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Co-Parenting and Raising a Child who has a Mental Health Diagnosis’

By: Christina DiArcangelo, CEO, Chairwomen of the Board, Board President, Board President

Parenting is never easy. As you might assume, it is even more challenging to raise a child with a mental health diagnosis in a co-parenting situation. What do you do when you suspect that your child has a potential mental health diagnosis? How do you even realize that this may be a possibility? I happen to be in this exact situation today.

I have been watching our son over the years struggling with peer to teacher interactions and peer-to-peer interactions dating back to when he was two years old. I used to speak to my then husband of my concerns, the teachers’ concerns’ the principal’s concerns, all without acknowledgement. It was very challenging.

Many of the times when issues arose he would say that our son was, “just being a little boy,” and that there wasn’t anything wrong with him. I would invite him to the parent teacher conferences, he would review the reports sent directly from the school and would include him in the emails with the school, and still he was not able to accept these things.

Many times parents do not want to believe that there may be a disorder or a diagnosis that has not been explored. I am not saying that you should take your child’s behaviors and Google them. What I am saying is that it is important to provide a healthcare provider with as much information as possible so that they can have as clear a picture as possible as to what is going on with your child if you feel like something isn’t right.

From my personal experiences, I believe that working with professionals within your school district to discuss their aberrations and findings and listening to them regarding what their suggestions may be for next steps is critical. Also, keeping in mind that you should always be including your co-parent so that they have full transparency of what is taking place.

It is important to work on this as a team and not in a fragmented approach. While it may seem easier than it really is, communication and honesty is key. It’s essential that you are always documenting the feedback received by other professionals in order to go back and compare notes, feedback, progress, and new developments.

Raising children in a co-parenting environment is already challenging enough, but doing so when your child has mental health disorders is even more challenging. Don’t lose faith or hope. You can do it! I’m here to give you that pat on the back for all the great work you’ve been doing thus far. Remember, you have to provide your child with a voice. You are their advocate!


By: Christina DiArcangelo, CEO, Founder, Board President, Affinity Patient Advocacy

Parenting is never easy. As you might assume, it is even more challenging to raise a child with a mental health diagnosis in a co-parenting situation. What do you do when you suspect that your child has a potential mental health diagnosis? How do you even realize that this may be a possibility? I happen to be in this exact situation today.

I have been watching our son over the years struggling with peer to teacher interactions and peer-to-peer interactions dating back to when he was two years old. I used to speak to my then husband of my concerns, the teachers’ concerns’ the principal’s concerns, all without acknowledgement. It was very challenging.

Many of the times when issues arose he would say that our son was, “just being a little boy,” and that there wasn’t anything wrong with him. I would invite him to the parent teacher conferences, he would review the reports sent directly from the school and would include him in the emails with the school, and still he was not able to accept these things.

Many times parents do not want to believe that there may be a disorder or a diagnosis that has not been explored. I am not saying that you should take your child’s behaviors and Google them. What I am saying is that it is important to provide a healthcare provider with as much information as possible so that they can have as clear a picture as possible as to what is going on with your child if you feel like something isn’t right.

From my personal experiences, I believe that working with professionals within your school district to discuss their aberrations and findings and listening to them regarding what their suggestions may be for next steps is critical. Also, keeping in mind that you should always be including your co-parent so that they have full transparency of what is taking place.

It is important to work on this as a team and not in a fragmented approach. While it may seem easier than it really is, communication and honesty is key. It’s essential that you are always documenting the feedback received by other professionals in order to go back and compare notes, feedback, progress, and new developments.

Raising children in a co-parenting environment is already challenging enough, but doing so when your child has mental health disorders is even more challenging. Don’t lose faith or hope. You can do it! I’m here to give you that pat on the back for all the great work you’ve been doing thus far. Remember, you have to provide your child with a voice. You are their advocate!

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