This Spring has been unusual in all aspects of imagination. Nobody could predict how our family lives will be turned upside down. This is hard for everyone, but especially for parents and carers for children with special needs. Your life already depends on a support network and the services they provide. Now, the situation is not that clear for many.
Services are hard to access or get the support to your home. To support you in your challenges to maintain a normal life with psychological safety for your children, we have created this Top Tip list for parents with special needs children. Hopefully, you find these helpful!
1. Feeling safe
It is not necessary to completely cover up your own feelings or nervousness because of the new situation. Better to speak up and give plenty of space for children’s feelings as well.
Changing situations in special children can cause a lot of stress. It is important to tell the child his or her feelings are okay and try and explain why these kinds of feelings may arise. Feelings can be difficult for children with special needs to identify and face. Now, in the current situation parents’ support is needed more than ever.
2. Support for schoolwork
For a child with special needs, one of the biggest challenges in remote learning is the lack of a normal everyday schedule and routine. The child may not have the tools to self-regulate or work independently and here parental support is hugely important.
Do the homework together and keep up with what is going on in a remote school environment and what the child is asked to do.
3. Positive Feedback
Encouragement and cheering is hugely important for your child to cope at the moment. Praise both small and big successes and tell how important your child is to you.
The current situation is hard for everyone and may affect the child’s behaviour negatively. However, there are a LOT of amazing character strengths in every child and reminding your child of these is now very important and helps your daily life!
4. Fussing together
Doing something both you and your child enjoy, for example after the remote school day this is a good idea. Baking, drawing, outdoor activities or anything you would enjoy together. In that case, the days are not just filled with schoolwork and sitting in front of the computer screen.
5. Daily schedule
It would be important for the parent to keep the daily schedule of the child as regular as possible. This means, for example, a regular schedule for going to bed and waking up in the morning.
For a special needs child, the lack of a normal school schedule and daily rhythm can be challenging. Because of this, it is important for you as a parent to try to influence the schedules that can be influenced in this situation and keep them as regular as possible.
Last but not least, we would like to share with you our encouragements and belief that this situation is temporary and will not last forever! As a parent, you play a big part of your child’s life and probably worry a lot on how this all will work out for them but remember that it is really important that you also take care of yourself and rest!
We would love to hear from you, and whether our tips were helpful. Send us feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org