Parenting a disabled child requires the parents to walk an extra mile ahead of normal parenting techniques. Initially, the thought that the child would require special care throughout life can be a distressing feeling for parents. Nevertheless, as the disabled child starts growing up, parenting seems a challenging task. While the challenges faced in parenting a disabled child can be a testing time for the strongest families, ample amount of information can cater to the problem and minimize difficulties.
1. The Challenge
For taking good care of their disabled child, parents need to carry the burden of additional responsibilities and duties. Though the idea of parenting a disabled kid remains quite the same as a normal kid, nevertheless, the extra emotional and financial needs make it more challenging. It is easier for every parent to up bring their child in the initial stage. As whether disabled or non-disabled, at the age of infancy both require the same attention and care. The problem only sets in when the child grows to an age where he/she looks for independence. At this point of time, parents of disabled child have to look around for specialists and expensive supporting equipments for their child. This might lend the child a certain sense of independence.
Another aspect of the challenge is that the parents themselves don’t know much about the disability their child suffers from, and thus don’t know how to react. Often, the disability – in cases where it is not physical – is noticed at a later stage and parents find it hard to accept the reality. They struggle to accept the truth and lash out in their frustration at the disabled child.
2. The Solution
a. Attention deficit child
The parents should shower the child with love and affection. At the same time, a rules and regulation framework is important to be set so that the child knows what not to do. The parents should reward the child whenever he/she does something positive. An important fact though is to change the rewards as the child would get bored. As an established fact, a child with attention deficit disorder is not able to perform the functions of thinking and planning ahead. The parents can, thus, help by simplifying the routine tasks of the child. Parenting of such a child can be made easy with preparing a basic schedule and helping the child organize himself/herself accordingly. Also, the child should be encouraged towards more physical activities.
b. Autistic child
Consult a professional to be sure of your child’s special needs. Be aware and interact with a mindset of getting a positive response. A structured approach executed with love and care can help the autistic child. Execute tasks for your child with proper routines and schedules. Take additional support of assistive technology. Working with the teacher and developing tools, which can help your child grasp concepts, is useful too.
c. Child with learning disabilities
A child with a learning disability would be good at other activities. The key area for the positive development of the child lies in the success of the parents in finding that key activity the child enjoys. If a child shows a keen interest in assisting in household chores, allow him/her to do that, this will boost their self confidence. Regularly follow up with your child’s teacher and if necessary, be open to counseling.
d. Mentally challenged child
Keep your child busy with simple tasks. The tasks, if accomplished, would boost child’s confidence. Never force, as the child would learn at his/her pace. While the child works toward the task, try to note down his/her attention span and the time he/she takes. Talk to other parents facing the same challenge. You might chance upon a good idea.
e. Child with traumatic brain injury
Consult the doctor to know about your child’s injury and the way the treatment has to be administered. Keep the history (medical report) of the treatment intact. Think about getting your child back to the school he/she studied in before the accident. Talk to the medical experts and be sure whether the task of sending back the child to school would help in development. If the child can go to school, try to assess whether your child would require special education needs. It is not impractical to think that realizing your child’s disability can actually be a disheartening experience. Nevertheless, making yourself aware of the disability and adapting to suitable parenting tips can still help in the overall growth of your child.