About 14 percent of children in America between the ages of three and seventeen are classified as having a disability.
Raising a child is one of the most important jobs in this world. If your child has special needs you may be wondering what are the best ways to take care of them and ensure that they are not at a disadvantage.
Luckily, there are several things that you can do to help your child live their best life, looking at the statistics there is no need for you to feel alone. Here are some top parenting tips that will assist you.
1. Become Your Child’s Biggest Advocate
As a parent, you are the best advocate for your child. No one will know your child as well as you do, not even the experts.
This means that you need to take an active role in the welfare of your child. Take advice from the experts but at the end of the day, you need to qualify what they tell you with what you know about your child as an individual.
You can become an advocate by having all the facts. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget things, so if your child goes in for therapy or counseling you need to make a note. Also, keep a record of their educational history.
When you have a child with special needs it’s important that you know your legal rights. For example, you need to know what rights your child has in the school system.
Ask the right people the right questions. This way you will be better able to understand the policies that concern your child.
2. Do a Lot of Research
These days doing research doesn’t require going to a library, you can do it from your phone. This makes it easy for you to find out all the relevant information about your child’s disability.
Find out how your child’s special needs will affect how they behave at home, in social settings such as school and also their everyday activities. Learn about all the latest treatments that are available to help your child live a normal life. Investigate if there are intervention programs available to help your child.
The information you gather should be from varying sources, in this way you can compare and contrast information and get the best idea of what is effective. Gather information from healthcare professionals, agencies that are designed especially for a child with special needs and websites that talk about your child’s disability.
Finally, buy as many books as you can on the topic. In this way, you would have gathered your own personal database so that when you speak to advocate for your child you will do so from a position of knowledge.
3. Celebrate Successes
When your child has special needs celebrating successes is very important to developing their confidence and their self-esteem. When your child finally masters something that has been difficult for them to do, make a big deal out of it.
In fact, the bigger the breakthrough the bigger the celebration should be. Bring the whole family together to celebrate. Create a journal for the successes. There are times when things will get difficult and when they do, you can reach for your journal to remember that success is possible.
4. Get Support
Don’t play tough, you need to be honest with yourself and other people about the challenges that you and your child are facing. Of course, family and friends should be the first ones you lean on. However, it is not unusual for friends and family not to completely understand.
If this happens don’t get discouraged or angry with your loved ones. When something is not your reality it can sometimes be difficult to understand.
What you can do to activate your support system is to join online support groups. In this way, you can maintain some form of anonymity.
Try to get support from people who truly understand what you are going through. You can find these support groups by doing a search on Facebook or Google.
5. Take Care of Yourself
Often when you have a child with special needs, it is easy to become so absorbed in making life better for them that you forget to take care of yourself.
Taking a break and pampering yourself should be at the top of your priority list. Remember, that your child depends on you. If you are not in the best health or the best shape then it will directly affect them. Until they are able to acquire some level of self-sufficiency you will have to be their major source of strength, so take some time to look after yourself.
6. Medical Care
Often children with disabilities may require medical care from time to time and you will have to make trips to the hospital. It is important that you know your rights.
Many if not all hospitals have patient advocates. These advocates are there to guide you so that you can understand the healthcare programs as well as the providers that are available to your child.
Take the time to seek them out on a regular basis because often there are new developments that will improve your child’s medical care. Sometimes, there are changes that do not benefit your child. You need to know when these changes happen and how you can go about advocating for your child’s health.
There are also many organizations that are geared towards giving you the latest medical care advice for your child.
Final Top Parenting Tips
Being a parent of a special needs child can be challenging, thankfully you now have some top parenting tips that will help you to face those challenges with confidence.
Always ensure that you are your child’s greatest advocate because sometimes things can be difficult for children with special needs. Research and know their rights to education and medical help. Finally, you should refuse to have unnecessary or unfair limitations placed on your child.
If you would like to know more about special needs please go to the article section of our website.