Luxury on Mother’s day….our Special Needs Moms deserve it

Mother’s day is almost here.

How do you, dear moms celebrate this special day? Maybe eat out with the whole family? Or a movie date with your spouse or even with the kids as well?

The kids or the spouses usually bring flowers home, right, and of course this is a very nice gesture from your loved ones.

I remember when my son was younger, and still in elementary, he would bring something that they made at school, like a special art or a poem, and of course it would always give me a wide smile and I can’t help but give him a big hug.

Plus beautiful flowers from my spouse and daughter, that would make my day!

Here at Pangga ta Ikaw, we would like to honor five special needs moms on their big day, Mother’s day.

We know that they have done a lot and is still doing great things for their families and of course for their special child.

They are very patient and very loving and ” giving unconditional love, ” is their mantra.

Luxury on Mother’s day, our special needs moms definitely deserve this!

Read on their stories on how their special kids make their families extra joyful and blessed.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Affiliate disclosure for more information.

Emerald with Hailey

Down syndrome baby and mom

Our first mom, Emerald was 36 when she had Hailey, her daughter with Down syndrome, who is now 2 years and ten months.

She has 2 other daughters who are older than Hailey.

As an elementary school teacher, her days are always full and busy. But her family is her priority.

Related post:

Raising a child with Down syndrome-our baby is our happy pill

What is your biggest challenge in raising Hailey?

” It is how to keep her healthy because simple colds can lead to something serious.”

How do you cope with Hailey’s inadequacies or incapacities?

” I always try to be very patient and understanding of her and asks help from her older sisters, so I don’t get overwhelmed.

I appreciate all the little developments that she shows everyday. Like at her age now, she is able to express herself with simple words. “

How does Hailey make you and your family happy?

Luxury on mother's day
Hailey’s family ( Dad not in picture )

” Hailey is a very happy child; she learned the word “love” and with that she extends her hand to hug and kiss.

It makes my day and gives me comfort even on a very tiring day.”

What do you do to celebrate Mother’s day?

”  Since my husband is away, I celebrate this day with my daughters.

We eat out in one of the simple restaurants in our town, or if it’s a weekend, we go to the beach, which Hailey might be anxious to experience at first but eventually, she enjoys it. “

How does Hailey affect your life as a mom?

” Having Hailey is one of the greatest things that happened to me and my family.

She makes our life more special with her unending expression of love..it’s like everyday is Mother’s Day.

Hailey makes me realize that though some people maybe lacking in terms of mental capacity or even physical skills but the ability to show affection can be expressed in so many ways.

Lastly, she makes me realize that we can be very happy even in small things and that’s what actually really matters. “

Here’s an awesome gift for our special needs moms. Click on the image to see the price.Mixbook for Mother's day

Diane with Nathan

Nate has Down syndrome and AutismAt 42 and after 11 years from having her first born daughter, Diane gave birth to Nathan, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome right after delivery.

It was not easy for her to accept the diagnosis but nevertheless, named his son Nathaniel, which means ” gift from  God.”

At around 2 years old, Nathan showed signs of autism and was diagnosed when he was three.

Nathan is now going 13 and although can say some very few words, basically he is non-verbal.

Diane works part time as a bedside Nurse and with her husband, takes turns in taking care of Nathan.

What is your biggest challenge in raising Nathan?

”  At around 2-3 years old, after Nathan got the very first and last flu shot, he got sick for about a week with slight fever. Then we noticed that he stopped talking.

I was really hesitant for him to get this shot but his doctor encouraged us, so I firmly believe until now that this caused him to lose all his words.

I got so upset and angry with the doctor and called the clinic right away to inform them.

Eventually he showed signs of autism, until at 6 years old, he was given another booster of vaccines, that I believed made his autism worse.

Nowadays, our greatest struggles with him is cutting his nails every week and his hair every few months. No hair dresser would like to trim his hair because he flails his arms around and kicks a lot.

He is getting stronger each day and his dad needs to hold him tight because he fights with all his might. “

How do you cope with Nathan’s inadequacies or incapacities?

” Together with my husband, who is also a Nurse, and my daughter, who loves his brother a lot, we take turns in caring for Nathan.

Related post: Big sister, little brother… he has Down syndrome and autism !

Until now, it’s still hard for me to see him not able to associate properly with kids his age.

We just take each day’s struggles as challenges that eventually and hopefully will make Nathan better especially in his speech and self-care later in his life.”

How does Nate make you and your family happy?

Nathan has Down syndrome and autism

” Although Nate is basically non-verbal, he can say a few words like stop, done, outside, go away, bye, and please. This makes us happy that at least he can express himself in his own simple way.

Nate is also a very neat and organized kid. He loves to shower every night, loves to brush his teeth morning and night time , all with assistance and no tantrums.

 He’s a little bit responsible of his personal belongings like every time he comes home from school or outside, he puts away his shoes by himself. When he takes off his clothes, he puts them in the hamper. When he is done with his snacks and drinks, he puts the dishes in the counter.

