The first thing we should never forget is that ‘special needs children’ are children first. And as such, their basic needs aren’t any different than the needs of all the other children.
• They need a place which offers physical comfort
• They need to feel loved
• They should feel secure
• They have to have the opportunities to play and learn
How we give what they need might be the problem for us who are responsible for taking care of children with special needs. Regardless of who we are – parents, other family members, or professional caregivers – we should always remember that they need delicate behavior and more time to get a hold of the basic stuff required for becoming a responsible adult. They may also require a lot of praise even after completion of simple tasks or particular adjustments to guide them through for which other children may not face any difficulties to get efficient at. It’s also important to have clear and precise ideas about what type of difficulties the children are faced with because it helps us get prepared to get the best preparation for the days ahead:
• Hearing Disabilities
• Learning Disabilities
• Physical Disabilities
• Social and Emotional Disabilities
• Special Dietary Needs
• Visual Disabilities
Having a sound knowledge for taking care of the children with special needs is not always enough, because we should not fool ourselves into thinking that it is all very smooth and flowery. Most of the time we do not have enough preparation or mental strength for the challenges that are laid ahead, so very often we simply fail to take proper care.
Though at times it might seem very difficult, it is still possible to take proper care of them. There are many ways possible including getting help from private tuition providers, hiring professional help, or making yourself adept. But I believe before choosing outside help, it is always better to know what you have to deal with in the coming days.
Let me help you with a few tips in that regard:
Meaningful Interaction is Must
The biggest problem the adults face when they meet a child in need of special care is to establish meaningful interaction with the child. Usual means of establishing connections with the children, like asking questions and keep doing that when you are not getting any answers, very rarely works.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to explain different activities you are going to be engaged with at first. Some may prefer a hand on the shoulder or eye-to-eye contact – but remember that every child is different and different things work differently for each of them. So, however painstaking it may seem, you need to find out what works best for them. And act accordingly when you wish them to accomplish something.
Know What It Takes And Educate Yourself:
All the psychologists who work with special needs children emphasize heavily on one thing unanimously – parents must learn the ways to take effective care of children who need special attention.
There are many ways for the parents or other family members to learn effective ways. Numerous quality contents are available on the internet. Parents can self-educate themselves using them. There are universities who have specialized departments and parents can visit there. Psychologists, support groups, community programs, and government initiatives were taken for the special needs children, etc can all be very helpful in regards to helping to educate parents.
Getting educated paves the way for the parents to get the better of some of the negatives and resentment parents may feel. Usually, parents layout an infinite number of hours to teach their kids everything - from how to use the potty to how to move forward with their lives. But for the children of special needs, doing the same is going to be an extraordinarily unique challenge, because you have to teach, re-teach, and keep repeating until you get exhausted and ready to throw the towel. But when you are educated about their unique situation and ways to deal with them, you are going to be better prepared and provide the best help you possibly can.
You Can Never Get Angry:
It is only natural that while providing extra care to the challenging ones, you will feel completely drained. And anger slowly crawls into your consciousness unnoticed. Even though it feels justifiable to get angry and to let the steam out every once in a while, know very clearly that when you are in charge of taking special care of the children who need it, you can never let the anger get the better of you. The psychologists suggest that once you get angry, you might lose all the trust and confidence you have achieved through hard work. And you probably have to start all over again to get the child learn new things or do the pretty basic stuff required for a healthy living.
You Are Not Alone:
Know that in your quest to make your challenged kid a better fit for the future, you are among your fellow warriors. There are many non-profit organizations, community clubs, support groups, or government initiatives working tirelessly to provide teaching, emotional support, exchanging ideas, conducting workshops, etc for professional caregivers and for parents as well. Often you might be mightily relieved just to let out your own struggles known to another human being. And also you have the chance to hear others speaking their hearts out and learn a thing or two to make your own hardships manageable.
Know Your Rights:
In most countries around the world, governments are trying to integrate people with difficulties to perform. And many legislations have already been put into place. You must be aware of them and you should make sure that your child who needs special care will not ever be left behind.
Plan The Future:
What will happen when you will not be around to look after your kid? No matter how cruel it sounds, you should make provisions for the inevitable.
If the kid is suffering from physical disabilities, make sure he or she will have someone helping him. If the child is mentally challenged, make sure that he or she will be looked after by specialized organizations or care homes.
Emphasize On What Your Child Can Do:
It is very important to make sure that you know what your child can do. Most of the time parents or family members are fixated on what disabilities the child is possessed with and completely overlook or ignore the things that he or she can do. No matter how insignificant it seems, you should always emphasize on the things or one little thing he or she can smoothly. And based on that, encourage or teach him to learn other necessary skills that are important for leading a somewhat normal adult life.
There are many ways to take care of the children who need special attention. Some might work for and some would work against, but no matter what, it is our responsibility to make sure that we do everything in our power to make their lives better.