How To Navigate Parenthood When You Have a Child with Special Needs

How To Navigate Parenthood When You Have a Child with Special Needs

When you have a child, it can be a challenging yet rewarding time of your life which presents itself with many new obstacles. However, this can also be heightened when you have a child with learning difficulties. You want them to have the best start in life but also realize that they may face more difficulties throughout their child and adult life. So, the best thing you can do as a parent is encouraging, supporting and loving so that they are prepared as best as possible for any challenges they may face.

Get Professional Medical Advice

When you have a final diagnosis for your child with regards to their health, it can feel somewhat reassuring knowing that there is a name for the condition that your child is feeling. At this point you can do everything possible to try and educate yourself on their diagnosis so that you are knowledgeable with regards to their illness and what to expect. Speaking to a health professional that specializes in your child's medical condition will enable you to get as much information as possible so that you can find a suitable solution for your child and understand what they may experience or feel.

Treat Your Child in the Same Way You Would Other Siblings

If you have other children as well, you don’t want to try and create a separation between the siblings by treating them differently. You can still try to instill the same sort of responsibilities, such as good manners and independent habits that you would with your other children. So, try to be consistent with how you decide to raise your children with regards to how you would like them to be as adults. It will certainly be different if your child relies on you for physical support but in the sense of providing them with good habits, this can certainly be the same if your child does not have special needs.

How To Navigate Parenthood When You Have a Child with Special Needs

Ensure They Receive the Education They Need

Ideally you want to send your little one to the correct school so that they can receive the best education. A child with learning difficulties is likely to need more attention and support with regards to their educational support. When you feel as though you are not receiving this from the school, they are enrolled it, then it is time to acquire the support of a special education attorney. They can help you fight for your child’s right to receive a proper education under the Disabilities Education Act.

Ensuring your child receives the best education may also involve providing them with the necessary therapies and devices aligned to their needs. For example, a child with a physical disability may need assistive devices like wheelchairs, while one with speech delay or ADHD might benefit from the Forbrain device, which improves speech and language skills through auditory feedback. This revolutionary brain training device utilizes bone conduction technology to enhance auditory feedback during speech and language exercises, helping improve attention, memory, and verbal skills.

Encourage Your Child to Make Friends with Other Children That Have the Same Medical Condition

As well as having friends in their life that do not experience the same special needs as them, it will also be encouraging for your little one if they were to develop friendships with other children in the same situation. This could help them feel less isolated and different when they reach school age and start mixing with other children. They might already start to feel anxious about looking different to other children their own age, so having friends in their life that can relate to them, will help them to feel less isolated.

Join a Support Group

It can feel quite isolating as a parent when you do not have friends or family in your life that can truly understand what you are going through. When you join a support network with other parents at least you can share experiences and feel as though you have other people in your life that you can connect with when you are going through a stressful time. You can also compare and provide each other with advice on how you deal with difficult milestones or scenarios with your child and try to see if their experience will help you in yours.

How To Navigate Parenthood When You Have a Child with Special Needs

Ensure You Do Not Abandon Your Other Children

You want to try and find a good balance between spending time with your child with special needs and also trying to support and encourage your other children too. They may begin to feel resentment and loneliness if they find that you do not have as much time for them as you do for their sibling with special needs. Yes, your special needs child might require more help, but you don’t want to neglect your other children either through their social and educational development. Creating activities and spending time together as a family as much as possible can help reduce these moments of loneliness and isolation that your other children may feel.

Encourage Your Child to Follow Their Dreams

Whatever hobby or passion that your child develops as they get older, you want to encourage them to pursue as much as possible. As a parent you just want the best for your little one, so you want them to be happy and feel confident in themself. They should not be treated differently in life because they have special needs and the onus is on you to provide them with the confidence, they need to pursue their dreams and ambitions.

Overall, it can be a challenging and stressful time as a parent when you navigate your way around the ups and down of parenthood. You might feel that your path will be more complicated with a child with special needs, but as long as you are organized, patient and willing to learn as much as possible about their medical condition, there is no reason why your little one cannot thrive as a fully functioning adult, later on in life.

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