Nathan makes us smile too when he goes to the mirror and tries to act out anything, He is amused himself doing this, as well. Maybe he is an actor in the making, who knows? “

What do you do to celebrate Mother’s day?

” I’m working on Mother’s Day, so no celebration this year, but usually, if I’m free, we eat out in a restaurant after attending mass. We’ll do that when I’m off work next week.

Ever since Nathan attended school, he brings home a Mother’s day card or a small pot of plant from school. This makes my day! “

How does Nate affect your life as a mom?

” I may have accepted my son as special, but there are lots of times that I feel sorry for him especially if I see our family friends’ kids of his age and they can already do things and here is Nathan, still unable to read and write.

There’s 5 boys of them that’s almost Nathan’s age and he can’t just socialize with them . Nathan would just sit in the sofa watching them or watching television, but he’s happy though to see them running around the house playing. “

Watch out for more insights about Diane and Nathan in another blog sometime soon. 

Gift for Mother's day
Give our special needs moms an awesome gift to store memories of a lifetime

Lee with MarkLuxury on Mother's day

At 42, Lee gave birth to her youngest and only boy, Mark, also a Down syndrome kid.

He is now 10, but is still non-verbal. Mark has 3 older sisters.

Lee is a full time government employee and juggles her time with family and work, which sometimes call her on weekends.

Related post: A mother’s unconditional love… it is for real

What is your biggest challenge in raising Mark?

” Starting Mark on solid food is really a struggle. He cannot properly swallow solid food, so we have to prepare them always in a blender.

Growing up, Mark relied mostly on milk and he had frequent diarrhea, thus he would be confined to the hospital a lot of times.

Until now, his food is still processed in a blender and being given to him by me or his dad or nanny. He still cannot feed himself.

Mark is only partially toilet-trained as well, so still needs lots of assistance. “

How do you cope with Mark’s inadequacies or incapacities?

” I  have ever since accepted Mark for what he is and although taking care of him is challenging, I have lots of support in my husband, my daughters and his nanny.

Patience, understanding, and acceptance of what he can do everyday keeps me grounded. I don’t expect anything but just appreciate what he is and what he can do.

I still believe that eventually he will be able to talk and will be able to be toilet-trained.

When? In due time. “

How does Mark make you and your family happy?

Lee and Mark with family

” Mark is easy to take care of, he is able to follow simple instructions, like taking the hand of his grandparents or us his parents or other elders to his forehead as a sign that he is asking for God’s blessings.

He has no tantrums and just loves watching TV at home.

Although he cannot express himself, his mere presence in our lives with his innocence make us realize that life can be as simple with just the basic needs and still be happy.”

What do you do to celebrate Mother’s day?

” Usually, we prepare some food and celebrate with my family and my parents. Nothing extravagant, but just getting together as a family.

This day makes me realize how challenging it is being a mom especially since I have a special child. “

How does Mark affect your life as a mom?

” Mark is a blessing to our family. He may have made my life busier and more challenging, but at the end of the day, taking care of him is a joy and source of satisfaction.

He may be delayed in his development but because of that, I always feel that having a ” baby” ( Mark ) in our midst keep us grounded and full of simple joy. “

Mylene with Alyanna

Alyanna and mom

After 2 kids , Mylene at 38 had Alyanna, who was diagnosed later to have Cornelia de Lange syndrome.

Now 6 years old, Alyanna is still non-verbal and has just started to walk on her own.

Mylene , who is working part-time at a senior’s home, is always full with three young kids, including a special one.

What is your biggest challenge in raising Alyanna?

” Starting from Alyanna’s diagnosis, I have accepted that she has delayed physical and mental development. Having studied Nursing, it was not so hard for me to take care of her.

Until at almost 3 years old, we were advised to submit Alyanna to have open heart surgery for a hole in her heart which was noted when she was more than a year old. The doctor had to observe for a few months to see if it would close spontaneously.

We had to fly all the way to another city where the heart surgeon was. We stayed in the hospital for 5 days after surgery ( including 2 days in intensive care unit ).

My husband and I were quite stressed during that time because we did not know the outcome and thinking that she is so young , so small and so frail, we were not sure if Alyanna would recover fully and come out safe after the surgery.

Thank God we were able to get out of hospital with Alyanna  then already smiling, eating apple sauce and yoghurt, and on the road to recovery.”

How do you cope with Alyanna’s inadequacies or incapacities?

” I’m so thankful for the support of my family-my husband is hands on giving food to Alyanna and taking care of her during his off days from work. Even my daughter who is almost 10 can take care of her, as well.

Nowadays, my mother-in-law who is on vacation with us has been a big help for taking care of Alyanna, to doing household chores.

I can also count for help with my two other sisters.

So, family support does the trick for me.”

How does Alyanna make you and your family happy?

Luxury on mother's day

” Alyanna smiles a lot, she giggles, too especially when her sister tickles her.

When I arrive home from work, she lets me feel that she misses me by hugging and kissing me when I get to hold her.

Her mere presence in our lives is a blessing and we appreciate every little thing that she can do.

Lately, she enjoys walking back and forth from the sofa to the love seat. She’s like telling us, ” See I can walk now, you don’t have to hold me anymore.”

