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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Published by

Marita

I am a doctor by profession who had several years of clinical practice as a Pediatrician and General Practitioner. At present, I work as a Clinical Research Assistant in a large university. Pangga ta ikaw remembers fondly a loved one who passed away and making her demise more meaningful. Supporting children with special needs in our hometown in the Philippines through Special Education is our main focus and through this website, we also aim at making everyone realize that special kids need our love and support.

16 thoughts on “Parenting a special child- surviving the challenges”

  1. I absolutely love this! They truly are a gift from God and we should not treat them differently because they are genetically not the same. They are the happiest and most genuine people I know. I love that your page is in dedication, such a nice gesture. Your writing inspires me!

    1. Hi Kelsey,

      Thanks for the very nice comments.

      Children with special needs are truly deserving of our utmost care and attention. And of course their parents are likewise so amazing giving them unconditional love and acceptance.

      Cheers,

      Marita

  2. Great post! Parenting a special child definitely will bring its own set of challenges. You did a great job explaining how you go about surviving these challenges. Very helpful! Children truly are a gift from God. The only thing you can do when your child has special needs is to bond and love them and to educate yourself on how to best help them.

    What do you find most difficult to deal with?

    1. Hi Morgan,

      Parenting is not easy especially with special kids.

      But our kids bring extra joy to the family and no matter how tired we are after work, we usually come home to a relaxing day with the laughter and giggles of them plus their hugs and kisses.

      I don’t have a special child of my own, but I do baby-sit my niece who has special needs sometimes and even with only a few hours with her, it’s kind of physically tiring because I really have to watch her to prevent falls.

      For me, the most difficult thing to deal with I think is them being non-verbal at a certain age that you can’t understand how they feel and what they want especially if they’re sick.

      Thanks for visiting my website.

      God bless,

      Marita

  3. Parenting a special needs child can be challenging but ultimately this is a gift from God. He does not give you more than you can handle. There are many support groups available, this is the best time to network with other families who have the same issue. Kindness and compassion are the only way to successfully raise a child with special needs.

    1. Very true! 

      Struggles with caring special needs children are nothing compared to the joys they give our families.

      Parents and caregivers become better persons as well. And support from other parents and the community as a whole are really needed.

      Thanks for reading, Sophia.

      Marita

  4. Wow! You poured your heart into creating this site. My in laws had a special needs son “John”. Until I meet my wife, it was my first interaction with such a person. What a blessing it was. I love that boy. It opened my eyes, and gave me a whole new outlook on life.
    Those parents had a great support group and never treated him any different than the 5 girls they had.
    I could go on about their passing and the struggles my wife and I had when it was our blessing to look after John. We were kinda lost. But got through it with no regrets.
    Great page. Great information. Thanks

    1. Hi John,

      Parents and caregivers of children or individuals  with special needs face challenges and struggles in taking care of them, but they do this because of love. From their kids, they get more love  and pure bliss. 

      The innocence and dependence of their kids give them an experience of heaven on earth.

      Glad to hear that you had such an experience with your brother-in-law and acknowledging that it was a blessing.

      Thanks for passing by and for your nice comments.

      Marita

  5. Such a touching article!  I really enjoyed this.  It’s tough topic.  There are a lot of emotional roller coasters in caring for a child with a disability, and I can’t imagine having to deal with it.  This has never happened to me personally, but I worried about it.  You can’t help but think about it a little.  What you’ve done here is create an excellent primer for people that find themselves in this situation.  I especially like the attention to the parents themselves.  You need and deserve some time to unwind.  Thanks for such a special article.

    1. Hi Brandon,

      Parents and caregivers of special needs kids really deserve honor for giving their children  unconditional love and accepting the challenges of caring for them. You are right, these kids need extra attention and care for the longest time, maybe throughout their lifetime. 

      These parents as highlighted in my post need to take care of themselves as well so they can continue to be there for their kids.

      Thanks for your nice comments.

      Marita

  6. Hi Marita. You’re blog on ‘Special Children’ is close to my heart. I grew up with a special child. He is my nephew and he was often at our place during his child hood. We owned a property and my eldest sister and her husband and Walter (The Special child’ lived in a small home that was on the opposite side of our property. I would look after Walter quite often and grew to love him very much. My whole life I have considered him as my smaller brother. Nowadays he lives in his own unit at an over 50’s village, very capable of looking after himself. Over the years he progressed at a wonderful rate. Much of his growth was because of my father, his grandfather, who refused to accept that he couldn’t do anything. Dad was always finding ways to teach Walter to read, write and do arithmetic, when everyone said he couldn’t. He even got him interested in our national sport, Aussie rules football. I can still remember a note coming home from his school advising his parents to keep him home because he wouldn’t be able to learn anything, especially arithmetic.. Dad went to the school with my sister and put a league ladder down on the principles desk and asked him how come this kid that couldn’t do anything could put the teams in their correct order on the ladder even before that information was released by others. To do this he would not only have to have been able to recognise the names of the teams, but have been able to work out there average percentage. Sorry if I’m rambling on, but this is dear to my heart. We should never give up on these children. They deserve our respect and love.  Jim 

    1. Hi Jim,

      What a very inspiring story of Walter, your nephew, and your Dad.

      Truly, special kids and individuals deserve the best because they are always capable of something.

      The family, the parents, the grandparents and caregivers should really be there to give them unconditional love, like what your family did and still is doing to Walter. 

      I wonder if there was no Special Education during his time in school? Good that his grandfather made himself his special ed teacher. That’s homeschooling and was really effective!

       Say hi to Walter for me. So proud of what he has become.

      Thanks for visiting.,

      Marita

  7. All children are miracles, even the ones that prove to be more challenging than most.  

    All children also need love, no matter what their challenges may be.  

    As a parent you just do the best that you can to learn how to overcome those challenges, with your child, it can be much more rewarding in the end, when you celebrate overcoming some of the more difficult times that will arise on occasion.

    1. Hi Shy,

      Caring for special needs kids prove to be more challenging than normal kids but parents are able to handle them really well, all because of unconditional love.

      Celebrating their milestones even though slow bring so much joy to their families.

      Thanks for reading.

      God bless,

      Marita

  8. Thank you for sharing this post with us.Many parents become disappointed when they find that their child is special. A child with special needs is a child like others, what is needed is to give them love and time to develop.

    In my country children with special needs study with normal children in order to build trust in them that they can do better like normal children.And i tell you the truth most of them get the best note than the normal ones.

    1. Hi Julienne,

      Special kids deserve to be treated just like normal kids, but deserve more because they have special needs. 

      Parents may be shocked at first or disappointed after delivery, but eventually they usually offer their unconditional love in the end.

      Of course, these kids have the capacity to be the best that they can be, they just need special guidance.

      Thanks for reading.

      Marita

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