Special needs parents have a lot to deal with. In addition to the challenges of raising a child, they need to deal with the extra emotional, physical, and social needs of that child. They also have to deal with prejudice from other parents and children. These are 10 tips to help the parents of special needs children cope with the additional stress and realize they do have a very special child.
.1 There is Support
Other parents have the same needs as challenges. They have children that have similar needs and display similar behaviors. While no two children will have the same needs there is a network of parents that are there to support each other. There are groups online including blogs and social media sites for the parents to get together. There are also some support groups in local towns. Parents can get together, share their struggles, share their success and find support with others that understand.
.2 Parents Need Care Too
The child is not the only one that needs to be cared for. Parents need to take care of themselves. this will help them stay both mentally and physically in good health. It is okay to ask for help from friends and family members. Parents are worth some alone time and some adult time to themselves.
.3 It is Okay Not to Be Perfect
No parent is perfect and no parent should expect to be. All parents make mistakes but they care for their child with the best of intentions. Life happens and a parent may forget something from time to time or get their days mixed up. It happens to everyone. A parent needs to forgive themselves so they can keep on and care for their child.
.4 Therapy Can be Fun
Play therapy is a great way to get through to children. It keeps them interested and they are likely to open up when playing. A good therapist will use play as a way to engage their child when they are working on their goals. This will allow the child the desire to participate and it can be carried over into the home.
.5 Enjoy the Kids
While children may be a lot of work they are still children and they should be allowed to have fun. A parent should not overschedule their appointments so they are not too busy and will still have time to play with their children and do fun things with them.
.6 Things May Go Wrong
There are many tough choices that parents of special needs children are going to need to make and they may not always make the correct decision. This will happen. A parent should learn from this and move on. Forgiveness is needed in this case.
.7 Be Sure to Laugh
Some things are going to drive a parent crazy. They need to remember to laugh from time to time and keep a sense of humor. Being overly sensitive will not help anything. They should keep in mind that some common expressions parents use are not meant to offend anyone and they need to keep this in mind too.
.8 Celebrate Small Things
Some small accomplishments are going to be made that will call for a celebration. The child may do something small but it can be a big deal for them. Celebrating will allow the child to know they accomplished something good and it can make the entire family feel proud.
.9 Ignore Other Parents
Some parents do not understand what it is like to have a child with special needs. A stranger may not understand all of the actions of the child and their developmental goals. People are not as informed as they should be about different conditions. A parent with a special needs child should not take this to heart and carry on with their life. They should not let the informed get them down.
.10 Do Not Compare
A parent should not compare their child to other children. Every special needs child will develop at their age. They should not be compared to other family members of other children because they will not meet the goals at the same time.
These are some tips for helping parents with special needs children. These tips can help a parent keep on going and keep on proving the best services for their child.