What to Do After a Diagnosis For Your Child

Each child’s diagnosis is going to be unique, and your reaction is also going to be unique to you. Some of the most common reactions are feelings of anger, guilt, sadness, fear, denial, rejection, and sometimes the feeling of a lack of control. Sometimes a diagnosis can come as a relief. No matter what emotions you might experience is important to know that these feelings are completely normal. When your child is diagnosed with a disability or special healthcare need, you may not know what to do and that is perfectly okay.

However, there are some things you can do to help you focus on what comes after receiving a diagnosis. If you find yourself in this situation, look at our list below.

Take a deep breath and remember what is important

 It’s common to feel overwhelmed after receiving a diagnosis. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, just pause for a moment. The most important thing that you can do right now is to just breathe. Even though you may have a ton of different emotions, you are still your child’s parent and they need you. While it may not be easy, remember to take a breath and do what you can to make sure your child feels comfortable.

Understand the diagnosis

 When you first talk with the medical professionals about your child’s diagnosis, you may be confused by all the information, or even the language that is used. Typically, a diagnosis comes with a lot of unfamiliar medical terms and you may not understand all these terms at first. If you have questions about your child’s diagnosis, ask your doctor for any information and anything that you may be able to read about your child’s diagnosis. It’s likely that you may have even more questions and you may be tempted to do some research on the internet.

Beware of the Internet

 It’s very common for parents to start searching the Internet for information on their child’s condition. Learning about your child’s diagnosis is useful, and the internet is full of good information. However, there is just as much worthless information out there as there is good. So if you’re going to do research on the internet, you need to make sure they are doing it safely and you understand what makes a good resource and what doesn’t. Here are some simple guidelines to make sure that you’re getting the best information possible: 

  • Look for the author’s qualifications on each site you visit. If you can’t find anything about the other’s credentials, you may not be reading trustworthy information.
  • Read the website’s privacy policy regarding personal information visitors get to the website.
  • Check the for the sources of the health information, the date it was published, and the latest updates on the page. Current information and more recent updates show information is more likely up-to-date and responsibly managed.
  • Think about the reasons for the claims about the products, treatments, or services. Think about what the website is trying to do. Are they trying to sell you something or are they just informing you about what could be a useful tool?

Remember, getting a diagnosis isn’t the end of the world. Take a few deep breaths and try to stay focused on how to make sure your child gets the care they deserve.