Tips For Parenting Children With Special Needs
Children and teenagers with developmental delays are not treated equally as other children of their age. A child has special education needs when he/she has a disability that makes it hard to get along with other kids. Parenting a special kid is not an easy task. It takes a lot of time and effort. Parents of these kinds of children require professional guidance. For effective parenting, there are tips that you can adapt when interacting with your special needs child.
- Assume the best.
Many times, children with developmental delays are presumed to be angry or disobedient. Parents find it difficult to recognise the reason behind the child’s behaviour. The very first step is to assume that your child giving his/her best.
2. Be Patient.
A kid with developmental delays finds it difficult to engage in those activities that their peers can do and that is not the problem. Don’t lose patience. Instead of feeling bad, help your kids to learn and provide specialised accommodations to them like give them extra time to follow the instructions, provide them with frequent breaks, use positive reinforcement etc. They may face difficulties while doing certain tasks, be patient and ask them if they need any help.
3. Try not to make assumptions.
If you as a parent are facing any difficulty, consult a specialist. Treat your kid in an age-appropriate way. Always ask your kid before helping him/her out: “Do you want me to move this chair out of your way?” Your kid might want to do something else than you anticipated.
4. Don’t be afraid of your child’s needs.
Don’t lose patience. Don’t be nervous or hopeless around your children. Accept the fact and start working on it so that you can improve the life of your children.
5. Treat their special needs as natural.
Don’t make your kid more insecure about his/her needs because these children are already very anxious about their needs. Interact with your children about their problem openly and calmly and accommodate it without making a fuss. By doing this, you are sending them the signal of love and care.
6. Talk to them like you would talk to another child their age.
Act and behave in the same manner in which you’d talk to another kid of their age. This will help children to be more inclusive of other kids. Listen carefully to the words they use as it will help you know what kind of words they understand. If they don’t speak, then use alternative methods to interact with them such as using vocabulary or signs.
7. Encourage socialisation
To make them feel more confident about themselves and their disability, encourage them to socialise. In this way, your child can learn to interact with the world and enjoy social situations.
8. Encourage them to make decisions independently
Parents assume that their children with developmental delays will not be able to make sound decisions for themselves. This robs them of independence skills. Listen about their choices and ask them to take the responsibility for themselves and praise them for doing a good job. This will help to increase their self-esteem and build self-efficacy.
9. Recognise their strengths.
Identify their talents and strengths. Encourage and cheer them on. For example, if they love to dance, send them to dance classes and support them.
Taking good care of a child with developmental delay can really help them lead a much more normal life growing up. As a parent, it would be hard to identify the needs of your child but there is help out there you just have to ask for it.
“A diagnosis can’t predict the extraordinary love you will have for your kid” - Tara McCallan