If you have recently learned that your child has developmental delays or a disability, it is important to assure yourself that you are not alone, says author Patricia McGill Smith. The journey to raise a child with special needs can be tough, but with the right knowledge, it can be done. So what sort of helpful tips can help you raise young ones with special needs?
Helpful Tips To Raise Young Ones With Special Needs
Learn Their Condition Fully
First and foremost, it’s crucial to fully learn your child’s condition — if there really is a condition to begin with. There are signs and symptoms of developmental delays that you can use to check against your child’s milestones. For certain conditions, it’s critical to have the child officially diagnosed by their primary physician. For example, diagnosing cerebral palsy will require testing with medical equipment, including imaging tests and MRI scans. Get your child properly diagnosed so their physician can allow you to fully learn your child’s condition.
Prep Your Finances
Once you have a better understanding of their condition and their needs, the next order of business is to prep your finances. For example, the average healthcare cost of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) runs to about $4,100 to $6,200, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This figure does not yet include the cost of therapies and communication devices. It is recommended that you speak with a financial advisor so they can help you organize your present funds and assist you in developing a financial plan for your child’s future. Depending on where you are, several government resources can help ease the financial strain of caring for your child.
Build A Good Support Network
Another tool that can aid you in raising your child with additional needs is a good support network. There are some great organizations out there that support families living with cerebral palsy and other conditions. Also, parent-to-parent peer support has multiple benefits, including a sense of belonging, a heightened sense of control, and better family congruence, according to researchers Chris Barker, Michael Solomon, and Nancy Pistrang. Your support network can also involve your other family members and friends so that they can support you as you raise your child.
When your child has a disability, the world may seem challenging, but it is entirely manageable. As a parent, it will be your responsibility to ensure that you educate yourself on what areas your child may need additional support in, and how you may fill the need sufficiently. Giving yourself time to learn everything and taking the occasional break can help you raise your little one with love and success.