5 Things to Keep in Mind About Your Child’s Disability
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It’s perfectly normal for any parent to freak out, panic, or just be at a loss when confronted with the challenge of raising a child with a disability. You know you’ll love and be there for them, but you just can’t just trust the world to give them the same opportunities you’ve enjoyed.
A major concern for most parents of children living with disabilities is that they are tagged as different or slow and might get passed over because people might be hesitant to trust their abilities. The primary focus of a parent in this predicament is to start on the right foot. Here are the most important things to know about disability and how you can care for your child.
What is a disability?
According to CDC, a disability is an impairment in a person’s body or mind that impacts their ability to participate in activities most people can and affects their interactions with the world around them. The nature of a disability can affect a child’s vision, movement, thinking, learning, hearing, communication, mental health, or social relationships.
Disability can be congenital or occurring at birth. This is where a child is born with an impairment, inherits, or acquires it as a result of environmental factors. An example is a child being born with a vision or hearing loss. A disability can also be as a result of an injury or trauma to a body part. For example, getting involved in an accident could lead to losing a limb, which would lead to physical disability.
Options such as prosthetics are available to increase the ability to participate but, till they are employed, the ability to participate and interact with life will be impacted. Some disabilities can also develop later on after birth. Hearing loss, blood, and hormone disorders are examples of these.
Disability is not inability
It does not make your child worth any less than another and even more so because several options abound that will enable your child to grow and live happy, fulfilling lives. Hearing loss treatment can significantly improve a child’s hearing ability. The use of orthopedics and other neuro-therapy can help them get around easier and increase their involvement in life.
Laser surgery and other forms of vision impairment treatment can also alleviate and minimize the limitations caused by eye abnormalities. But first, seek a professional diagnosis, so you know what you are dealing with and what remedies are available for your child’s disability.
Counseling can help, a lot
Personality counts a lot for our varied responses to a problem. Some children will try to reach out, even more, to make up for any inability they may feel. Others would shut down instead, not understanding why they aren’t able to do what the other kids are easily able to. Some children might even try aggression as a means to let off the frustration. But, don’t seek counseling for only your child; you need it too.
It will not only help your child process the situation better, but it’ll also help you, as a parent, know exactly what to do to champion them to be the best they can be as they grow. A lot of parents feel bad for not knowing what to do to help. Some also feel misplaced guilt for somehow causing their children’s condition, even though that may be untrue.
Help them build a healthy, support system
You’ll need all the help you can get to care for a child with a disability. Enrolling your child in a special school will give them a fair shot at making friends themselves, and having friends like themselves who don’t get everything right will provide a new perspective, as they’ll begin to understand that no one is perfect.
This will give them a feeling of competence or capability they might not often get for that challenging period of adjustment and help keep nasty people away from your precious ones. They’ll also find an animal friend very helpful. Apart from being an added source of strength, warmth, and companionship, owning a pet of their own will give them a confidence booster like no other. If the challenge they experience is a hearing or vision impairment, you should consider getting them a seeing-eye or a hearing-ear dog that will act as a furry chaperone.
Don’t rush to the rescue all the time
It will be a huge motivating factor for them if they learn to do more things on their own. That means you also have to resist the parental urge to do everything for your child. You just want to see them win, but it’ll be more rewarding for everyone when they win on their own.
Though with a disability, raising a child might be more challenging for you, but you can successfully raise a healthy, happy child. A little patience, research, and planning could be a massive game-changer.