What do you do to celebrate Mother’s day?

” It’s usually an extended family celebration, either at home or someone else’s home or at the park. It’s always a potluck thing where every family brings their specialty.

It’s all about food, stories, games, singing, and laughter.

My 2 older kids who are in the elementary and even Alyanna who is in SPED, gives me special crafts on this day and they validate my job as their special mom. “

How does Alyanna affect your life as a mom?

” With Alyanna around, life is always happy. Whose heart would not leap as she giggles and laughs when tickled or even for no reason at all?

I know she is God’s gift to us, who will always keep us grounded and humble.

Alyanna is our reality check.”

Berling with Pangga

My mom Berling, who had a small retail business, has 10 kids. Pangga, my sister with Down syndrome, is the sixth child and she had her when she was 29 years old.

Pangga had Down syndrome

Related post:

Down syndrome-signs and life expectancy

My mom married at a very young age, did you figure that out?

Having 10 kids is also something. I only have one and he is a handful.

I really appreciated my mom when I got married and had my own child.

Mama is now 80 years old, somewhat frail with health concerns and some memory problems.

Even if I wanted to interview her, she wouldn’t be able to remember details, so I’ll just relate to you some observations on how she raised Pangga with all her big family plus being a full time self-employed retailer. I also learned some facts based on her stories when she was younger.

My mom breastfed all of us and had every baby home-delivered by a traditional midwife. She would also need the assistance of that traditional midwife to take care of her babies like bathing them, until maybe two months old.

She was a really hardworking and responsible parent. She did not go to any business school, but because of determination and hard work, she was able to contribute enough for the family’s finances. My dad worked full time as a government employee with just the basic salary.

Jill of all trades

Luxury on Mother's day

In one of our family reunions, we gave her the award, ” Jill of all trades ,” ( from Jack and Jill ) because she was into several pursuits when she was raising her family.

When we were younger, she learned how to sew anything from ladies’ brassieres to girls’ dresses and hair accessories and she would sell these items in a makeshift store in local communities during special occasions in any town in the province where we lived.

She would also accept dressmaking orders from clients. Aside from having a retail store at home, I remember at one time she had two stores in different locations. She repacked household food items like sugar and spices that she sold on her store.

Growing up, we kids would reluctantly help her with these. I guess kids are always like this, lol!

My mom always had paid help in her businesses and around our home. In fact, we grew up with different nannies every few months or years, except for one who really stayed with us for a long time until she got married and even came back when her kids were grown up.

Aside from the retail stores, my mom was good at cooking any food that she sells , like snack items or dessert which were made from scratch.

She was the most persistent businesswoman I know.

We kids definitely learned how to be responsible from her because we would always be asked to assist her in all these endeavors.

So, with all her busy business life, you may ask:

How did she raise us, ten kids with 2 special ones?

Mother's day honors the light in the family-our moms!
All ten kids joyfully celebrated our parents’ Golden wedding anniversary.

Of course, as I mentioned awhile back, we always had nannies to help. My younger brother who has mental retardation stayed at home and was trained to take care of himself and to help around the house.

Pangga, on the other hand, who really developed late, physically and mentally, stayed with my mom’s aunt in another town and would come to visit us every few months, until she stayed with us in her later years leading to her death.

All of us siblings were also trained to pitch in with the household chores and in her stores, so everybody helps.

The older siblings would be baby sitters with the younger ones, as we were growing up. Since I am the oldest daughter, I was usually tasked to be like the mom when Mama was away or busy in her stores.

Generosity as a family trait

Aside from being a very responsible mom, she was also very generous with her siblings and other people around her. She and my dad , when we were still young, provided for the school expenses of one of her sisters, a trait which we copied with our own siblings down the line.

Being a big family, whose parents are medium income earners, who would have imagined that we all could successfully finish university, except for the 2 special ones?

It all started with an all out financial help for our studies, for me and my older brother, from one of my mom’s sisters who worked as a nurse abroad. I believe she got this benevolent trait from my mom, as well.

This then started the tradition in our family of sending to school our younger siblings and the next in line, until everybody graduated.

My mom was and still is a strong cohesive force in our family.

Luxury on Mother's day

Celebrating Mother’s day

We may not have celebrated Mother’s day big time when we were younger, but now that we have our own families, we realize that our ” Mama Berling,” has been a source of inspiration for all of us for being so resourceful, responsible and caring.

Since most of us now live abroad, we try our best to call her on this special day and hand out some cash gifts to make her smile.

In one of our visits about 3 years ago, I bought a personalized cake and prepared some food to celebrate with family.

A big hole in her heart

Pangga had Down syndrome

When Pangga passed away, being the first in our family to leave us, my mom got so depressed for a few months. She couldn’t sleep and eat and felt so useless.

We, the kids have come to the rescue to fill the void in her heart!

We made a schedule so that almost daily, she received a call ( most of us are based abroad ) from us kids and her grandchildren, to cheer her up and to make her feel that we are here for her and we still need her.

Of course we prayed a lot, as well.

