Coping With The News Your Child Is Delayed

It has been almost 3 years since I sat in a specialist’s office with my Little C and heard the words that broke me. The words that changed my life. Up until then, I had hoped that I was wrong, that she could catch up. Before then, I dreamed of a life I wanted to give my little girl, my only daughter. Until then……

Then I was told my princess had Global Development Delay with neurological abnormalities. My heart sank. It took everything I had to drive to pick up my other children without cracking. Fighting back the tears. When I got to my sister in law’s house, I put my daughter down and cracked. Everything I had done to hold it together was gone, I sat in a corner and cried. I cried and cried and cried some more. My husband came and got me, and we took some time. Even now, it hurts to remember those first few days. I wish someone had told me what to expect. No one told me what to expect. I was not given any tools to cope. What was I to do now? I had no idea what or how to tell people. What do you do with the news that has changed your world forever?

It’s ok to be disappointed

Some people will say “At least your child is healthy” or “It could be worse.” It will make you feel bad that the news is hard to cope with. When your child is born you dream of a perfect life for them. That life is drastically changed with this news.

It’s ok to cry

Crying is a release of all the emotions that are running through you. It is a good release that can help. Let it out.

Ask Questions

Knowledge is power. The more you know, the easier it is. What kind of life are you and your child facing? Are there any complications? What types of therapies are available? Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can think of. Write them down, because you will forget.

Remember, even though you feel responsible, it is not your fault

It is only natural for a mother to have guilt over anything that happens to their child. Just because it is a natural reaction DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE. I still have moments that I battle this one. It is not your fault. Keep telling your self, as many time as you need to.

You Don’t Owe Anyone An Explanation

I only told the people closest to me about my daughter’s diagnosis at first. I only told others once I could do so without crying. That took some time, more than I would like to admit. You do not owe anyone any answers. Take time if you need.

Find Supports

Believe it or not, Facebook has been an amazing support to me. There are groups with parents in the same place as you are. Seek them out. They truly understand and can help in more ways than you know. There is something about talking to someone who has been there. They understand.

Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Up For Your Child

You are your child’s advocate. You know them best. Don’t be afraid to speak. Sometimes people don’t understand. I once had a nursery worker tell me that my daughter understood everything she was being told and was just ignoring her. Well, we later had tubes put in her ears and thick fluid drained out to improve her hearing. My daughter was coping by following cues, she could not hear. People like to think they understand, but you know your child. They don’t.

Prepare for the worst, but push for the best

No one has all the answers. No doctor can tell the future. I had a doctor tell me my daughter would need ankle braces her whole life. Today, she is walking without them. I was prepared for a life of custom orthotic braces, and we now are happy to be without them. I believe that if she never gets any farther than she is today, that’s ok. That doesn’t mean I don’t work with her to achieve her best.

Breath, it’s ok. There is no handbook. Breath and love your child. They are the perfect child they are supposed to be. They are what you need, even if you don’t know it. And most importantly, you are your child’s world. They love you, and that’s enough to overcome it all.


  1. I know those feelings. For about two months I didn’t cry it was like I thought they could be wrong. Then one day I placed him in a little kiddie pool with two inches of water and he fell over in it. Ten months he could not sit up yet. That is when I bawled like a freak for at least three days.

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