Supporting Parents Of Special Needs Children
We often take for granted our health and the health of our children and so we may not think about supporting parents of special needs children during the holidays. As a family that has a child who is facing special challenges, your child’s health and well-being is always at the forefront of every decision that you make.
Special Kids Day was put together to help families cope during the extra stress of the holidays.
Started in 1990, Special Kids Day began as a holiday event. It provided an opportunity for children with special needs and their families to visit Santa Claus, without having to face some of the obstacles that they might encounter when in a busy, crowded mall.
Special Kids Day is a time to celebrate the strength, resilience and determination of these children and their families. Click to tweet
Beverly’s Tips For Building Resiliency and Celebrating Special Kids Day by showing your support for these special families:
If you are hosting a party:
- Invite the family, but don’t be disappointed if they are not able to attend. The invite alone says that you care and are thinking of them.
- Ask if there is anything special that you should consider. Is there anything special that you can do to make the party a success for the special needs child?
- There may be access or food issues to consider. Ask what the child’s favourite food might be and have it on the menu, even if it doesn’t fit with your holiday theme. For one of our friends, it meant making sure that there were no peanuts or nut products being served and that all food was gluten free.
- Have a quiet place for the child and the family to decompress if things become to hectic.
Providing the gift of time as a way of supporting parents of special needs children:
- You may be able to pick up items that would save a run to the mall or the grocery store for the family.
- You may be able to step in and babysit while the parent’s go out for dinner or go shopping on their own.
- There is often very little time to get things done around the house. See if there are any to-do items that you are capable of taking care of such as window washing or safety proofing.
- Provide ready to eat meals for the ‘crazy’ days…the days were it is non-stop appointments or that are especially difficult to cope.
Let them know that you are there for their family. It can be very isolating and lonely and true friends are hard to come by. But don’t wait to be asked, as it is hard for many parents of special needs children to reach out and ask for help, at the end of the day the health of our children is the most important thing to a parent.
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If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!