Has anyone else here gone through the diagnostic process with one child and end up having to go through it again with another? My oldest child is almost 12 and was diagnosed at age 7 with bipolar disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and then with a variety of learning disorders at age 9.5. My youngest child is almost 7 and has displayed the same symptoms for years but it is now at the point where we can't put off getting her assessed any longer. Our hearts are breaking seeing the struggles that she has and we know she needs help. But the idea of going through it all again is just exhausting. Its almost been easier just hoping/pretending that it would just go away. Our oldest child is currently in the processing of switching meds and is not particularly stable either so its basically like a battle zone in our house almost all of the time and my poor 10 year old is caught in the middle (she doesn't have any medical issues). How do you balance the needs of TWO special needs kids and going through the diagnostic process all over again?
I have not been through that exact thing, but I do have two kids with special needs. My oldest son is on the spectrum. We knew pretty early on that there was something a little different about him and he was recieving special ed services starting in K. My second son is gifted with a learning disability which is a whole lot more difficult to see, and I think we waited too long to get him evaluated, because we were so concentrated on ds1's struggles! So, we certainly aren't in the same situation, but what I can say is that once we had them both getting the services they needed, things got a lot easier. Hopefully, once you get through the crappy part of getting the evals and diagnosis, you will be able to get them both stabalized and your house will calm down. I'd definitely try to get some special alone time with your middle child, because I know that I always worry that we spend so much time paying attention to ds1, that we have to make a conscious effort to engage with the other two!
DS2 was diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome - inherited from birth mom - and autism 3 yrs ago, and ADHD last month. Life has been really focused on getting him the therapy and services he needs. However DS1 (bio son) was diagnosed ADHD a yr ago and while it explained a lot, we really didn't do a whole lot, sorta swept it under the rug. I was way to involved in DS2 getting his needs met.
Recently my Dr asked me how I handle two SN's kiddos, and I said "Huh? I only have 1." She looked at me and pointed out I need to admit DS1 has SN's as well. This yr DS2 is in a good school situation, good therapy situation etc and so I am now moving focus to DS1 and his needs at school etc. While the hyperactivity has always been an issue, it's also just been him, ya know? However I am trying to be more level in providing for both of them now.
So my story is a little different, but I understand the denial, just don't face it think too!
This is a sore subject with me. To say I am slightly bitter would be an understatement. DD1 has dxs of SPD, anxiety disorder, and dyslexia. She has always been a very difficult child every single aspect of her life is a challenge. It is better now that she is medicated but life with her always seems to involve dodging daily land mines, and somedays, you aren't able to miss them.
DD2 was exposed to pertussis at birth. She spent months in and out of the hospital, O2 dependent for 6 months. Following winters were difficult, everyone assumes lung damage, RAD/asthma. It just got worse. Years where she would be sick every single week for 10 months of the year, every year of her life actually. Daily multiple nebs, many inhalers, several allergy meds, all sorts of allergies. We've given away animals, gotten rid of every stuffed animal, carpeting, eventually moved into a green home. This has gone on for years. We are no closer to finding answers. When she was 1 or 2 or 3, it was easier to think this year would finally be good. She is 6 now. Now the children's hospital we travel to says it isn't asthma, she has no lung damage. So now we do more testing. The last test for cystic fibrous was inconclusive so when ever I want to drive 350 miles each way again, we will repeat it.
Of course when DD2 was 1 we had no idea this is what life was going to be like with her so I got pg with DS1. He is ASD. And when he was 1 and we were barely being to think speech delay, #4 accidentally occurred. The whole eval process with DS1 this year was very heartbreaking for me. Not because I didn't already know it, not because I was afraid to have a child with ASD, not because it was easier not to know, but because I was doing this again. With another kid. Why can't some of the SN be sprinkled around some? How many families I know where all the children are just regular kids and they do normal family things, and then I have my kids. I adore my kids of course but this is NOT easy and I would not wish it on anyone. The line that I hear that I got this because I can handle it? That's BS. By the time this is all over, I do not doubt I will be a shell of a person. Am I strong and have battled for my kids, and done everything possible for them. Of course. I also feel like I have aged 20 years in the last 10. I do tell myself daily that it could be worse, because it always could be worse. That much is true.
I don't balance their needs well. DD1 is so explosive that she demands a lot of attention, poor DD2 is going to require years of therapy. I guess I should start saving up now for that. She just gets ignored often. DS1 for all of hide delays, is fairly easy because he is a very passive child ,then the toddler is a monster. Let's just say he is so active that he managed to dent his actual skull when he was 11 months old. DS1 suffered electrical burns on Saturday, in any other family that would of been a BIG deal. Nope, just another weekend at the zoo here. Next weekend it will probably be the ER with DD2 if DD1 doesn't have a nervous breakdown first.
You manage by putting one foot in front of another and pushing away the momma guilt. There is no place for guilt when every day is just about basic survival. It is so much easier just to ignore it, I really get it. It is just so emotionally exhausting to think about doing that all over again. But you have to, you know it, and you will. We all drag our feet here and there. Let's just call it a coping skill. Best of luck to you and um, sorry about my rant. It wasn't a great day here yet again obviously.
I have 5 children DC #2 and DC #4 both have SN. I totally commiserate with the NOT again!
~Patti~ Momma to three girls and three boys , First mother to one girl
Certified, card carrying member of the IEP Binder Club