Sunday, September 17, 2017

Receiving The Diagnosis (Or Finding the Answers You Need)



















In complete shock.

That's how I felt when I got the news...

______________



The last six months have been hard.
Many aspects of that "hard" are simply the 2 facts that:
I am parenting seven children, and I have three younger ones!

..and teenagers...let's not get started ;)

However, today, I will share an aspect of that hard journey
and a peek into my heart.

______________


Facing difficulties can also be seen as opportunities.
Opportunities for God to come through.

And to remind us that there is always hope for our future.

That is what I'm choosing to see this chapter of my life as.
A great big -freakin' hard-but rewarding opportunity.



"There is surely a future hope for you,
    and your hope will not be cut off."

Proverbs 23:18








_________________________


When yourself or your child face difficulties of any kind,
usually our first response is to "buck up" & keep on keepin' on.

While perseverance definitely has its merits,
what about the circumstances
that don't simply disappear?

What about the situations where something in your gut feels off,
but you can't quite put your finger one it.

Hindsight, of course, is 20/20
but I choose to give myself grace in that
I can only act on the information that I currently have.

____________________

None of my children had that eventful of a birth.
Really, very little out of the ordinary.

There weren't any diagnosises given at birth.

Over the years we did see a few minor learning issues crop up,
but again, there wasn't anything noteworthy at the time.

Some of my kids had high energy levels, but again, I didn't really think much of it.

Some of them had memory issues ("I just said that!") but again, not overly noticeable.

Some of them have stuggled with disorganization,
but I'm myself a "neat nik" so who am I to render a balanced judgment?

Many children  (and adults!) struggle with these traits,
so on their own they don't necessarily say anything.

However, put together they could be seen as part of a bigger picture.

The last noted marker we noted was experiencing intense emotions
& the unique ability to hyperfocus on something that grabs interest.

Some of you may already know where this is going...


________________


At the markers started to add up, we talked to other parents with similar children.
Some parents had shared how they had pursued answers,
 and once we acquired some leads, we decided to inquire about rates for 

That is the big "Bertha" of assessing for learning issues & related disorders.
It is also VERY expensive. 

Although we had partial coverage (thankfully!), we still had to pay out of 
pocket about $900. 

So, we had to put it off for awhile until we had the money saved,
but finally the testing could begin.

It included handing in past report cards, a self-assessment, a parental assessment,
teacher assessment (if applicable; we only used past report cards) & 
an approx. 3 hour test between the child & assessor.

That was last year, and we were very pleased with the depth of
the answers we received.

The results were very clear.


_________________________



Suddenly I'm holding the test results & walking in a Dollarama.
And all I can say is I felt like I was floating.

Not in some dreamy mystical way, but that I was in shock.

Disbelief.

I mean it all made sense now.

Kinda, sorta.

I felt like everything that was familiar to me was...
well, it wasn't.

I felt overwhelmed because I then realized some of my other children
also seemed to have a few of the traits.

Based on the current research that is out there

And I now began to see various traits "sticking out" to me in all
directions of our family tree.

Even some of the characteristics I saw in myself.

______________________


The assessor did say that much of the population displays various aspects
 of ADHD, and that's why so many have a hard time with the label being used
as an "excuse" (in their opinion) for children's (or adult's) negative behaviour.

However, she reminded me that the key to making a
definitive diagnosis is that these attributes are:

1) pervasive enough that they effect more than one area of their life &
Some people do "outgrow" it (or find ways to cope/compensate as we all do
with our given weaknesses), but not all.

My Doctor even told me that she has seen many doing well by the age of 40.
Well, I had to chuckle at that one.

That seems a LONG way off for any child.

_______________

Nonetheless, the journey into this 'foreign' new world of
special needs, whether invited or not, has come our way.

Our schedule has profoundly changed.

Our educational plan has changed.

Our goals have changed.

The way we allocate our finances has changed.

Some of our social circles have changed (very naturally; people tend to
gravitate to others in the 'same boat').

For the most part it has, thankfully, widened :)

___________________

Exploring these difficulties can be time consuming.
It's also often costly.

Many times we don't want to expend the energy, or even know where to start.

If you yourself are facing a difficult situation with your child and
are not sure what the next step is, I'd encourage you to speak with
the appropriate professional.

For us, it was the assessor mentioned above, and then
communication with our Dr.

Depending on the age of the child, there are (usually)
many resources available in any given community.

I was fortunate enough to even find other professionals
that have proved helpful.

Bonus, I stumbled upon a great parental support group.
The only group I've ever been in where I didn't
feel like I was the worst mother in the world
(due to my child's behaviour on a difficult day).

Yep, seriously.

We are now entering a season of further assessment for
another child for a different medical issue.

Often when it rains, it tends to pour.

Nonetheless, I am finding much hope in this season.

Answers have come, and are continuing to do so.

Compassion has grown, and I hope continues to do so.

Understanding.

More patience when child "x" acts out
(most days...I'm still growing).

Most importantly, we need to surround ourselves with 'safe' people.
People (and professionals) who we can talk to about anything
 pertaining to how this new diagnosis will affect us & our families.




_______________


My plan over the new few blog posts is to share
more of my journey.

While I will not share personal details, ages, or names
with you (& please, I won't discuss those in person either),
 I will describe how this very difficult journey
has FORCED helped me to learn & grow.

Sometimes "imposed" life circumstances are the best teachers in life.

Unfortunately...

& yet, they can also be rewarding opportunities when
we choose to learn what we need to, and pass
along that info & hope to others :)

___________


This post may have contained some affiliate links. 
Which means that if you purchase from an affiliate link, 
we receive a very small commission. This is at NO cost to you.

Thank you for supporting our family :)






4 comments:

  1. I could have written this post myself. As you are already aware we have a teenager with the same diagnosis and went through the diagnosis journey about 10 years ago and continue to deal with the complexities of raising a child with this condition. I can identify with your emotions and thoughts expressed throughout this post. I must agree that sometimes "imposed" life circumstances can be the best teachers in life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing Tara. I really appreciate it :)

      Delete
  2. I really admire how gracefully you manage this difficult situation. Many blessings!

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Recommended Reads For You
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links seen on my blog would be considered “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will add value to my readers. Thank you for visiting & supporting my blog!