Without even knowing it you may be a parent who is carrying a defective gene that you have passed on to your children. Although your child could have been diagnosed at birth you may not notice that first sign of muscular dystrophy until they are well over the age of five. However for some children, muscular dystrophy may occur earlier. If your child was not diagnosed at birth with muscular dystrophy you may begin to see some of the symptoms such as them constantly falling down.
Even continuously tripping over their own feet. Muscular dystrophy is a progressive muscle-wasting disease, that can place your child in a wheelchair by the time they reach the age of 20. The hardest thing for your child to deal with will be the amount of time it will take them to accomplish an ordinary task. They will become very frustrated. But it is up to you as a parent to help them learn to deal with this disability. Your doctor will probably recommend some type of stretching exercise. According to many doctors this will help to keep the muscles and tendons from drawing up, as well as keeping the circulation working well.
There will be many times when your child will become depressed, but by preparing for and accepting their limitations it will help them to better cope with the harsh realities of life. Since this disease slowly cripples a person over a period of time, it is best to prepare them for the idea of using a wheelchair. They will have to learn to use a wheelchair and deal with the many difficulties that come along with that.
Since you are the parent you will need to learn to use the wheelchair as well. For example how to help get your child in and out of the car. Also you need to understand that eventually your child will reach a point in their life when they may no longer want or need your assistance to complete a task. Do not be offended or hurt, try to keep in mind that you want them to be independent. There are many challenges that come along with Muscular Dystrophy. It is a very difficult experience for the entire family once the diagnosis is made.
Whether your child is born knowing you have a disability or you do not find out until several years into your childs life, there is no reason to conclude that their life is over. It will take a lot of patient effort but with hard work from everyone, positive steps can be taken to cope effectively with the situation. It is of course human nature not to want to accept an unpleasant reality, but you should not allow yourself to wistfully hope that the impairment will simply go away by itself. It is up to you to help your child learn their limitations.
It is also very important for parents to learn all they can about muscular dystrophy. This may include researching some medical literature or asking specific question to your doctor. There are several websites where you can begin your research such as, www.ninds.nih.gov, and www.mdausa.org. Your doctor will probably also be able to recommend other suggestions on where you can obtain more information on this disorder, as well as get you the additional assistance you will need.