How to Get the Support You Need When Your Child Is Diagnosed With Birth Defects

Having a child born with a birth defect can make you feel very alone, but you’re not all alone. When you reach out, you will find a wide network of people and organizations who can provide emotional support, financial assistance, and advice. The right resources can also offer you hope for a bright future. Turn to these places for help.

Healthcare Providers

The first and most reliable place to turn to for help is your healthcare provider. Ask for resources and support from every medical professional you or your child visits, including your primary care doctors, neurologists, genetic counselors, and other specialists. They’ll give you the information you need for caring for your child, and hospitals in your area may have support groups you can attend even if you weren’t treated there.

Major Organizations

National organizations for parents of children with special needs can provide help and referrals. Contact the March of Dimes or United Way for assistance. For some birth defects, there may be a specific organization. The Spina Bifida Association is one example. You may find an organization in your state as well. Some of these groups provide referrals and information while others offer direct support, and a few operate as charities and can offer financial assistance.

If your child’s birth defect or injury relates to medical malpractice, chemical exposure in the workplace, or injury before birth, you may be able to get financial compensation from the responsible party through the legal system. Birth defect attorneys work on your behalf to determine who is responsible for your child’s birth defect and whether a lawsuit could be successful. Birth defect attorneys may be able to get one-time or long-term compensation to help you pay for your child’s needs.

Social Media

Parents often turn to social media to express concerns and find support for their children with special needs. First, search Facebook for the name of your child’s condition. If you find too many results, include your city or state. While the quality of support you find can vary, connecting with others in similar situations can be rewarding and a source of hope. Twitter and Instagram often aren’t as useful for finding resources, but you may find something on Reddit.

What works for one family may not be the best resource for another, so try not to be discouraged if you don’t find the emotional or financial help you need right away. Consider reaching out to local churches and civic organizations, and ask for resources at nearby elementary schools too. When you take an aggressive approach, you can find the help you need to create the best life for your family.

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