Parents with Special Needs Children
Parents and caregiver that are raising a child with special needs or a disability are faced with unique challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic . With stay at home orders and social distancing being promoted as the best way to avoid transmission it is even more important to self care and comfort your child. Since schools are closed and many social events cancelled, here are some useful tips to help during the Covid-19 pandemic;
Stay connected Virtually!! Shelter in place does not mean isolation. Connect with friends, family and love ones using text, video chat and social media to stay engaged.
Do not be too hard on yourself– It is normal to feel overwhelmed especially when the needed help may not be available during these times. Take short breaks and focus on what can help you feel restored and relax.
Seek Help– Although we may not be able to meet in person there are a lot of amazing support groups that offers virtual support. Be sure to check out organization that can give you and your child support like https://disabilitylink.org/ .
Be Ready– Although we hope everyone stay safe and healthy, be prepared with a plan just in case you become ill. It is important that you have a plan for secondary care for your child such as a family member or close friend. This provides a sense of security and reassurance.
Comfort Your child
Stay Calm. With a change a daily life it is important to practice calming behaviors. Create and introduce coping and calming activities to your child.
Create Routine. If your child’s previous schedule has been interrupted, create a new routine for your child. This can help them feel more secure and it is a great way to introduce new behaviors such as hand-washing or other behaviors that supports social distancing.
Be Compassionate. Acknowledge and validate their feelings of discomfort. They might feel discomfort, anxiety or pain with not going to school, seeing their friend and not having access to needed equipment or technology that assist with their special needs or disability.
Show them extra love. Parents are now wearing the hats of employee, teacher, caregiver, cook and so many more, we encourage parents to remind your child of the unconditional love and joy of spending extra time with them.
Help your child talk about their feelings. Encourage your child to discuss their feelings. Connect with teachers and other parent to connect students through texting, phone calls and video chatting.
Parent and caregivers please be sure to take care of your self and your child. Stay connected with friends, families and loved ones as much as possible, stay informed, talk to your child and other family members about Covid-19, check in with your child’s school, teachers and therapist and be sure to staying connected to your child’s health care provided for best and safe practices to obtain needed equipment, supplies or medications.