Caring for children with special needs
Caring for a child with special needs has many blessings but also comes with a unique set of challenges. Children with special needs often have complex health conditions that require support and care to help manage physical and intellectual disability.
To help your child, ensure you communicate with specialists and his or her health providers. The healthcare professional will guide you on your child’s needs and educate you on various ways to find help and manage transitions in your child’s life. Healthcare experts also closely monitor the child’s specific path of development and keep you informed about new methods/techniques of caring.
Being a caregiver of a child with special needs means that you have to take care of specific things. You should create a plan and make a list of all the needs of your child. For instance, you may have to schedule a physician’s visits, therapy sessions and time to take care of your child’s day-to-day needs.
While achieving these for your child, it is essential to focus on your work, household tasks and personal necessities. When you have created a list of your child’s needs, make sure you share it with a knowledgeable person to seek more advice and help.
It is important to set aside some time and take care of your child. You must spend some quality time with him or her to strengthen the bond and learn how to grow together. Doing so will help you overcome stress and it is also an excellent opportunity for you to learn about your child’s development.
Spending time with your child on activities that he or she enjoys will let you know about things that make them special. If your child enjoys socialisation, you may consider daycare where he or she can socialise with other children. On the other hand, if your child feels more comfortable at home, then invest in individualised in-home care.
As a parent and caregiver, you should react realistically to stresses and challenges, which may arise when you take care of your child. If you are feeling stressed, it does not mean that you are a bad caregiver. So, it is essential to find ways to manage stress by recognising your child’s expectations and seeking help from a counsellor if you have feelings like denial, anger, guilt, or stress.
Most often, it becomes challenging for a caregiver to come up with effective strategies when a child makes a transition from one stage to another in his or her life. It is essential to plan ahead for changes by discussing the transitional phases with your child’s specialists. The plan must be oriented towards your child’s needs and abilities. Consider talking to a family member, financial planner and counsellor about planning his or her adulthood to streamline everything.
Also learn about your child’s special needs and talk to the school administration about them. You must do this before your child gets enrolled in school. On the other hand, if your child is already enrolled, let the school know about his or her special needs as soon as possible. Thus, the school will assess your child and come up with sophisticated solutions that will help him or her learn effectively at school.
A child with special needs may have been born with cognitive impairment, terminal illness, syndrome or chronic psychological conditions (Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, etc.). He or she may have problems with behaviour, communication or schoolwork. Whatever the problem, as a caregiver, it is important to have a routine that guides you through.