Processing the news at point of diagnosis
Making sure you look after yourself and dedicate some time to self-care is more important than ever. You will likely be trying to process one of the most significant moments in your life and will want to put all your energy into your child. But the more you look after yourself, the more you will feel prepared to give all the care you need to your child.
You may experience a range of positive and negative emotions and it can take time to work through these. A diagnosis can sometimes help as it may be the turning point where you start to better understand your child’s condition. You may find you feel guilty about your child’s additional needs, this is a common reaction and it can take time to come to terms with.
A good way to deal with negative emotions is to reach out to parents with whom you share common ground. Reading blogs, watching videos and joining support groups, either in person or online, are really positive steps towards acceptance.
Some helpful points to consider:
- Think about your child and not their condition.
- Acceptance is a slow process, nothing will happen emotionally overnight, so take each day as it comes.
- Don’t get caught up with obsessing over probable causes.
- Reach out to others, find your support network and use it.
Communication is important for your mental health and emotional wellbeing. It can be the difference between feeling isolated or overwhelmed and being supported. You may find it takes some time to talk to friends and family about your child’s condition. Reach out when you need it and in your own time.
Visit the support section of the VICTA Parent Portal here to find out about support groups, both in your area and online. You can also join the VICTA Parent Network Facebook group.
Research your child’s condition
This may be difficult for you to do at first, but understanding the impact is a good way to start looking at your futures. There are a number of groups and organisations online. It could be useful to make contact with one that is specific to your child’s condition.
Having trouble contacting other parents or finding support?
Join the VICTA Parent Network – with almost a thousand members! You’ll find parents who have vision impaired children of all different ages and with various eye conditions. You can use the group to ask questions you may have and connect with parents of children with shared conditions or from your local area.