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To the People Wondering About My Child's Diagnosis

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We saw my daughter facing challenges at a young age and knew something wasn’t right. We spent many months seeing different specialists and doctors to figure out what was wrong. I spent countless nights crying, worrying about the future and comparing my child to others. I just wanted a diagnosis to find out what was wrong. As time went on, we started to get more definitive answers. We were finally given a diagnosis when she was a little over a year and a half.

Taylor Catino.2-001

You’re probably wondering what her diagnosis is. I won’t even specify what her diagnosis is; that’s not the point. She’s a human being just like you and me. That’s the point I believe we’ve forgotten in society these days. Why do we have to dwell on her diagnosis?

If someone were to come down with a disease, we wouldn’t introduce them as so-and-so with X disease. We would just introduce them by their name. Why does my child have to be any different? I want to enjoy my child the best I can just as any other parent. I don’t want a label to define my daughter; I want my daughter to define herself. She’s a beautiful soul who has some differences. But if we were all alike, wouldn’t that be boring?

Her diagnosis causes her to work a little harder than others, but she’s learning a valuable lesson of the payoff of hard work. She understands not everything will be handed to her in life. So my child has some things about her that make her different. So what! So maybe she won’t be the best at everything, but neither will anyone’s child. We all have strengths, weaknesses, our niches and our own unique personalities. We should be praising and celebrating the strengths, not separating our children by their differences.

So if my daughter’s diagnosis is particularly affecting her one day, I won’t try to apologize for her actions and blame it on her diagnosis. You might judge us silently in your head, but we have good days and bad days just like any parent has with their children.

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Originally published: November 18, 2015
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