Tips For Empowering Children With Special Needs
Around 14.1 million people in the UK have special healthcare needs, and around 8% of children are disabled. Some of the most prevalent special needs include speech and language delays, ASD, cognitive delays, social and emotional disorders, and learning differences. Some conditions – such as cerebral palsy, which affects around 30,000 children in the UK – require plenty of additional support on a daily basis. Regardless of your child’s disability, there are many steps you can take for empowering children to ensure they feel more independent and happier.
Know Your Legal Rights
Raising a child with complex needs can be a 24/7 job, and this means that one family member may decide to take the role of carer, thus cutting their potential job earnings. If your child’s condition has been caused by medical negligence or any cause that has legal recourse, it is important to seek legal advice. If you are entitled to damages, receiving them can significantly help your family survive and your child thrive. This is because there are many new therapies that are providing positive results. Many, such as aquatic therapy for cerebral palsy, have promising results, but not all new treatments are covered by the public health system. Aquatic therapy has been found to stimulate brain activity in CP patients and help improve motor function. Other newer therapies, such as stem cell therapy, are also showing good results.
Finding Your Child’s Passion
Rehabilitation resolves around improving functionality, so the more activities and hobbies your child is involved in, the better. If your child loves dancing, music or science, for instance, there may be classes and workshops in which the instructor can accommodate your child’s needs. Children with special needs should have more options than simply attending standard rehabilitation programmes. Their interests and passions should be encouraged so they feel more motivated to form a part of social groups and create a diverse group of friends.
Giving Your Child A Role In The Family
Children with special needs should have their own roles and chores within the household. Giving them tasks will highlight the value they bring to the family, and will also foster responsibility. Tasks are an excellent opportunity for parents to praise children and boost their confidence. Children should be encouraged to give themselves fully to all activities – both fun and more routine ones – to feel like an important member of their immediate family and social circle. When outside the home, they should also be encouraged to try their hand at independent activities.
The value of trying one’s hand at different challenges without fearing failure should be instilled. Sometimes, children will struggle to make their way through a fitness challenge or completing a circuit at the children’s gym. They may take more time to complete tasks than friends or family members. Rather than jumping in and helping out, though, parents should allow their little ones to complete activities independently if possible.
Raising an independent child with special needs has both practical and psychological aspects. From a practical point of view, it is important to know your legal rights and organise your financial situation so that you can afford as many positive treatments and activities as possible. From the psychological standpoint, independence can be fostered by encouraging children to pursue their interests and give themselves fully to activities, even if some aspects take time to master.