How to care for children living with disabilities | Western Cape Government

How to care for children living with disabilities

Value your child’s capabilities instead of focussing on his/her abilities. Barriers for special needs children are often as a result of attitudinal problems and not the disability itself. Your role as a parent is not to “fix” the disability, but to give your child every kind of support they need to overcome difficulties.Father caring for his child

•    An optimistic attitude
Having an optimistic approach will help to deal with stress and negative situations in a healthy way. Understand that you are not alone in facing obstacles, as a parent show your child how to manage impediments without getting discouraged or overwhelmed. It may be difficult at times but remaining optimistic and calm can have a significant impact on your child. Children learn and adapt what they see, hence they follow the parent’s lead. 

•    Attention to detail
It’s important for parents to understand their child’s needs, be attentive to their requirements and try to observe any specific patterns. Knowing how your child will respond will assist with being prepared in different scenarios. 

•    Educate yourself 
Understand your child’s development disorder by learning as much as you can. Read expert-driven write-ups, join webinars, attend workshops etc. to stay current and informed, because there are many new advances which can assist disabilities. You may want to seek help from others such as teachers, therapists, or child psychologists, but remember that you would be the best person to know which cause of action is best suited for your child. 

•    Regular reviews
Periodic evaluation gives insights into a child’s developmental process. Try to observe your child in various surroundings, notice if there any changes. Make notes if you have to, on findings and significant discoveries. If the observations and your child’s reactions show slow or no advancement at all, consult the experts.

•    Expert guidance
Parenting children with special needs can be exhausting. When you meet professionals, don’t hesitate to ask for tools such as resources, training, and ongoing mentoring. They understand your difficulties and may have fresh perspectives and techniques on the particular subject matter which could avoid possible setbacks.

Above all remember that children with developmental issues cannot usually do everything their peers can, so be gentle and understanding if they are not able to do what they’re told. Simply ask if they need help and do the best you can.

The content on this page was last updated on 14 November 2022