Premier Martial Arts - Martial Arts & Fitness for All Ages!
Blog Our Community Student

What to do when your child’s diagnosed with a challenge….

Hearing your child’s diagnosis for the first time often elicits many emotions for a parent. Maybe you knew something was wrong and it’s a relief to have an answer.  Perhaps you feel guilty that you didn’t know sooner, or maybe it’s something genetic and you blame yourself.  You might have fear of what the future will bring or what your next step should be.


In my almost 13 years of being a parent, I’ve heard a myriad of diagnoses as they relate to my kids: clubfoot, ADHD, Aspergers, autism, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and more.   Here are some tips that I have for parents who are entering the world of a new diagnosis for their child.


  1. 1Teach yourself.  Learn all that you can about the new diagnosis.  You will be your child’s biggest advocate and cheerleader.  When we discovered that our daughter has dyslexia, I began researching what reading instruction she would need to receive, as well as what curriculums would not be beneficial for her.  You will find yourself being an expert in things that you previously knew little (or nothing!) about.


  1. Find what your child enjoys, and lean into it. Oftentimes students, especially those with learning disabilities, will struggle with low self-esteem.  Spend time discovering what your child loves to do, and support them in finding success in different areas.  At 12 years old, our older son has his junior black belt in karate and is training for his second degree black belt.  The dojo has become a second home to him where he knows he is accepted.


  1. Connect with others. When your child becomes involved with an activity, be willing to talk to their coaches, senseis, and mentors about their diagnoses.  This information can be extremely helpful as they work with your child, and it also can help you as parents to have someone to partner with.  It just so happens that my son’s sensei’s wife is someone who has worked with kids with special needs.  She has often been a great support person for me.


  1. Learn the rights afforded to your child. This is especially important for children of school age.  When your child has a disability (and as a parent, sometimes it’s hard to hear that word) there are laws that give them, and you, certain protections and rights regarding their education.  There are lots of websites, podcasts, and available information on topics such as IEPs and Section 504 Plans.  Each state has what is called a Parent Training and Information Center, whose purpose is to give parents support and free information on special education.


  1. Give yourself grace.Grieve.  Maybe you don’t need this, but most likely you do.  Let yourself feel sad for what this new diagnosis means for your child, your family, and the future.   Don’t expect to learn everything at once, and don’t blame yourself for what you didn’t know in the past.  Your child needs you, and you can’t be the best for them if you deplete yourself.


Receiving a diagnosis is as much a part of your journey as a parent as it is an important part of your child’s life.  There will be celebrations and heartbreaks along the way, but most importantly, remember you are not alone.

About the Guest Author: Lyndsey Gillespie graduated from Ball State University with a BS in US History and is married to Jay Gillespie with three wonderful children (Oliver, Lucy and Max.) Oliver and Max are both students at Premier Martial Arts. Lyndsey can be reached with any questions at


Premier Martial Arts Fort Wayne LLC operates 3 locations in Fort Wayne:

North – 10240 Coldwater Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46825

Southwest – 9906 Illinois Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46804

East – 10152 Maysville, Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46835



Mr Gillespie Awarded his Jr Blackbelt Septer 2019

Premier Martial Arts has been in business for more than 20 years, and since our founding in 1998 we have helped thousands of students of all ages realize their full potential. Premier Martial Arts delivers a best-in-class martial arts experience that helps our students develop the personal skills that are necessary to build a successful life. Our mastery of teaching martial arts over the past two decades is evident in our structured and thorough curriculum, which is standardized across our 100+ locations across the United States, Canada and England.

Our curriculum focuses on character development far beyond the importance of self-defense. We teach our young students how to respect their elders, how to be accountable, how to focus and how to stay in shape in a fun and exciting atmosphere. We empower our adult students with the self-confidence to overcome anxieties and trauma, in an environment that fosters inclusion and social belonging.

Premier Martial Arts Fort Wayne founded in 2015 by 6th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor Ron Kuhn. Master Kuhn had a distinguished management & engineering career working for such companies as Verizon, NIPSCO, Frontier Communications and Mediacom. In 2019 he made the decision to operate his Martial Arts School fulltime which has always been his lifelong dream. That one location has grown to three in the City of Fort Wayne.


Master Ron Kuhn is married to his wife Anita (retired Special Needs Teacher) of 27 years. They have three wonderful daughters, Jordan, Ally and Katie. Jordan is a nurse who lives in Indianapolis. Ally has a computer science and business background and works with her dad at Premier Martial Arts. Katie is Chemical Engineering graduate and works in the pharmaceutical industry in Indianapolis.


Premier Martial Arts of Fort Wayne operates three locations:

North – 10240 Coldwater Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46825 (Coldwater & DuPont)

East – 10154 Maysville Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46835 (Chapel Hill Area)

Southwest – 9906 Illinois Road Fort Wayne, IN 46804 (Scott & Illinois Road)




Also check us out on: