Being a parent comes with so many rewards but also a few challenges. And when you have a child with special needs, all of those things, both good and bad, are magnified. Providing your child with a happy, healthy and fulfilling life comes with obstacles that you two together will need to overcome. If you’re a parent of a special needs child, you yourself will need some additional help in order to thrive in your role. Here’s how special needs parents can have a life full of joy:
You need more time
Doctor’s appointments, special classes and field trips that can accommodate your child with special needs are almost never located in your area. This means you have to travel long distances and spend a lot of time finding services and accommodation suitable for your family. By joining certain commuting programs and organized transport, you might set aside some more time to spend with your loved ones. Working remotely, cutting your hours and relying on pre-made food to maintain excellent health might also be a good decision for special needs parents, especially in critical periods of your kid’s life.
You need good support
Special needs kids are a source of immense joy, but they often require extra care and extra time from their parents. And when you add other siblings and a full-time job to the mix, it’s easy to see how parents might need support from outside sources. If you have family members willing to help, don’t hesitate to accept it. With a good support system in place, you can rely on help whenever you need it and relieve a lot of stress.
You need money
Money is not the most important thing in the world, but for special needs parents, it can bring a world of relief. In many cases, special needs kids require expensive treatments and therapy, tutors, carers, as well as tools that allow them better mobility and communication, and usually, all of these cost money. Luckily, many programs allow easier financing and incentives for people and children with disabilities and special needs, and if you look into them, you can determine whether you’re eligible for monetary help.
You need rest
Every parent, special needs or not, needs rest to provide their kid with the best care and healthy support and love. And for special needs parents, leaving for a vacation is not an easy task. Luckily, there are programs that offer NDIS respite care that allow families and caregivers to take a break knowing that their loved one is completely taken care of. With these programs, NDIS users and their caregivers can enjoy a nice break, recharge their batteries and have plenty of fun in a healthy and safe environment.
You need knowledge
In order to provide the best care and experiences for their kids, special needs parents need to be knowledgeable about all the schools, doctors, therapists and incentive options. Don’t hesitate to invest time and money into special needs education so you can be comfortable with all the laws, agency options and policies. Having a full grasp of NDIS care providers and facilities, therapies and benefits for your child and yourself can help you greatly down the line and ensure a much happier and less stressful future for your family.
Special needs parents’ groups, forums and meetings usually offer a world of information on various subjects that might concern you and are often more helpful than certain government entities. Investing time and effort into gaining knowledge today can save you a lot of both in the future.
Parents need to spend time with other grownups, especially those that share their experiences and interests. The best thing you can do for yourself to boost your social life is to connect with other special needs parents. They are able to provide emotional and practical support for you and give your child new friends they can relate to.
There are many groups and clubs with special needs kids and parents that connect people and engage them in different activities. Give them a try and you will certainly make strong acquaintances and upgrade your support network.
If you’re struggling right now, know that as a special needs parent, you also have some extra needs of your own. Deciding to handle your needs today can ensure you stay the best parent to your special needs kid for a long time.
Written by Lana Hawkins