Due to medical advancements and research, children with special needs are now more understood by many. Today, they’re as much a part of society as everyone else, and they’re free to mingle with other children, have an education, and simply enjoy life. And since the concepts of acceptance and equality are embedded in modern communities, children with disabilities are now born into a highly inclusive world. It’s then up to you as a parent to provide your child with love and care in and out of the home and ensure their proper upbringing.
Because your little one has different needs, you may encounter days that are more difficult to go through than others. This is understandable. After all, raising a child with disabilities comes with numerous challenges for parents. However, the most important thing is to make it your mission in life to provide the best possible care for your disabled child, as you would with your non-disabled kids.
To help you out, here are tips that can come in handy when you’re raising a child with disabilities:
1Give Yourself A Break
Parenting is hard, but more so when you’re caring for a disabled child since you may have to be there to supervise them 24/7. Depending on the arrangements at home, there are some parents, mostly moms, who’ve had to leave their jobs to focus on looking after their child with disabilities.
With that said, it’s okay to give yourself a break. In fact, taking a breather once in a while will do you a world of good. If not, then you’ll only get burned out and exhausted. The last thing you’ll want to happen is to lash out on your innocent child as a result of your stressed state.
When you take care of yourself and your mental health, you can become a happier and better parent not just to your child with disabilities but also to your other children. And if you find that there are certain hurdles you can’t handle on your own, you can seek the help of experts by turning to arrangements like supported independent living for people living with disabilities.
2Get To Know The Condition Of Your Child
Yes, you know what kind of disability your child has since the doctor would’ve already told you about it in detail, and here you are reading this article. But if you’ve got the time and means for it, learn more about your child’s condition.
Don’t limit yourself to the information you get from doctor’s visits. The more you know about your child’s condition, the higher the likelihood that you can provide the best care for them. What’s more, you’ll know how to manage ‘down times’ (during which your child may get bored), temper tantrums, and perhaps other health problems your child may have as a result of their disability.
It’s important to be informed about your child’s condition so you can help them through their treatment, therapy sessions, and other activities that may improve the overall quality of their life.
3Have Fun With Your Child
When your child has disabilities and they have to undergo one therapy after another, perhaps you might think there isn’t anything more you can do with your child at home.
This is false. You can always sit down and play with your child—even simple games will do. Not only will this help with their brain function and development, but it will also strengthen the bond between the both of you.
If you’re stressed, imagine how your child feels after having attended so many therapy sessions. Give them the break they need from treatments. Through play, they can release any emotions they’ve been keeping in, and you can get some stress relief, too. It’s also a good way to promote better relationships among siblings.
As the parent of a child with special needs, it can be easy to assume that you have to do everything for them. However, this is wrong. The more you foster independence in your child, the more you allow them to exercise their ability to learn. They may not get things done perfectly the first time, but when they keep repeating certain tasks, one day you’ll see them doing things on their own.
Of course, seek the advice of your child’s medical and occupational therapy team regarding this matter. You have to make sure that the activities you do to encourage independence are in line with your child’s skills or abilities so they won’t be overwhelmed or frustrated.
Among all other tips that you might want to hear or may be helpful for you as a special needs parent, this is the most crucial one: remember that you’re not alone. There are other parents all over the world who’re loving and raising children with disabilities, so you can find help and support whenever you need it.
The difficulties you may encounter in your family life shouldn’t hamper the amount of happiness and love in your home. In fact, you should use challenges to connect all the members of your family and encourage them to care for your child with disabilities. Press on, and take each new day as a winning moment both for you and your child.