Category — Step Two

Step 2: Why won’t Anyone Believe me?

Many parents describe this stage as being one of the most difficult things they have had to do. You may know your child needs extra help, but you may not being able to convince others. This can be quite frustrating and make you feel anxious. Some parents may even feel  that they are seeing a problem where none exists. When these parents do find the courage to express their concerns they sometimes are given false reassurances about their child’s development by family, friends and health care professionals. Sometimes they are even told that the child is fine, it is their parenting that is causing the child’s delay or behaviours. But for many children parenting has not caused the developmental delay or challenging behaviour.

The idea that a child is “fine” and that the parent is worrying too much for no good reason can be seen in the child who is exhibiting cognitive and/or academic delays. People notice behavioral difficulties very quickly, especially the externalizing type. They also seem to notice motor delays fairly quickly. But when a child has other “hidden difficulties”, such as difficulties paying attention or socializing, people, including doctors, often do not notice that the child is struggling, at least not right away.

You may feel that you are alone or that you are imagining things, even though deep down you know that you are not. There is a lot of research that suggests parents are usually right, when they feel that their child may not be developing typically (the Hebbeler report, 2007).

But you are not alone! There are child development questionnaires that might help you to gather information on your child in a way that may give you a clearer picture of his or her development. You can share this information with your family, friends and your family physician. This information can help you decide if there is a difference in your child’s development that needs to be looked at. This information can make it easier for your doctor and other health care professionals to recommend the next steps in finding out more about your child. If you do not know where to go, you can visit the public health unit that is closest to you.

Once your family doctor or your child’s pediatrician realizes that the concerns about your child’s development are valid and possibly true, the next step on your journey will begin.

March 9, 2012   No Comments