Parents who are raising a child with special needs work the hardest. Hands down.
It is important parents of children with special needs are prioritizing their well-being. As they say before take off on an airplane, you have to put your oxygen mask on first to be able to put on your child’s. I know this is easier said then done but I would like this to be a friendly reminder to check-in with yourself. Are you making sure your oxygen mask is on?
When you sacrifice your own well-being you are also sacrificing the well-being of your child. Children pick up on our stressors. It’s important you take care of yourself so you can be a calming presence in your child’s life.
There is no one-size fits all parenting approach when your child is experiencing a developmental delay or diagnosed with a disability. Regardless of the labels, each child is different in their own capabilities and potential. All things considered, the following are a few suggestions on how to help your child with special needs feel in control of their growth and capabilities…
- Offer your child as much choice as possible. Children with special needs under go lots of interventions and therapies. Letting your child have a say in parts of their life helps alleviate the stress of always being told what to do by others and not having a sense of control in their life.
- Try different ways of learning and working to figure out what works best for your child. Also, encourage them to pay attention to what helps and does not help. They are the expert on themselves!
- Another great way for children with special needs to develop a healthy sense of control is to give them the opportunity to serve others. (ie. young children, animals)
- Model, model, model! Talk out loud to yourself about managing challenging situations that are hard for your child. (ie. “I can’t believe I forgot my face mask again. I should probably keep an extra one in my bag just incase I forget again“)
- Pay attention to your child’s sleep. Sleep plays a HUGE role in development. Children with ADHD and ASD are at a higher risk for sleep problems. If you notice child has trouble sleeping consult with your pediatrician or a sleep specialist.