Your emotions may vary wildly, and parents have told Mencap that they were quite frightened by the feelings they had at this time. However, it is important to remember that this is perfectly normal, and you are not alone.
Such news can bring forth feelings of disbelief, disappointment, self-pity, shock, anger, numbness, guilt, and denial. For some parents it feels like a period of mourning, while others feel like it is like a bad dream, or that they are living in a bubble outside of reality. Parents may try to blame themselves, or even one another, but it's important to remember no one is to blame, and there may be no answers for many parents.
One of the biggest challenges is coming to terms with the fact your child's future will be different to the way you imagined it. Getting in touch with national and local organisations, support groups and other families can help you to deal with a diagnosis, and can be a valuable source of support and advice. It is also important to remember that, with time, your emotions will become easier to manage – many parents have told Mencap that after a diagnosis they discovered qualities of strength, determination and positivity that they didn't even know they had.