Our community weighs in: How your relationship with your child changed after the diagnosis

By Tara Drinks

Our Community Weighs In: How Your Relationship With Your Child Changed After the Diagnosis, relationship, father and son

When your child is diagnosed with a learning or thinking difference, it can trigger all kinds of reactions. Some parents may feel guilty or worry about their child’s future. Others may feel relieved to have a name and a reason for their child’s differences.

Having this new information can also affect — and even redefine — your relationship with your child. So we asked parents in the Understood Facebook community to share how their relationship with their child changed after getting the diagnosis. Their responses showed positivity and grit.

Here’s what they said:

“It has actually made it better. It has allowed me to understand. I get it now!” — Emily Kindley

“I didn’t need a diagnosis to understand him. I got him diagnosed so he’d have access to more medical and educational services. And so, I could be empowered to advocate for him.” — CA Gray

“I am more understanding and she is a lot calmer.” — Cathy Overlack

“Now that I understand, I am more patient and a better advocate. I also have worked to find ways to explain their diagnosis to them and the accompanying strengths and weaknesses.” — Noelle Hicks Sproul

“It has improved our relationship. He’s realized he’s an amazing boy who sees the world different and I have learned a lot [from him] as well.” — Kirsty Lally

“I don’t get as upset. I learned a lot of it is her way of communicating her needs.” — Amanda South

“It has definitely improved our relationship. Understanding why his brain works the way it does has vastly made the difference. We are able to empathize and process why he has or is having certain negative behaviors. And it has allowed us to get the correct therapies needed to help him grow as a person.” — Lenora Jones Robinson

“It made me understand him more. All those little quirks and ‘differences’ I had seen since he was a baby, suddenly made sense.” — Smashley Contreras

“My relationships with my children are vastly improved by their diagnoses! Struggles are blessings in the end.” — Christian Taylor

“We are much closer and stronger! We took away the power that being dyslexic was taking from him. He acknowledges what he has but makes no excuses for it.” — Lynn Tony Peloquin

“I say our relationship is better but, ever-evolving. It has made me learn to be more patient and understanding. I also realize just how brave he is when he goes out every day despite his anxiety and fears. He is going to make me a better parent then I ever realized I could be.” — Melanie Hansen Gorman


Get in on the conversation by joining the Understood Facebook community. Watch a series of powerful videos of real parents sharing their struggles and offering advice for other parents facing similar challenges. Then get tips on how to talk to your child about learning and thinking differences.

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    About the author

    About the author

    Tara Drinks is an associate editor at Understood.