sure that we let her know that her diagnoses aren’t an excuse to not try or muck up, but are just another part of her that makes her unique.

An article on Empowering Parents talks about the importance of talking to children about their disabilities so that they can advocate for their needs alongside you.  You can read the article here: 

PBS Parents has a discussion about talking to your child with a learning disability, but a lot of their points can be carried across to other disabilities.  The discussion can be accessed here:

As with all decisions as a parent, I think it comes down to personal choice based on your child.  Good luck with the decision, and discussion with your child, if you have it.

Odd Socks Mummy is not liking the wind - nor the fact that Mr Grumpy will have to go out in it with the SES.

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