Thank GOD she eventually recovered and now, even if she is getting frail and not as active and productive at home, she and my dad and my special brother enjoys tending a vegetable garden at a place where she feels she is useful and happy.

This is quite an expensive hobby; selling the produce from the garden is way less than the amount that they spend on fares to go back and forth and the salary that she gives to the workers, but who cares?

Mama’s garden

This is her happy place and this is what makes her wake up early in the morning, rather than sleep in and wake up at noontime to go back to sleep again after a few hours.

Keeping her busy in the garden, even just overseeing her workers, make her days feel full and productive.

Happy Mother’s day,Ma! We love you!

Mama's garden

Extraordinary supermoms

I’m sure you would all agree that as moms of special kids, they are also “special,” in their own right.

Special and extraordinary.

Taking care of normal kids is itself challenging, how much more with special kids?

Not only double or triple hard and more challenging, and if the kid has some health problems as well, it adds to the burden.

But mind you, these moms, have all what it takes to be super moms and they all deserve luxury on Mother’s day, right?

From Pangga ta Ikaw, we wish Emerald, Diane, Lee, Mylene, and Mama Berling and all the special needs moms out there a joyful, blessed ” Happy Mother’s day! “

We  truly appreciate what you do for your special kids and your whole family.

May your tribe increase!

Special needs moms

Mixbook to store memories for Mother's day gift
Make memories with a photobook. Click the image to see the price.

How do you celebrate mother’s day? As a special needs mom, do you feel extra special on this day? Share your story with us.

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Special needs homeschool….can my child learn?

As parents, we want our kids to learn the best that they can. We always seek for them the best schools, under the best teachers if we have choices.

We assist our children as much as we can with their homework and projects. We see to it that they hand in their assignments on time and they review their lessons way ahead of their scheduled examinations.

When they do good in school, we are the proudest of their achievements. We even buy something for them to celebrate their success.

The same goes for our children with special needs. As parents of our special kids, we always want for them to achieve the best that they can be.

It doesn’t matter if our special child is not able to talk at the age appropriate for him, as long as gradually he is able to communicate, that’s all that matters.

 

Special needs homeschool

We may have fears of our special child being bullied in school, or questions whether he will be able to adapt easily to his new teacher and new classmates plus the new surroundings.

So, at the back of our minds, we have this question:

A special needs home school…. can my child learn from me?

Is homeschooling the better option?

This is the question that most parents with special needs child will have to address.

Let us look at the pros and cons of homeschooling.

Benefits of a special needs home school

As parents, we always hope for the best outcome or learning potential for our special kid.

If you have the time and the resources to home school your child, it could be your best option for him.

These are some positive aspects for letting your child attend home school.

  • Specific needs will be addressed. You as the parent who is there for your child 24/7 truly understands what your special child needs, for example you will know what your child is struggling, maybe reading or verbalizing his needs.

 

  • “We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”
  • One-on-one attention will boost your child’s confidence more than ever and he will learn faster.

 

  • Avoiding many obstacles in a traditional classroom. Communication will be the biggest struggle in school, but with you around in the home school, he can always be open to verbalize his needs or put forward his concerns non- verbally if need be. Bullying would be an issue that can be avoided there as well.

 

  • Flexible time and schedule. A structured time and schedule is good, but there will be times that your child would need to move his schedule or you may need to do it yourself for whatever reason.

 

  • Observing up close your child’s progress and struggles. As the parent-teacher, you will see first-hand your child’s development or what area he needs to focus on.
  • Understanding your child’s inadequacies and coping mechanisms. Only a parent can accept unconditionally his child’s shortcomings.
  • Pacing of teaching can be adjusted depending on your child’s improvement. You don’t have to report to a principal or superior about why your child is still unable to read or identify colors at a certain time and explain why.
  • Comfortable surroundings for your child will let him learn more effectively. You can both be in your jammies and sitting in your bed reading together. He doesn’t need to go out in extreme cold if the weather is not so good.

Drawbacks of homeschooling

Of course attending a traditional school for your child would be the best option if need be, but it is not always possible, or you think making him attend home school is the best because you believe you can offer him the best education there is.

There are negative feedback of course, and would include the following:

  • Social skills will not be optimized. Since he is alone at home with you, he will not develop the best friendships and good communication skills.
  • Your child will test the limits of your patience. There might be a time that you might feel so frustrated if he learns so slow or forgets what he has learned and you feel that homeschooling in not fit for your special child.
  • You might feel inadequate for your child as a mentor having no teaching experiences in school, more so with a special kid.
  • Tantrums or meltdowns might happen many times that are hard to control and as a parent, may discourage you to stop the lessons for the day.
  • In the early stages or even before starting homeschooling especially if a special child has been previously enrolled in a public school, some school officials harass the parents and don’t allow the special child to dis-enroll because of fear of losing funding.
  • Special needs children may lose government-funded special child services such as speech therapy when home schooled.

How to improve your child’s skills as a home schooler

As the teacher for your special child, you can always plan on improving how you handle him. You don’t need to suggest to his teacher in the regular school what you think is the best way to offer him lessons.

