Children with special needs

Caring for children with special needs.

Caring for a child with an illness or disability can be challenging and often there is a need to use different parenting strategies. Michigan State University Extension says that when parents bring home a baby that has special needs, parents tend to view their baby as fragile. Doctors and other professionals give many instructions and advice about how to care for these babies. As a parent you follow all the instructions, advice and do all you can to protect them. As your child grows and may no longer need so much extra protection, often you and your family may have already been programmed to provide it and continue to see them as fragile. It can become easy for parents to be overprotective and hover over their child.

It may be hard to set limits. Dealing with daily routine behavior, such as eating and sleeping, may be very difficult. It’s not surprising for parents to go running into their child’s room repeatedly at night to soothe them. They may also agree to prepare anything they want at mealtime because nutrition may have always been a special concern. Sometimes it can be difficult for parents accept that their child has a health or developmental problem. They may wait to schedule important evaluations to avoid dealing with their child’s situation. They may want to believe that they will grow out of the issue at hand or that the problem will disappear.

Parents with children who have special needs understand their children will most likely face difficulties to perform tasks that may be easy for others. In attempts to make life easier, often times these parents provide too much help for their children. If you view you child as fragile or in need of extra protection, they may demand extra care. They may feel that everyone expects her to need it. If you give in to your child often, they may expect others to do the same. Parents may have difficulty leaving their child with another caregiver because they insist on staying with mom or dad.

Parents can also be nervous about caring for infants and children that have special needs. Providing a loving and nurturing relationship is important and the close attachment with your baby gives them the security and trust that they need to thrive. Even a newborn can sense when a parent feels inadequate and nervous about caring for them. Also, it might seem natural to overcompensate for, be overprotective of and indulge a child who’s had complications early in life, which is rarely helpful. Instead, your positive feelings and faith in your baby’s own capacity for success will help them reach optimum development.

If you have difficulty with any of these issues, you are not alone. Most likely there are other parents in your community that have similar experience, it can be helpful to seek out these parents. Your doctor, local hospital or school district may already have connections, so this might be a great place to start.

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