What now? Coming to terms with a developmental delay diagnosis
WORDS: Sam Boag – Physiotherapist and Director I Can Jump Puddles
So, your child has recently been diagnosed with developmental delay… what do you do now?
Regardless of how a parent reacts or feels, a diagnosis can actually be a positive turn in a child’s life.
Here are some tips from I Can Jump Puddles Director, Sam Boag.
Focus on the Strengths
Your child is still your child. Try not to get caught up in the fear of the future that you forget that the sweet baby you fell in love with is still right in front of you. A diagnosis does not define who they are. Focus on what your child can do, not what they can’t. It’s okay to feel like it is unfair that your child has been diagnosed at such a young age – but remember – early intervention is crucial and the earlier, the better.
Prepare for Early Intervention
Early intervention is the best way to support the development and wellbeing of children with a disability. It can support the child’s development of functional skills they need to take part and be included in everyday activities. There are many different therapies used as part of early intervention which focus on developmental areas in different ways.
Our services at I Can Jump Puddles follows a transdisciplinary approach using a Key Worker. We aim to enhance the development of the child through their daily life, using people already in the child’s support network. Engaging in a range of therapeutic providers can be stressful and scary. Our approach ensures that the most appropriate therapists are involved in your child’s team so that each support worker is cohesively working towards the same goals. A Key Worker may be an occupational therapist, physiotherapist, social worker, developmental educator or psychologist.
Look After Yourself
Your child’s needs seem critical and it is natural that you want to try and get every intervention and therapy into place – yet running until you drop will not be beneficial for anyone. Peer support is extremely different from professional support. Speaking to people in a similar situation and sharing stories makes a big difference in your own wellbeing. Our Now and Next Program is designed to educate and empower parents to achieve positive outcomes for their child with disability, their family and themselves. Read more about it at our website.
Most importantly, remember that your unconditional love and acceptance for your child is what matters most. You’ve got this.
About Sam Boag from I Can Jump Puddles
Sam Boag is a qualified physiotherapist with more than 20 years of experience in the health and disability services sector. She founded I Can Jump Puddles in 2018. Sam has a thorough understanding of the NDIS and is a passionate advocate of helping those with additional needs access their local community and feel included. She is a kind, caring and knowledgeable expert on all things NDIS.
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