  • Let your special child attend group activities like your church’s Sunday school or your neighborhood’s annual picnic to broaden his horizon and meet other kids.
  • Enroll him in extracurricular activities like piano lessons where he can interact with another teacher or other students if they will have recitals or concerts.
  • Let him stick to a routine as much as possible, like the same schedule each day for school, play, and homework. This will develop in him discipline and good study habits.
  • Daily habit of reading if he can, or reading to him if still not able on his own.
  • Encourage him to ask questions, thus enabling him to learn through exploration and discovery.
  • Give rewards for his achievements. There is no better way to encourage him to achieve more if he sees that you appreciate his efforts.

  • Encourage him to repeat works or projects that are not acceptable at first or second try. Let him feel that mistakes are okey as long as he tries again to correct them.
  • Discuss with him why he did not get good results or scores with certain exams or projects and encourage him to give suggestions on how he can overcome these.
  • Balance learning with fun. Introduce play as much as possible or activities that your child enjoys in your daily lessons.
  • Connect with other parent-teachers ( join home school groups ) so you could compare ways on how to optimize teaching to your child and he can meet new friends as well.
  • Be patient with your child’s progress and just be content of what he can achieve daily. Don’t expect too much.
  • Display his works at home such as in the fridge or a dedicated corner or show to family so he knows that you are proud of his achievements.

Legalities and requirements of homeschooling

While homeschooling is legal in all 50 states in the US and all provinces in Canada, there are different requirements of each state or province where you live.

Call the authorities or agencies in your place just to be sure that they will not go after you and you will be out of trouble.

Some places require home school parents to meet basic educational qualifications, like a high school diploma or GED or a teaching certificate, but most states in the US do not have this requirement.

For Canadian homeschooling, please visit your province’s Department of Education websites for specific requirements. Some provinces may require you to report to them periodically for your child’s achievements. Or you need to tell them before you start home schooling.

I have mentioned only US and Canada here as examples, but if you live somewhere else, this could also apply to you.

Parents excel in giving education to their special needs children

A year-long research was conducted by Dr Steven Duvall in eight elementary and two junior high students with learning disabilities, where five students were home schooled and five attended public schools.

He did this by seating-in on teaching sessions and observed every twenty seconds how the students used academically engaged time during instructional periods. He then encoded data in his laptop which were double-checked by a second observer.

Likewise, Dr Duvall measured the students’ scores in standardized achievement tests in reading, math and written language.

Look at the amazing results!

  • The home schooled special kids showed academic engagement two and a half times more than those enrolled in public schools.
  • The home schooled kids spent only 40.7 % of their time with no academic responses against 74.9 % for the kids in public schools.
  • The teachers and kids in home schools were sitting side -by-side or face-to-face 43% of the time compared to only 6% of the time for public schools. This gave more advantage for the home schooled kids.
  • The home schooled kids showed an average of six months improvement in reading compared to only half a month gain for special kids enrolled in public schools.
  • The home schooled kids showed an average of eight months improvement in written language skills compared to only 2.5 months in kids enrolled in public schools.

Dr. Duvall summarized, “These results clearly indicate that parents, even though they are not certified teachers, can create instructional environments at home that assist students with learning disabilities to improve their academic skills. This study clearly shows that homeschooling is beneficial for special-needs students.”

It is  a very positive and encouraging study, so my dear parents, take the opportunity to home school your kids if you can!

What parents say about homeschooling or home education:

Here are two parents who found homeschooling effective for their children with special needs.

JOYCE has this to say:

” My son was thrown out of a private mainstream nursery at the age of 4. What followed was his diagnosis of autism and my decision to home educate. I am lazy and chicken, decided I would rather provide him what he needs socially and educationally myself than spend my days beating my head against the doors of authorities to convince them to provide it. And all that otherwise frustrated time is instead spent enjoying my happy, unique
son.The result so far –

My husband and my family are now convinced that we made the right choice. My son is happy and excited about learning. It’s not all roses, he does balk at writing but he excels at chemistry (sorry for the brag).

They have come to see that it works. He can race ahead at what he loves and get extra time for things he struggles with, all in a nonjudgmental environment.

It is so far beyond what I could hope to find for him in a school. His joy in learning is worth all the effort.”

MARSHA IDDINGS shares her feelings about homeschooling her son Matthew:

“The most important fact that I discovered while developing Matt’s home school program is this: You, the parent, will always be your child’s greatest advocate. No other professional knows, cares, or loves your child with the depth that you do. This, more than any other factor, is important in creating a successful learning environment for the challenged child.”

Home schooling could be the best option for your child with special needs

There you go, considering the many benefits of homeschooling plus the positive results of the study done by Dr. Duvall and the awesome and positive experiences of some parents, let you be inspired to start to home school your special kid and erase your worries that you cannot  be the best teacher for your special child, but of course, he can definitely learn from you.

REMEMBER:

You as the parent who is there for your child 24/7 is the only one who knows your special child’s strengths and weaknesses to the core.

You are the only one who can offer him unconditional love and full support.

Your child feels secure with you at home, where it is the safest environment for him.

