April works full time in higher education balancing her time between her special needs son, handsome husband, elderly mother, and new baby coming in May 2014. She has a background in theatre, film, and television but somehow stumbled into the educational field. She loves spending time with her family, dreaming of the beach and organizing her house.

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Beyond Physical Disabilities: Dealing with Mental Disabilities Part 2

Children who have not learned to cope with traumatic situations need help.  Trauma left untreated can manifest in many different ways that can often cripple a child emotionally, developmentally and mentally.

Obtaining help and treating your child is the best way to help them.  And as a parent, it is extremely important to take care of your mental health.  Stress, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, or addiction can impair your mental health as well.  Getting help for yourself is also very important to helping your child take those first steps.  Find someone important in your life who can be a sounding board and give you the emotional support you need to help your child so that you can stay mentally healthy as well.  Clergy can often be a great comfort if you are religious.

Don’t ever understimate the importance of getting help for you and your family.  You cannot do this alone and you need the help to keep you on the right path for your family.  Listening to your child and responding when they ask you for help and guidance will help them through it.  Be involved in your child’s life and ask them about their day and whatever they did.  When  parents disengage themselves from each other and their children the family begins to crumble and a child on the brink can often go over the edge.

Counseling is a good option for many families.  Counselors can provide the impartial and objective insight for working through your challenges.  They have trained in dealing with many of these issues and are equipped to teaching you and your family how to deal/function.

If the problem is severe enough or the issues are physical rather emotional, the counselor might refer your family to a psychologist who can then assist in diagnosing the real issues.  In some cases, they might prescribe medication to assist with the treatment.

Families don’t always have access to services or know how to access help.  If your funds are tight, you should reach out to the local universities.  Here in Arizona there are several Universities or non-profit agencies that offer free or discount counseling services through their counselor training programs:  University of Phoenix, Arizona State University, Dragonfly International Counseling,  Livestrong, and many others.  You should also look into your employer’s benefits.  More and more employers are offering up to 5 sessions free through their help lines.

  Your child’s school also has a psychologist on staff that can help with references or assisting in dealing with your child’s issues.  They are a very good resource when you don’t know where to turn for help.  It is important to follow through in obtaining help.  You can get through it and you can learn coping strategies that will make your family happier and healthier.  But you can only do that if you reach out for help.

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