We all know that every child is beautifully unique. If you have more than one child, you will know that they each have little quirks and mannerisms that differentiate them from each other. Even if they have certain traits that are sometimes difficult for you to cope with, it’s all part of what makes you love them, and appreciate their individuality. If you are a parent of a child with a disability, you will know that their disability is just simply another part of them. Of course, that doesn’t mean to say that it’s not a challenging thing to cope with. It is estimated that around 15% of American children between the ages of 3 and 17 have one or more developmental disorders. Fifty years ago, many of these children were shunned from regular schools, and it was not expected that they would be able to live ‘normal’ lives. These days, things couldn’t be more different. People with disabilities are more capable than ever, and have more to offer than ever. Although you may not have expected to have a disabled child, it can end up being a very special and rewarding experience. If one of your children has a disability, take a look at these ways you can help keep them safe and help them get the most out of life.
If your child’s disability is learning-related, you may be concerned about how they are going to do in school. This is completely natural – we all want the best for our kids and in today’s society, we tend to measure success in terms of academia. However, a successful life is not necessarily created by getting good grades. Try to break the mould by viewing your child’s success as life success, rather than academic success. After all, a successful life should be measured by happiness, rather than whether someone got an A in Chemistry. But with that said, your child is probably more academically able than you think. Speak to your doctor about your child’s suspected abilities and consider whether they actually need to go to a special school. But, they could also be just fine in mainstream school. Your child may be just as intelligent as the next kid but just might learn in a different way. Take time to explore different forms of learning with your child and you might be surprised at what you find.
A common concern for parents of disabled children is that their child will never be independent. This can be worrying, especially for older parents or parents who have a limited ability to pay for care. But in reality, a huge proportion of adults with learning difficulties are now living happily and independently. Take Down Syndrome, for example. Today there are around 400,000 people living with Down Syndrome in the US. A huge majority of them are living alone, holding down jobs and generally being in control of their lives. The conception that people with disabilities can’t be independent is an aged one. Of course, there are some scenarios where you may need to have a more active caring role in your child’s life. If they have a physical disability such as Cerebral Palsy, they may have difficulty moving around. But this doesn’t mean to stay they still can’t move out at some point – something they’ll probably be dying to do once they hit their teens! Using home help as a backup just in case they suffer a bad fall or something can give both you and them peace of mind. Visit sites such as http://www.securepenguin.com/lifealert-review/ to get a clearer idea on emergency alarm systems that are discreet and efficient.
Long gone are the days when any child with a disability was expected to just stay at home. There are plenty of opportunities for your child to take up any activity they want to. Plus, exploring a hobby such as sport or drama could be a way for your child to excel if they struggle a bit academically. Who knows – it could also be the first step to making a successful career out of an activity they love! There are either specific groups for people with disabilities – consider these if your child does require a certain amount of specialist care. If your child has a condition such as autism, social activities can also help them to learn to manage their condition. People with disabilities need as much mental stimulation as any of us. So, supporting your child in a hobby they love can hugely enrich their lives.