Apprehensive about TTC after having a special needs child - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-21-2014, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son was born with congenital hypothyroidism.  He was recently diagnosed with ADHD and autism, impacting his ability to progress in school.  He is almost like a mirror image of me looks-wise.  I have an undiagnosed attention deficit, so I know I passed that down to him. I love him, but parenting him has been challenging.  My brother had mild issues while he was growing up (he received special ed services). There's no history of genetic disorders or developmental delays on my husband's side of the family.  I'm afraid that I'm more genetically dominant than my husband, or maybe we as a couple don't produce healthy children due to both being carriers of who knows what.  I'm afraid of the possibility of having more children that may have special needs given my family's history.  Have any other parents felt similarly?  What should I do?  Should I talk to my OB/GYN about this and possibly pursue genetic testing before thinking about adding to our family?

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Old 02-22-2014, 10:41 AM
 
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You can certainly talk to your healthcare providers about your concerns - some issues can be tested for and some can't. But they can talk to you about the likelihood of having another child with the same issues. Every family is different, though. I think it comes down more to how much you want a second child and your resources, emotional, community support, financial, space, etc. to have a second child when you have a first with higher special needs, or to have the possibility of two with special needs.

I'm a therapy provider who works with many families and I have seen many choices: we have a family who is in the middle of adoption procedures to have a second without passing on genetic issues, we have several families who have chosen to have a single child, but the majority of our families have at least two children, and more than 50% of them have had a second child after the first was diagnosed. There are a few families with more than one child with special needs but most have only one child with issues. Some of the children have significant delays and the families still chose to have another child.

I think that even more than looking at the financial and genetic aspect is trying to learn the probability and then talking to your family or seeing a counselor to think through what it would all mean to your family.

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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