Are you looking for ways to support your child with special needs? If so, these eight tips will make life a little smoother!
Being a mom of a child with special needs can be challenging. Apart from raising a family, there are regular doctor visits, therapy sessions, and long wait times for insurance companies to answer calls. Not to mention, the exhaustion and anxiety kick in.
8 Ways Moms Can Support Their Children with Special Needs
Fortunately, there are ways mothers can raise and support their children with special needs. Read on to find out.
If you’re a parent or caretaker of a child with special needs, here are some resources you might find useful:
1. Receive Help from Friends and Family Members
When everyone else is busy, it’s hard to ask or accept help. Most moms are expected to be great at multitasking while juggling their children’s needs.
Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It will be simpler for everybody to let your friends and family know what you need help with so they can sign up for tasks that best fit their schedules and skills.
2. Make a List of Needs
Create a list of needs to make life easier. Need help in picking your child from school? Ask a close friend or a neighbor who’s also picking up their children. One can even ask other family members to help by doing the things that they enjoy, like cooking home-cooked meals with the kids or entertaining them with small games.
3. No One Is Perfect, and That’s Okay
Everyone commits mistakes. One can either wallow in these mistakes or move on. Beating oneself up isn’t going to change the situation. It’s ideal to have a steady support system to laugh and connect with others. Support groups, both online and in-person, can help a lot too.
Joining these groups is a way for parents to practice self-care in an otherwise-stressful experience. Recharging one’s batteries often will make one a better partner, parent, and person.
4. Slow Down, and Take Time to Do Things Right
Any transition can be difficult for children with disabilities, and this includes going to school and interacting with new people. But don’t worry too much; a child with special needs can still have a successful year in school despite the challenges.
There will be a few bumps in the road, so it’s essential to take a step back and take it one day at a time. It helps to stay calm and positive to make better decisions. As well, always know the kid’s limitations, and consider those in any plan. When it comes to supporting your child with special needs, patience is key!
5. Don’t Compare
Every child is different. They grow and develop at their own pace. If a development milestone is missed, talk to a doctor. Comparing siblings, cousins, and other children in the same disability type won’t make anyone feel better. Every child is unique, and they have their strengths and weaknesses.
6. Never Give Up
Every day, a lot of mothers may find themselves in tough situations—stretching tight muscles, remembering medications, and dealing with hysterical children as they undergo medical procedures. They have to diffuse tantrums and meltdowns.
Moreover, parents who have children with special needs have to do things that doctors tell them that they wouldn’t regularly do. It’s difficult, but it can be rewarding as well. With challenges come rewards. Sometimes, one has to search deep within themselves to search for these rewards.
Being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t provide a full-time paycheck. That’s hard for one-income families, especially those with a kid with special needs.
Fortunately, there are still ways to earn cash without leaving the house or sacrificing family time. For instance, start selling things online, which allows busy moms to make some extra cash and grow their savings. It can be conveniently monitored at any time of the day; just make sure to allocate time for it in your daily or weekly schedule. It’s also rewarding to have one’s very own income and financial contribution.
8. Take Time to Enjoy with the Kids
The life of a mother can get relatively busy and overscheduled. While everything in the calendar is considered necessary, one still has to make time to laugh, play, have fun, and enjoy.
Engage with your kids, read to them, and snuggle them to sleep. Make fun, lasting memories beyond the hospital walls.
Supporting your Child with Special Needs
Caring for children with special needs is both rewarding and challenging. Just like with any form of parenting, no definite rulebook or manual will help decide what’s best for a child’s development and growth. Therefore, trusting one’s instincts is essential. After all, mothers will always be experts when it comes to their children.
If you’re a parent or caretaker of a child with special needs, here are some additional resources you might find useful:
- Cerebral Palsy Family Network – a compassionate community that provides resources for loved ones with Cerebral Palsy.
- Learn about Financial Planning for Kids with Special Needs
- My Possibilities – a university for those with special needs
- Online courses for parents & caregivers of Autistic Children The Play Project