Special Needs Parents, Don't Hesitate To Seek Second Opinions

Thursday, January 9, 2020

You know your child, right? I think it's fair to say that when you are raising your child and are there, day in and day out, you know them. You notice things... and there's nothing wrong with that. It is our job as their parents to notice any little thing being "off".

Side by side photos of a little girl in a teal dress next to her red haired aunt.

It makes you a good parent.

Even if you don't notice things at first, you're still a good parent. But it absolutely is our job to seek help when we do notice anything that doesn't seem quite "right" in our child. Then, if/when we are dismissed, it is our job to seek a second opinion. Or a third.

In a previous post, I talked about trusting your instincts and how crucial that is. The issue of not trusting our instincts becomes more prevalent, especially, when we are met with the obstacle of a doctor or other type of specialist shooting down our concerns. We feel like we are being ridiculous and our concerns are completely invalid. Maybe we're just making a big deal out of nothing..

Or even better, we have a pediatrician (like my kid's previous) who liked to ask me "Did a teacher or someone else notice something?"

No. Nobody else needed to notice or say something to me, because I am their mother and I noticed. Thanks.

When we have people doing this to us, and we truly feel there is something "off" with our child(ren), there is nothing wrong with seeking a second opinion. There's nothing wrong with seeking a third opinion! The fact of the matter is, people can be, and so frequently are, wrong. They are blinded by their own bias, and don't pay attention to what you're saying.

A curly haired girl in a teal and gold dress, pouting.Now, when I finally got the referral to a neurologist for my youngest to get diagnosed with Autism, it was easy. He could see it within moments of being with her. For my oldest, though, it was more difficult. She is a master at masking, as so many girls are, and so nobody saw what I saw. Nobody else saw the struggles, the meltdowns, the repetitive and restrictive behavior, etc..etc. It was hard to make people see what they probably will never see, but certainly won't in a 5 minute span "check up".

So, I didn't hesitate.. I sought a second opinion. Then I sought a third. I kept seeking until someone understood what I was talking about, and actually opened their eyes to see what I saw. I was not about to allow my child to be dismissed and not receive the help she needed, because people were ignorant. Since she was diagnosed, she has been confirmed by three separate specialists (on top of the one who diagnosed) that she is, in fact, on the Autism Spectrum! It took a lot of work to get where we are today, but it was through seeking those opinions.


The same goes for my niece. Today, she finally got her diagnosis. It has been about a year of so many appointments. So many people not seeing what we see.... because how can they? They are barely around her and who she is for them, is not who she is for us. Sometimes it takes finding someone who just listens and understands what your concerns are, so they can start seeing clearly the little signs to look for. Those little "red flags".

Don't hesitate to seek help for your child, no matter how many times you have to demand answers.

A happy little girl with curly hair, wearing a teal and gold dress.

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