Parents of Developmentally Delayed Children
Is it being suggested by your child’s teachers that he may be Developmentally Delayed or might have a Personality Disorder? Are you struggling with seeing your child through the teachers’ eyes? Or, are you rejecting their suggestions altogether, and you are highly offended by their theory concerning your child?
Parental Pride Road Blocks
Too often a mentally or personality challenged child’s life is made much worse by parents who refuse to see their child’s needs. The parents’ personal pride often creates their greatest blind spot. They might consider any defect in their child to be a reflection upon themselves as people and as parents.
As these particular parents work hard to silence and rebuke anyone and everyone who suggests that their child could benefit from specialized help, they remain resolutely stubborn in forcing their child to remain within the context of the average children.
Arguments of Parents in the Grip of Pride.
“Our child deserves the best opportunities, and that is for them to remain with their peers.”
Of course, this kind of reasoning does not provide the best opportunities for their child. It delays their mental, academic, emotional, spiritual, and social development even further. Not only does it delay it further, it creates further damage to their wellbeing as the parents try to proverbially “force the oversized peg through a smaller hole.”
If you are parents of a child that may have some developmentally delayed or personality disordered conditions, please allow your love for your child to fuel your humility. Our pride screams at us that humility is humiliating, but this is not true. Humiliation and humility are two completely different conditions. When we humble ourselves and set pride aside, we can peacefully perceive life with a greater clarity.
“If we tell them they are being tested because there is something ‘wrong’ with them, it will injure their tender psyche, and they won’t feel like an ordinary child; they will be labeled and branded for the rest of their life!”
Parents, as-in almost everything in life, your child will be looking to you for hints at how they themselves should read this situation. If you freak out with fear and resistance, guess what? They will too! The testing will not be what damages them or their tender psyche, it will be the parents’ own negative and demeaning approach to the testing that will debilitate the child. Shine a positive, encouraging, and truthful light on the subject of testing, and your child will invariably join you in radiating the same light.
Having them tested and evaluated (by people who study these things as a career) will not force them to become damaged goods, nor labeled for life as a below-average person. This might sound obvious to most parents, but for those parents who are struggling with their pride, anything sounds reasonable (as an excuse) if it will safeguard their own pride.
”We don’t believe in all of that psychological mumbo jumbo.”
Some great parents have a sincere and genuine aversion to today’s theories and practices in psychology, and truthfully as a matter of conscience avoid the entire subject and all those who practice in that field. For our purposes here, I won’t be addressing the particular subject of conscientious objection nor it’s available remedies.
The above argument, however, can all too often be grasped at in a final, desperate act by pride-filled parents without having any prior thought or having established any conviction on the subject. It is to these parents that I address the following analogy.
My medical doctors have saved my life, literally, several times. Truth be told, each of them have elements within their cherished theories and practices in the very broad subject of medicine and healing with which I completely disagree, and on which I will never agree with them.
However, they do have plenty of good, truthful, and practical “tried and true” medical advice and treatments (which I do agree with) that provides me with life-saving and life-comforting care, without violating my conscience on the other matters. Similarly, therapists, teachers, counselors, et al. have much to offer you and your child.
Professionals That Are Helpful
Professionals (people who devote their lives to studying and practicing in a certain subject field) have much to offer. Medical doctors, pastors, police officers, accountants, lawyers, teachers, and yes, even psychologists all have practical experience in working with people who are facing great challenges in their lives. The best ones do not use their clientele for experiments, trying out mystical or hair-brained theories; those are reserved for a lab environment.
You as parents of a [potentially diagnosable] developmentally delayed or personality disordered child, let me encourage you to learn as much as you can about your child’s needs. Run everything through the filter of your conscience and the guidelines of the scriptures; pray diligently for your child and for yourselves; seek the godly and mature advice of pastors who have experience with families who have walked this same path with their own child; talk with those families directly (if available) and benefit from their experiences.
Your child is worth everything, including the sacrifice of your pride — if that is standing in the way of your helping them by obtaining the best of help. Of course, you already believe that. That is why you have read to the very end of this article!
Thanks for reading. I’m praying with you.
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