Caring For a Disabled Child | Advice & Support Tips
The life of a parent raising a child with disabilities can be difficult and isolating. It is important to take care of yourself and your child, but it can be challenging to find the time or energy for self-care when you are caring for someone else every day.
The information in this blog post will help anyone who has a disabled child understand what it means to be both a caregiver and self-caregiver at the same time. It’ll provide different strategies and ideas on how you can maintain your own health and sanity while still giving quality care to your loved one.
How do you care for a disabled child?
Parents of disabled children have to provide for their kid’s needs in ways that other parents do not. It can be a confusing and challenging time. Aside from meeting basic needs, the following strategies will aid in supporting your child to the best of your abilities.
Understand your child’s diagnosis
When it comes to caring for a disabled child, it’s essential that parents have a thorough understanding of their child’s diagnosis. The initial moment of diagnosis can be extremely daunting and overwhelming; this is often because most people have a surface level understanding of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Understanding a diagnosis can be an empowering position for both you and your child. It places you in a position to develop coping and caring strategies. As a starting point to understanding the diagnosis, it’s essential to speak to doctors and healthcare professionals who have experience in various disabilities.
Ask yourself the following questions once you’ve come to terms with the diagnosis: what medication, equipment or treatment can best support them? What symptoms arise with the diagnosis, and how will the diagnosis impact your child’s ability to care for themselves?
Accept their disabilities, as well as their abilities
When caring for a child with disabilities, try to focus on their abilities as well as what they can’t do. This will make the job more manageable and keep your spirits up.
Understanding their disability allows you to take precautions for tasks that your children cannot do, but it also provides the space to nurture the things they can do. Celebrate the achievements and the highs; no matter how small they are, they still have a significant impact on your child’s well-being.
The early years are critical
The early years involve stimulating your child’s brain to ensure it develops to its full potential. Depending on your unique situation, this could involve physical therapy, speech therapy, vision therapy or behaviour programmes.
The early years also involve communicating your child’s disability with them. This nurtures the elements of acceptance and understanding.
How do parents cope with a disabled child?
Many challenges come with caring for a disabled child. There is the emotional toll, as well as the physical and financial strain. The idea of being able to care for yourself can seem like an impossible task. You may feel like giving up, but you should know there are things we can do to make sure they have a good quality of life – and it starts with taking care of yourself.
Finding a carer for kids with disabilities
Parenting can be a challenging task and particularly complex when dealing with a physically disabled child – which is why care services for children can be an incredible help. A live-in carer for a disabled child provides 24/7 assistance and support; on the other hand, home carers can add a supportive framework during set times of the week.
Therapy is okay
Finding a therapist that will meet both your needs and your child’s needs. Parents all have their own struggles that they go through, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to do or how you should feel. Therapy can help offer a space for people to work through these feelings without judgement.
You are not alone
Getting involved in parent-child activities with other disabled kids can be one of the best forms of support. At times, it can feel disheartening speaking to friends and family who don’t quite understand the challenges and diagnosis you are facing. Turning to support groups can be a means of overcoming challenges, developing new understandings and finding ways to better yourself as a parent who needs to care for a disabled child.
What challenges face the parents of a child with a disability?
Parents of children with disabilities often face challenges, and feeling overwhelmed is common. Some parents feel that they need to sacrifice their own lives for the sake of their children, while others may feel guilty about not spending enough time with their other kids or spouse. Parents can also experience financial hardship due to increased medical costs and therapy sessions.
Parents also have unique struggles in getting services, especially if they live in rural areas where the number of resources available may be limited or nonexistent. These issues can be particularly daunting if you’re a single parent or part of a family struggling financially already.
Help if you have a disabled child
The local council in the UK can provide financial assistance to support the caring of a disabled child. Depending on the condition, services can include:
- At-home care
- Medical aids and adaptations
- Financial assistance for hospital visits and travel costs
- Short break services