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Newly Diagnosed

So you just found out that you have a disability. Big news like this can instantly change everything and your perspective on life. You might feel different or even feel ashamed or embarrassed about your disability. Or, maybe you have a sense of relief....because now all your struggles make sense! When I was first diagnosed with 22q Deletion Syndrome I was pretty young at age 10. So I don't remember a whole lot.

If you notice something different with your child or if your child has a hard time learning in school or has some struggles that aren't normal you might want to check with your doctor. For me when we knew something was different I went to lots of doctor appointments but no one could figure it out. Then there was this one specific doctor appointment where it took one look from this doctor and said that I have 22q because I looked similar to other patients he had with 22q Deletion syndrome. Then as you can imagine my life changed forever...

Since I don't remember a whole lot when I was firstly diagnosed I can only tell you a few things. I went to lots of doctor appointments to try and find out what was "off". I had a hard time learning in school and staying focused. I had to get glasses at an early age. I had stomach issues and other issues too. I know when you are first diagnosed with a disability you may have mixed emotions. You probably feel different from everyone else because of your disability or you may think that having your disability is stupid. People have all different kind of emotions and thoughts when they are diagnosed. Let me tell you one thing though. There is nothing "wrong" with you. You aren't "dumb" if you have said that about yourself or if maybe other people have called you names We are all different, aren't we? We all learn differently, grow differently, and grow up in different ways. Nothing is wrong with being different.

Throughout my journey, being diagnosed with 22q, we did have to find schools that worked for me. Mainstream classrooms just did not work for me with my anxiety. School for people with disabilities and learning differences can be tough. Trust me I know that. Even finding your way in life and wanting people to accept you for you are can be difficult. As I was going through my time of learning to accept my disability I felt embarrassed and didn't want to talk about my disability. I didn't even want to meet people with my disability First, in order for other people to accept you, you have to learn to accept and appreciate yourself. When you accept and love yourself you won't let anyone bring you down and can say "yes this is who I am and I am proud of who God created me to be".

There are many ways to cope with a disability. There are many tools to use to help us learn, schedule, and remember things! Disability does not mean that you're unable. It just means you have abilities in a different way. Have courage! Explore ways to help you adapt. Talk to people you trust about your feelings. Remember, you are an amazing gift from God. No one in the world is like you. We were all put here for a purpose. Being newly diagnosed can be scary, overwhelming, and relieving all at once. Take a deep breath and carry on. You've got this!

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