So, my dear parents, if you have the time and resources, go and home-school your special child!

You can be the best teacher for him. Ever.

 

Do you have plans of homeschooling your special child?

Or are you already homeschooling your child with special needs?

We would love to hear from you.

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Parenting a special child- surviving the challenges

Parenting a special child
Parenting a special child is a lifetime career.

As a parent, you have most probably bonded with your child even before he was born. You have started to talk to him while he was in your tummy.

You have planned the look of his nursery and you have marked  where to place his crib and his closet.

Maybe you have visualized his first birthday party, the theme and even the giveaways.

But then on his delivery, you learn that your child is special, then you will be in shock and devastated.

Especially if you were not ready emotionally of his arrival and you had no idea that he is  “special,” at all.

Or maybe, your baby is having awesome development on his first few months to his second year or 18 months and gradually declines or show signs of regression, it’s also very depressing.

Sometimes, new moms feel ” guilty ” delivering a special child.

It’s not your fault. Nobody wants her kid to have special needs.

Nevertheless, he is your child, you waited for him for nine months, and he needs you.

Always remember that he is an angel, a source of joy for your family.

There will be challenges in taking care of him, but with the support of your family and relatives, you will be okay.

Don’t feel guilty, don’t be embarrassed, accept your child ” as he is.”

We know that parenting a special child involves a lot of struggles, but just be open and offer him unconditional love and surviving the challenges will come naturally.

After all, a mother’s love is all it takes to nurture your special kid.

A gift from God

He was given to you because you have the capacity to take care of him, to love him, and to help him develop to his fullest potential.

Celebrate the birth of your son or daughter, including his or her inadequacies.

Don’t focus on his disability. Be happy with his milestones, even though they are slow.

Here are some tips on parenting a special child, your child, and in the end, surviving the challenges.

Remember you are an awesome mom or dad, and you are the primary caregiver of your baby. You owe him your care and concern and your whole self.

Love your child unconditionally

  • If you are the mom, be proud that you have carried this baby yourself. You have nurtured him even before he was born, so just continue to be there for him, no matter what.
  • If you are the dad, pour out your love to your kid and be hands on in taking care of him. Support your wife and take turns in taking care of your special child. He needs you more than ever.

Educate yourself

  • Ask your doctor and therapists if you have questions or doubts.
  • Read books or journals about your child. The more you know about his condition, the more you will understand how he behaves.
  • Connect with other parents who have the same child as yours. Share information with one another. Join social media groups if you can.

Here are some books that you can check out at Amazon ( click on the image )

My child has autism
What is autism?
Down Syndrome- parent's guide
Learn about Down Syndrome
The lucky few
A family’s experience with special kids
Kids in the syndrome mix
Kids in the syndrome mix

 

 

 

 

 

“We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us
to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from
qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the 
Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”

Bond with your child

  • Involve yourself as much as possible in his activities especially in his playtime.
  • Find time to include playing and reading with your child as part of  your daily schedule, even for just half an hour. The longer, the better.
  • Daily time with him is really important for your child to develop deep trust in you.
  • He will feel that he is important and that you really care for him.
  • You will have firsthand observation on his progress.
  • Playtime and reading are some of the greatest bonding activities that you will have with him. You will share with his fun and joy as he learns to explore things.

Connect with your family and friends.

Family support to make caring for your special child easier
A family’s support makes caring for your special child easier.
  • Don’t isolate yourself.
  • Make regular dates with your partner.
  • Continue to attend family gatherings.
  • Share with your family the progress and milestones of your child.
  • Communicate regularly with your family, especially with your spouse, parents and siblings. They could always support you emotionally as well as help you with baby-sitting from time to time.
  • Schedule playtime for your child with his cousins, to develop rapport and acceptance.

 

Take care of yourself

  • Have lots of sleep and rest. Eat nutritious food. You need to be healthy and not get sick.
  • Exercise regularly. Daily walks will enable you to have time to think and recharge.
  • Go out and find time to relax with your friends and other adult members of your family.
  • Be proud that you are able to take care of your special child. Don’t dwell on self-pity.

Find and join support groups

  • Know that there are lots of parents and families out there who are in the same boat as you are.
  • Learning from other parents will help you how to be always ready for your kid if problems arise.
  • Knowing that you’re not the only one having struggles will make your load light.
  • Schedule playtime with other kids with the same special needs as your child.
  • Celebrate milestones of your kids with other parents.

Collaborate with his teachers, caregivers and health advocates

  • Attend meetings and consultations when the teacher and therapist schedule them. Be open to their suggestions.
  • Ask questions and follow up the progress of your child.
  • Suggest to his teacher and therapist if you think something needs to be done or addressed with about your kid’s behavior. After all, you are always with him and you are able to observe him close enough and somehow, you know how he copes up with challenges.
  • When your child arrives from school, look at his backpack for homework and help him do it.
  • Acknowledge the support that his teacher and therapist gives him.

Celebrate your child’s progress and milestones

  • Keep a record of his milestones and progress in his baby book.
  • Capture his first walk, first word, etc in pictures or videos.
  • Share his progress with your friends and family.
  • Reward him with a toy or food for something that he has accomplished, like toilet training or being able to write the alphabet or his name.
  • Let him join the class concert or program and be there for him.

