The view of special needs children and their parents is not always a pleasant one. The stigma of parents with special needs children often leads to those parents fearing for their reputations, which can result in extreme behavior. Reports of parents essentially keeping their child as prisoner to protect the family’s reputation is not necessarily a foreign concept, as heinous as it may be.
Other parents have to deal with schools refusing to accept their child, or the schools threatening to expel their child for unruly behavior. Still others decide to take their children out of the country for better education opportunities.
One of the best solutions for eradicating the social stigma of those with disabilities is to integrate them into schools and the workforce. Many of these individuals are high functioning and can maintain a stable work and home life, which is a fact many people ignore or do not fully understand.
Many outsiders see how difficult children with disabilities can be, and it is sometimes evident the toll it takes on the parents. Support groups for mothers and fathers of children with disabilities are becoming more common, and it is a resource of which every special needs parent has the option to take part.
Support, guidance, networking opportunities, and accessibility to resources are some foundations of these support groups — if there is not one in your area, it’s likely time to start one.
Nearly 90 percent of parents of special needs children are divorced. The constant needs of these children, compiled with the extraordinary cost cause stress on parents. Some parents focus more on their children or their spouses than themselves, which results in becoming burned out or frustrated.
Consider these techniques parents often employ to maintain their personal and marital health:
- Take time for yourself — spend some part of every day doing something you enjoy; make a list of things you enjoy, and make it a point to do one thing on the list daily
- Make time for date nights, so your relationship with each other does not suffer
- Consider finding quality caregivers to help you with your children — don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Practice self-care and break up your routine into small, manageable chunks — accept yourself and your abilities and limitations as they are, and know you are doing your absolute best
With support from other parents, continue to gain awareness in the community about individuals with special needs. There is never a need for inhumane treatment, and cultural consciousness will continue to remove the harsh stigma of parenting children with disabilities.
The National, Special needs kids need more support
M Live, Taking care of yourself
Photo by twfrench