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Raising a Child with Special Needs

By Sabina Rose
Food Pyramid -

While raising a child involves a great amount of parental involvement, energy and investment, parents raising a child with special needs have a very special and particular calling. Children with special needs not only require more time and care, they will normally require that care for extended periods of their life. The love a parent feels for their child is eternal no matter what difficulties they may be facing. Parents raising a child with special needs will find that a lot can be accomplished with love alone. Making your child feel loved and safe is of the upmost importance. However, there are other steps that can be taken to make sure both you and your child are healthy, strong and happy in the long run.

Support groups

Parents raising a child with special needs often feel overwhelmed at the prospects that accompany this dependent condition. The emotional, medical, and social pressures that accompany special needs can sometimes be more than parents can handle on their own. For these moments, it’s essential that parents have a group they can turn to for support, help, sharing and social outlets. The knowledge that there are avenues of assistance available can make tasks seem less daunting and help parents know they are not alone in their endeavors.

Time-intensive therapy

Children with special needs often require extensive physical therapy to develop fine motor skills. At the same time, it’s important that these children have the opportunity to interact with others their age. Fortunately, there are many daycare centers that offer the best of both worlds. Look for a facility that provides disability therapy alongside social settings. In these atmospheres children with special needs are often involved in specified hours of physical therapy and are then able to spend a certain amount of time in a daycare classroom for needed social interaction.

Take advantage of respite hours

While parents raising a child with special needs are often hesitant to take time for themselves, a little rest and relaxation is necessary for parents to be at the top of their game when it comes to quality childcare. There are organizations available within communities that offer weekend or nighttime respite services for parents of children with special needs. These organizations will temporarily care for a child while parents take much needed time to rejuvenate.

Invest in home improvement

Children with special needs have physical limitations that other children their age may not struggle with. Investing in handicap accessible changes within your home is a smart way to protect your child and eliminate potentially stressful situations. Handicap-friendly showers, tubs, rooms, counters and furniture can be the key to helping a child feel independent in their own home. It’s also a way to eliminate a certain amount of daily stress from the life of a parent worrying about potential injuries. These changes are a financial investment that not only aids a child with special needs, but works toward making the home a place where the entire family feels safe and comfortable.

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