Special needs parents are hands down some of the strongest people you will ever meet. They wake up to the unexpected every morning and continue throughout the day the same way. It may seem like they are always on edge, but in reality, they are always ready. They are very aware of how fast things can change.
In an effort to make home life flow easier, some special needs parents put in placea plan of reaction. It is how they react and respond to each situation to make their child succeed in the long run.
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10 Validating A Special Needs Child
Validate, validate, validate. Letting special needs children know they are being heard is very important. In a world where everything spins around them and people don’t always understand their actions, home can be their safe place. Validating them may help them feel reassured and/or help to put them at ease.
According to The Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, information gained from children may facilitate the planning and development of settings that meet their needs. Children are found to be joyful and meaningful when provided with the optimal conditions for wellbeing and development.
9 Connecting Before Redirecting With A Special Needs Child
Connecting with children before redirecting (correcting) them is something to try to keep in mind. This way children won’t always feel like they are doing something wrong. When someone starts every conversation by saying, “Stop that!” or “What are you doing?” It can impact self-esteem a great deal.
If a parent connected prior, “I see that you want to…and I understand, but first…” they may help to ease the tension, and children will be assured that their best interests are being looked out for.
8 Believing In A Special Needs Child
Special needs children are capable of things no one can predict. Even when things are at their hardest points and a parent is, for example, crying in the bathroom; it doesn’t mean they don’t wholeheartedly believe in their child. Holding on to all the good is what keeps a lot of special needs parents going.
7 Advocating For A Special Needs Child
Parents usually know their children best and therefore may need to advocate for them. Being assertive, kind, clear, and concise can help get the job done. Above all, special needs parents shouldn’t be afraid to burn bridges. Unfortunately, not everyone will have their child’s best interest at heart.
6 Listening To A Special Needs Child
Special needs children often benefit when parents get down on their level. Looking at them and giving them undivided attention can help to assure them they are being supported. This may also help to build a bond; parents will get to know more about them and how things work in their world better.
Taylor Downey of Eastern Illinois University states a family’s experience raising a child with special needs will be unique compared to those without a child with a developmental disability. The experience is impacted by their specific situation, the external environment, and support. Not all families experience the same negative emotions, feelings, and stressors related to a diagnosis of special needs, but it is important to remember there can also be positives along the way.
5 Setting Realistic Goals For A Special Needs Child
Parents know their children have so much within them, but setting small goals and celebrating the little success can help to build their self-confidence. It can be overwhelming for anyone to have a lot expected of them, capable or not. According to The American Consortium For Equity In Education, parents should strive to create goals that align with a child’s level and actual time to achieve them.
4 Keeping The Entire Family Involved With A Special Needs Child
A child’s needs can affect the entire family. Parents may want to keep the entire family updated, so they can better understand. It may also serve to give the child a bigger support system.
3 Respect The Need For Independence
Sometimes it might seem like children are withdrawing. Parents may feel guilty about not spending time with them, however, just like anyone, special needs children also require alone time. Parents might notice some pushback as their child heads into the teen years. That is no different from a neurotypical child’s teen years.
2 Diaphragmatic Breathing
This is not often seen on parenting tip lists, but this can be a big benefit in special needs parenting. According to The National Library of Medicine “diaphragmatic breathing” or “deep breathing,” is defined as an efficient integrative body-mind training for dealing with stress and psychosomatic conditions.
1 Self-Care For Parents Of Special Needs Children
Parents need to let go and relax sometimes. It is self-care, even if it’s just for an hour. This can also help children with possible detachment issues as well. Being a special needs mom is a title, it does not define who these women wholly are as people.
In fact, Boston University says parents of children with special needs are often exhausted and frequently become depressed. Their reserves of time and resources for self-care are even more depleted than those of parents of typical children. Yet their need for refueling is also greater. To be sustained through the marathon of caring for a child with special needs, it is essential that parents attend to their own needs.
Parenting – Children with Special Needs – Boston University, Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, National Library of Medicine, Eastern Illinois University, American Consortium For Equity In Education