Ask for help

  • Inquire from your child’s doctor and therapist about any problem or struggle that arises and seek advise on how to deal with it.
  • Support from family, even from grandparents are really important. Babysitting , turns in caring if child is sick or in the hospital, or company for you to the doctor or therapist visits are all important.
  • There is always help and support if you feel overwhelmed. I’m sure even neighbors and friends can pitch in help if you ask them.

You and your child are partners

Parenting a child with special needs maybe overwhelming and tiring, but seeking the help of others, accepting your child as he is, focusing on his strengths, milestones and progress and taking care of yourself are all very important so you can thrive and your child likewise will develop to his fullest potential.

Being a parent of a child with special needs is indeed very challenging but your rewards will come from your kid himself when he shows you his progress, even though they are slow.

When  he calls you ” Mom,” or ” Dad, ” for the first time at 3-5 years old, then you will jump with joy. You know that from there, everything will just fall into place.

You are capable of becoming the best mom or the best dad to your child with special needs and be proud of that.

After all, caring for your child, loving him for what he is and celebrating his milestones will always bring immense joy in you and your whole family.

As a parent, how do you take care of your special child? How do you bond with him or her? Do you find time for yourself and ask help from other family members as well? Please share your experiences with us.

 

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The benefits of reading to your special child… making learning a fun experience

Kids will be kids. They enjoy time with their parents and caregivers. They will always feel safe when they are around with their beloved mom and dad, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or their nanny.

What a better way to spend time together with your special child than reading to them.

Exploring books together with  your special kid is one of the best form of parental-child bonding, maybe second to playing with them.

 

What are the benefits of reading to your special child?

Even if your special child has  delayed mental development, he will still enjoy sitting down with you or lying down in the bed with you.

He will always tend to snuggle or hug you while listening to your story-telling.

So aside from just being happy together, there are lots of positive output that reading to your child will bring:

  • A strong bond is developed between you and your special child.
  • Your child will have  a sense of security when he is  there in the bed or chair  with you.
  • You are both able to explore the world, your town, province or country.
  • He gradually forms a deep trust in you.
  • He learns to appreciate that you are trying to help him improve or overcome his incapacities.
  • Your special child will slowly increase his vocabulary.
  • He gradually improves his language skills.
  • His mental capability will be boosted.
  • You are opening your child’s awareness to his surroundings, thus he learns coping skills.
  • You are helping your child’s teacher in a way because  your kid will be more receptive with lessons in school.
  • Reading will develop your child’s imagination and creativity.
  • He will learn to relax and quiet his mind during reading sessions with you.

Make reading together a habit

We learn easily when we do things again and again. Your child with special needs will truly benefit from you when you make reading to him a habit.

Rather than make your child watch nursery rhymes on television or you tube  day after day, develop the habit of reading to him instead at bedtime or just anytime that you feel he is receptive to listen to your storytellling.

Making reading to him a daily thing will surely increase his trust in you and he will always look forward to that special time together.

Gradually, you are increasing his vocabulary and his understanding of his environment.

This special time will also make you feel that you are giving him a special part of you.

“We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”

Enjoy reading with your child

Read aloud to your child.

Act out and speak out like the characters in the book that you are reading. If you are reading a dialogue for an old lady, let your voice be slow and quivering. If you are reading a man’s dialogue, speak in a deep tone.

You can even mimick some animals’ sounds. Surely your child will giggle and enjoy hearing your story.

He will always look forward to reading with you everyday.

You yourself will feel very happy and at peace after these sessions.  Your child’s laughter will wash away all the worries or stresses that you maybe experiencing at that moment.

Incorporate the assignments from school in your reading sessions

During homework time, start by reading to your child a good story book. This will develop his enthusiasm in doing his assignment.

Answering questions or completing his tasks that his teacher sent home will be a breeze if his brain is programmed to respond positively.

Encourage him to answer his homework by himself.  Let him ask you questions as well or let him know that you can help him if he cannot answer the questions.

Guide him if you can, instead of giving him all the answers. This way, you are encouraging him to think and decide for himself what is the best answer.

His teacher will be very appreciative learning that you are there to help her encourage your child to learn each day.

Read various topics

To increase your special child’s vocabulary and develop his language skills, try to read a variety of topics from animals, cartoon characters, plants, school, home, family, food, etc.

After reading, talk about the story that you just read.

Ask him questions like, ” What part of the story did you like most? “, “Who is your favorite character? “, or ” What did you learn from the story?”

Encourage him to ask questions to you as well. This will also gauge if he understood the topic or not.

An inquisitive mind is open to more learning.

Here are some awesome books for your special one.

Click the picture to buy!

        

Keep reading time short and sweet

A special child will have limited attention span, so plan to read short stories. Their intellectual capacities are also restricted, so they lose interest easily.

You might need to speak very slowly too, so he can understand every word and appreciate the story.

Don’t be upset when your child doesn’t decipher everything that you read to him. Keep in mind that he has delayed mental capabilities, so his brain is slow to digest.

