Whether you’re a parent, caretaker, or teacher, the support and compassion you can provide to a child with special needs will prove to be invaluable. While not everyone is trained or educated on caring for a child with special needs, all that’s really needed is a positive attitude. Keeping these extra tips in mind will only improve your ability to support the children with special needs in your life.
Many make the mistake of ignoring children with special needs once they try interacting a few times and don’t get feedback. But don’t give up–going over their head to talk to their parents or ignoring them completely gives the impression that they are not a person worth acknowledging. This can be hurtful for both them and their parents. When it comes to interacting with children with special needs, persist and encourage other caretakers, teachers, and students to do the same.
2. Develop Routines
Both you and the child with special needs in your life will benefit from sticking to well-planned routines. Routines create a sense of predictability and stability for both of you and can include both educational and fun activities.
One activity you should strive to work into your regular routine is exercise. Exercise can have positive physical and developmental benefits for children with special needs. For example, swimming helps children with ADHD work off extra energy while also seeing an improvement in concentration.
Though you should always have a plan, it’s a good idea to stay flexible. Just as when caring for any other child, things don’t always go as planned, so relax and allow time for recuperation if they become upset or need some space.
3. Set Them Up for Success
In addition to overseeing their educational development, you can also set them up for success in life by teaching them about personal responsibility, even if on a small scale.
Develop a savings plan so that they’ll be better positioned for financial security, and consider employment options they may have.
4. Be Attentive to Her Development
Make sure they’re getting the support and attention they need at school. Since some public schools are ill-equipped to provide the care all children with special needs deserve, it’s wise to look into private education options.
Homeschooling is often a great option for children with special needs, especially since it gives you the freedom to create the optimal environment for your child’s unique needs. You might even qualify for federal or state-level aid for your child’s schooling, so do a bit of research and make sure you’re taking advantage of all the tools available to you.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Ask For Help
Whether you think your family would benefit from an additional caretaker, a service dog, or simply a better understanding of your child’s needs, never hesitate to ask for help. Consult a doctor or specialist with any questions or recurring problems you need help addressing.
Sometimes finding help simply means finding others like you who understand your unique challenges. There are countless online message boards of parents, teachers, and caretakers of children with special needs who can offer insight and inspiration.
These are just a few ways in which you can ensure that children with special needs are getting the love and attention they deserve. And if you’re ever feeling stuck or impatient, just remember that your love is a powerful, positive force that can make all the difference in your child’s life.
Site last updated: 21. January 2018
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