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Raising A Developmentally Challenged Child: How Can I Advocate For Her?

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More Videos from Elizabeth Lyons 6 videos in this series

Elizabeth Lyons shares advice for mothers raising developmentally challenged children.

Elizabeth Lyons:
When moms are struggling to raise a developmentally challenged child it is so important, first and foremost, that they find support. And where they think they might find support may not be where they end up finding support.

So, moms typically join support groups whether it’s, mommy-and-me groups or whatever because they are new moms and they feel like they have no friends anymore and they want to get out and talk to adults and find people with whom they actually now have something in common.

And it’s no different when you have a developmentally challenged child. Moms with developmentally challenged children, though, often understandably seek out other moms who understand what they are going through.

So it’s important to find a couple of different places that you can kind of test the waters. The internet is vast, and I don’t necessarily think it always works out well to meet people in chat rooms.

I think a person you can call or meet face-to-face is usually going to be a stronger relationship for you, but make sure that you have that support system in place that you can call, someone you can call, someone who can call you when you’ve really reached a low.

I am going to say it again, I am saying it over and over again, but trust yourself. Moms know best what their child needs. If your pediatrician will not support you in your quest to secure a specific type of service for your child, find another pediatrician.

When you just feel like you are not meshing properly with your pediatrician, when you are saying to them, “I know what’s going on with my child,” there are so many diagnoses out there today that cannot be given with a blood test.

You can’t definitively say, my child is artistic, my child has ADHD, but moms know. Moms know when something is just off and those spectrum disorders, as an example, are so wide and so far reaching that many times the pediatric community does not, is truly not able to give a diagnosis unless you are really on one end of the spectrum.

So I tell moms, you are your child’s advocate. You are their number one advocate and that is your number one job. Trust yourself and keep going down the path, keep searching out these sources until you find what you know your child needs. And you’ll know when you found the right thing.

About Elizabeth Lyons:
Elizabeth Lyons is many things: mom, wife, friend, lunch maker, chauffeur, hostage negotiator, author, on-call plumber, tile layer, guitar student, window washer, product designer, and on and on. One thing she is not is Superwoman.

Elizabeth lives in Arizona with her husband, five kids, two dogs, two fish, four barely surviving organic gardens, and whatever (or whomever) else has taken up residence with them in the last five minutes. She is the author of “You Cannot Be Serious - and 32 Other Rules that Sustain a (Mostly) Balanced Mom.”

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