When a parent discovers that their child, in their uniqueness, may require some specialized assistance or services in order to be successful, there is often a grieving process. Most people, when setting out on a journey, envision what the trip will be like, what will take place and who they will see. Parents who have children with educational, social, and developmental challenges often feel diverted from their expected journey and must re-orient themselves to a new path. This path is often not easy and parents feel like they are taking on the world for their children as a lone advocate in rough terrain.
It is fortunate that knowledge and understanding of special needs has increased over the past two decades. Professionals from many fields are able to provide intervention for children and support for families. Research into various aspects of development and learning continues to be funded. This helps professionals to be more equipped to address children's needs. Parents also have ample information available to them through the internet and through support networks.
This change in our culture does not prevent families from experiencing loss and frustration from altered or unfulfilled dreams, but it does allow them to feel more empowered and equipped on this often arduous journey. With the right tools, parents can bond with the wonderful child that they never expected to meet, while helping that child to reach his or her full potential!