By Stacey Chillemi
What exactly are children with special needs. They are kids who have or who have a high risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition. These children need extra care, help and support from health care related services that provide a type help and support beyond that is required by children who do not have any special needs.
The challenges that can arise when a child requires out of the ordinary medical attention are substantial for any family. Many means are mandatory to manage these responsibilities such as finding the people to help the child, plan how the best way to care for and nurture the development of my child, finances (how will I be able to afford pay for my child’s special needs?) and do I handle my child’s, my stress and the stress of the family?
When parents learn about any difficulty or problem in their child’s development, this information comes to a terrible traumifing shocker to everone that cares for and is a part of that childs life. When a parent finds out that their child has a disability or a chronic illness, they begin a life long path that takes them into a life that is often filled with stressfull inner emotion. Emotions that are so strong that they may not know what is going on or how to deal approperately with these emotions.
These parents are forced to make difficult choices that they thought they would never have to make in their life. These parents are going to have to meet with all kinds of professionals and people who specialize with their childs needs.
Parents with children who have a child with special needs are constantly searching for information and reseach to help their child and looking for different services and organzations to help their child. That is stressful alone.
It’s normal for parents and loved ones to begin to feel hopeless. It is hard sometimes to understand why this is happening… Nevertheless, there are ways to get through this and look at this positively. It is hard to understand why these things have to happen to me.
You do not need me to tell you these things. I have been through many difficult triumphs in my, and I came out on top each time. However, until you can see things clear, just remember you are not alone.
Having to cope each day with your child’s special needs is tough. Many parents feel as though they are alone and trapped in no win situation. They feel they are trying to battle this all by themselves.
I have epilepsy and people who do not have the disorder, ask me “How can epileptics feel they are battling epilepsy alone when they have doctors, family and friends to comfort them”. To live with the disorder, one needs to communicate with people who have the same disorder. It gives one the opportunity to open your heart and share your unsettled emotions about how it feels to have epilepsy. Moreover, that is what you need to do. You need to reach out and find other parents that are in similar situations and share what share what you are going through with them.
One way of doing this is to find support groups. This is important because one can easily become depressed focusing on their child’s problems and wallowing in self-pity. This is why support from other individuals who suffer from the same problem is so important. Understanding what your child is going through is difficult. If you are falling down hill, “How will you be able to help your child?” Help yourself, so you can help your child.
Many parents react in ways that have been shared by all parents before them who have also been faced with this disappointment and this enormous challenge. One of the first reactions is denial.. Accepting that your child has special needs is the most important and most critical step in learning to live with your child’s special needs. To live with a happy state of mind, you need to accept the situation and deal with it in a positives manner. You need to feel that your child is no different from anyone else and that your child any goals, hopes and dreams that they set their minds too. You need to reconstruct your families’ life. You need to put your child a lifestyle that will make your child happy and bring you as little stress to you child and the family as possible.You and your spouse need to work on your unsettled emotion, so there is no stress and communication problem between the both of you, caused by the stress of the situation.
Do not worry about what is going to happen to your child down the road. Remember you cannot change the past (what has happened to your child). The present is now and how well you deal with your child’s needs now will result on how well your child gets through this and how well your child’s future will be.
One very important issue that needs to be adressed is that you did not cause this to happen. Do not feel guilt. You did not cause this. You did not do anything wrong. You are not being punished. You are a wonderful parent and you are doing the best job you can possibily can do.
Remember no on on this planet is perent. Everyone has flaws and no one should be treated different because they may have aspecial need, illness, disorder or disabiliy. You do not want to damper your child’s self-esteem. It is important that you treat them no different than any other child. You need to love your child by accepting their special needs and put the past behind you, but if, you focus on your child’s special needs than you will only experience an unhappy life. You need to think positively and focus on your child’s accomplishments. Make sure you tell your child that you are proud of them and you love them for who they are.
For help contact:
The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY)
They have parent groups that will help you and give you the support you need. If you cannot find your local parent organization, contact NICHCY to get the information you need.