As blissful as it might seem to embrace parenthood; it is a given that parenting is, and has always been a tough struggle. And, parenting children with special needs is altogether different ball-game.
When you are to raise a child with special needs such as your kid having some physical disabilities, learning issues, autism, anxiety, OCD, developmental trauma, or any other medical abnormality, the struggle just gets shifted to a whole new level of difficulty.
From the emotional burden, it puts initially on you as a parent, to the complexities the family faces; everything seems to fall out of place while raising a special needs child.
But amidst all this, we all need to realize that making things fall in place might just be too hard, but parenting children with special needs sure is not impossible.
So, how to deal with a special needs child?
We acknowledge your struggle for parenting children with special needs. To help you out, this guide enlists the 4 important special needs parenting tips that you need to know!
1. Parental self-care- the new normal your life needs
They say, ‘’ One cannot pour from an empty cup.’’ This is exactly what parental self- care is about.
It endorses the idea that for one to be helpful and caring towards others, one needs to take care of themselves too in order to be fully able to do their tasks.
It is indeed no hidden fact that parenting children with special needs bring in a lot of stress- both emotionally, and physically as their special needs demand high expenses to be taken care of.
Therefore, it is strongly advised that parents in such a household seek deep, self- compassion practices.
Furthermore, it is also important to do so as it helps to eliminate the extreme levels of stress in such families; which is fed to the special child too.
Thus, have some time alone daily. Make sure to do things that make you feel happy and relaxed frequently.
2. Certain changes are to be brought in your life
Parenting children with special needs often makes one lead a life that is all dull. It is important to acknowledge that doing that is merely nothing but wrongdoing.
Go to places for traveling and enjoying as you did before.
Pack up and travel around like you would have if you have had a normal child. However, just make sure to take certain measures before leaving.
You are also advised to take part in different sorts of activities with your kid conducted for exceptional families with special care needs. It is also suggested that you hang out with your friends, and make your child meet and interact with people.
This not only helps lower the stress one has to deal with but also results in the child having confidence and lesser social anxiety.
Remember, your goal should be to make your child feel ‘special’ and not special. Accept your child as a normal person for, in the end, we are all nothing but human beings.
3. Nurture sibling relationships
In a household with a special needs child, the attention of the parents tends to get diverted towards the special child more. This might make your other kids feel alienated or less loved.
Therefore, try to make sure that every child of yours gets some undivided attention. You may ask them about how their day went or read them their favorite bedtime stories.
But, while parenting children with special needs, make sure that you dedicate some unique time to your other kids as well. It is critical for them to feel equally important, loved, and valued in the family.
At the same time, it is important to let your other kids know about the special needs of their sibling.
Unraveling how to help kids with special needs to your other kids in depths shall make them understand your difficulties. With age, they might as well join you to care for their special sibling.
At first, you can try involving them in the fun activities to do with the special needs child. This promotes family values, love, and compassion.
4. Don’t shy away from seeking help
It is even more stressful if you are a working parent or single parent with a special needs child. The challenges of parenting a child with disabilities multiply by manifolds.
Children with special needs should be under adult supervision all the time. Hiring a caregiver is the ultimate way to help you here especially if you are a working or a single parent.
Let the caregiver of your kid keep track of all the appointments, tests, and activities that your child has to attend.
This makes things go smoother than we expect them to be.
If you are parenting children with special needs, you need to realize that you need help with a special needs child. You do not have to be a superhero and perform all the tasks by yourself.
There are several resources, and support available for parents with special needs children, both online as well as offline. Also, socialization in families with a special child can provide valuable insights on how to handle children with special needs.
As discussed in the previous sections, parenting children with special needs is exhausting, but not impossible.
Do not lose yourself in the process of helping kids with special needs. Take good care of yourself in order to take care of your children in the best possible way.
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Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.