Just appreciate that he enjoys time with you and he is learning slowly. 

Plan on going to the library regularly

A trip to the library on a weekend or right after school on a certain day is something that you can develop with your special child.

This will teach him the value of reading regularly. Likewise, he will be exposed to different books and topics.

Let him choose what he wants you to read to him. This way, you will encourage him to explore.

Start with small books or short stories.

Picture books are awesome for small kids to begin with.

Introduce reading to your special child from birth

Reading to your newborn or a few months old special baby can certainly give benefits both to you and him.

You will develop a special bond right away aside from his feeding schedules.

His brain will be exposed very early to this stimulating activity and as he grows and develops, reading will aid  in forming his language skills early on.

Your voice will soothe him to let him sleep good at night.

Developing that good habit of reading everyday will surely help him overcome his mental delay sooner because his brain will be rewired early.

As your child grows older, he would be choosing  his favorite topic, author, or book.

All these because you have started to expose him early and he has developed that habit of reading ( or listening if he has not learned reading by himself ).

I hope I have inspired you, dear mom and dad to start reading to your special child if you have not started.

Wishing you and your child happy reading!

Check out my favourite AMAZON picks  for babies here. 

 

When did you start reading to your special child?  Are you reading to him everyday?

What is his favorite book about? Please share your story with us.

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A mother’s unconditional love…it is for real

Delivering a baby whom you carried in your womb for nine months, more or less,  is a very satisfying and heavenly experience.

More so, if the baby is the very first of the new mom.

Even if the baby is SPECIAL.

Thereafter, only a mother can provide to her child the best care there is.

A mother’s  UNCONDITIONAL LOVE….a nurturing love , which  a mom wholeheartedly  gives.

Let me introduce to you a mom who has a  special kid and is happy to share her experiences.
 

 

LEE is married and blessed with four kids, 3 girls and a boy.

The three young ladies  are in high school and all are doing good, all of them with honours.

Her youngest, a boy named MARK has  Down syndrome and presently enrolled in a  Special Education program.

How old were you when you had your special child and how did you know that he was special?

” I was 42 when I had Mark and I knew right away when I saw him at the delivery room that he was special based on his facial features. I had a sister who also had  Down syndrome  but she passed away a few years back and  so their features are quite familiar to me. “ 

Tell me about your special  son.

” Mark has Down syndrome with  a congenital heart disease.

He is a jolly kid who loves watching motorcycle and car races and sports on television.

At  9 years old, he is  still unable to talk but communicates  in his own way, like if he wants to watch TV, he will hold your hand and bring you close to where the plug is.

He can walk on his own, but still needs full assistance in eating. He is not yet fully toilet-trained as well.”

How did you and your family react to the news that he is special?

” I was initially  shocked because I had no idea when I was pregnant about having a special baby.

Then, I was depressed for awhile. I guess I was unprepared emotionally during his birth.

But in the end, I just accepted him for who he was, so did  my family.”

           

Do you have any fears about his future?

” Yes, because Mark is special, he will be dependent on us throughout his lifetime and I don’t know when we get older if we can still take care of him or if we pass away, who will be responsible for him?

I guess parents always think about the future of their kids especially if they have special needs. “

Did you have any struggles on caring for him and how did you manage?

” Taking care of him has been a challenge because he needs special attention especially since he has a congenital heart disease. Of course we also have to understand how he behaves.

I remember Mark had several episodes of convulsion with fever when he was around 4 years old and he was admitted to the hospital for several days. It was then that we realized that we could lose him and that we really love him dearly.

With the support of my family, and him getting more independent, things are becoming better and easier each day. “

Is he having therapies or attending Special Education?

” Mark is seeing a Pediatric cardiologist at least once a year and he has maintenance medicines for his heart.

For the last two years, he has been going to a Special Education program from Monday to Thursday for one and a half hours in the morning in a class of 3-4 kids. “

What advice can you give to parents especially  moms on how to take care of a special child?

 

A mother's unconditional love
Accept your child for what he is. Celebrate his life and all his milestones. Support him all the way!

” Love your special child no matter what. Be very patient with him or her.

Provide your kid with everything that you feel he needs for him to grow up like a normal kid. “

Having a special child is indeed a blessing

These special kids maybe a challenge to take care of but usually they are the darlings in the family, they bring so much joy and  happiness everyday.

Support from the family especially the spouse and the relatives as well as the whole community is of utmost importance for our special kids to thrive and develop fully.

 

Watch out for more interviews with some other moms or family members with special kids.

 

We would love to hear from you, especially to moms out there who have children with special needs. Please share your story with us.

 

“We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. When you buy, you are able to help in the Special Education of kids with special needs in Romblon, Philippines.”

 

Check out these books about a mother’s love. Click on the image to see the price.

          

 

Interested in making money online? Click the image to learn about Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy affiliate is the online business thing for everyone!

 

" We have an advertising relationship with the stores or businesses we link in this post. We'll earn a commission when you shop through our link with no added cost to you. You are able to help special children, as well in Romblon, Philippines. "

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