Author: Cindy EddyHome Special Needs

Organizing for Families of Newly Diagnosed Special Needs

I recently heard about a young child who was just diagnosed with Diabetes.  At first, I felt sorrow for this child whose life has drastically changed.  But then my thoughts turned to these ‘newly diagnosed’ parents, and my heart sank.

I can empathize, because my child was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis at the age of six.  I was so overwhelmed, that although I am a professional organizer, my house was a cluttered mess.  I was too emotional to focus on what needed to be done.

I finally asked a close friend for help.  It was easy to put toys, books, and shoes away because everything had a home.  My trouble came when we reached the new items – the reminders that my child has an incurable disease.  The medication, paperwork, and supplies were everywhere, and I couldn’t look at it without tears.

We started in the living room.  All physical therapy supplies went into an attractive container in the corner of the room for easy access.  In the kitchen, an easily accessible cabinet shelf held a small bin for medication and supplies.  The cabinet door had a medication schedule, to make sure we did not miss a dose.

The paperwork was harder, because it needed a filing system. We created an arthritis box, and stored it far away from my daily files. My friend did the tedious part of labeling the files and handling the papers. All I had to do was tell her where it goes.

By reorganizing my home to incorporate my child’s special needs, the arthritis became an ordinary part of daily life instead of an entity in itself.  This reduced my overall stress, but more importantly, brought me closer toward acceptance.

If you are ‘newly diagnosed’, ask a friend for help.  Or better yet, hire a professional organizer!