Exactly what I needed to read today!
“Don’t neglect discipline. Understand that your disabled child needs discipline just as much as healthy children do. Set clear rules and boundaries that your child can realistically be expected to follow, and follow up with praise for good behavior and consequences for bad behavior. Intervene whenever your child has a tantrum. Remember that, while your child is limited in some ways by disability, he or she can still grow and mature in many other ways.
See abilities instead of disabilities. Shift your focus from what your child can’t do to all that he or she can do. Assess your child’s unique gifts and offer him or her appropriate enrichment activities. Express some progress in various areas as your child matures, and celebrate whenever your child masters new skills. Give your child opportunities to act as a positive role model for younger children who suffer from the same or a similar disability.
Let go of what you had planned so you can embrace what God has planned. Face the fact that your life hasn’t worked out the way you’d hoped, and be willing to let go of unrealistic plans for your future. But know that God will bring good out of even the worst situations if you trust Him. Ask Him to reveal His plans to you. Accept your child for who he or she is – rather than who you expected him to be – and ask God to help you discover all that’s good about your child.
Go ahead and grieve. Don’t be afraid to grieve for the dreams that have died in your life because of your child’s disability. Ask God to help you be aware of His presence with you as you go through the stages of grief – denial, anxiety, depression, anger and guilt. Pray about your concerns often. Get regular physical exercise to reduce your stress. Seek help from a therapist and medications to deal with depression if necessary. Surround yourself with friends who will listen to and support you. Ask God to show you how to transform your anger into constructive action. Remember that God’s grace is always available to you, in every circumstance.”