There are countless reasons that special needs parenting is exhausting ... and then add to that exhaustion a sense of isolation. Many parents feel alone … worried … overwhelmed.
What can friends and family do to help? Here are ways that to express that you care:
- Offer to babysit so Mom and
Dad can go out. Ask if you could watch the children while they go to
the grocery store, on errands, or even take a nap. Give them an
afternoon of self-care, pampering, or just time to do nothing.
yourself on the special needs world - it really is a different world.
Take time to become educated about the specific diagnosis of the child.
- Offer to accompany the parent to the child's medical and therapy appointments. Getting a child with unique needs into a doctor's office and situated can be quite difficult. If the parent has other children, offer to watch the other kids so Mom and Dad can go to the appointments alone with the special needs child.
- Give Moms and Dad an opportunity to share what’s in their heart and then listen. Many parents feel disconnected from the world, themselves, and their families. Reach out to them - let them know they're NOT alone. Don’t pretend like nothing is happening.
- Talk about your own kids' personalities, not their accomplishments. It can be hard to be around typical parents, especially when they're bragging about their kids' accomplishments. Let's talk about who our kids are instead of what they can do.
You join “their team.”
Are you the parent of a special needs child or close to a family with special needs struggles? What tips would you add to the list? Share them in the comments!