Caregiving is fulfilling as it is challenging. Parents and caregivers may tussle over how best to bring a special needs c up, but will come to a universal consensus. Caregiving is difficult.
How does a caregiver cope when looking after him gets too much? One Estate Solution has a few answers.
10 Challenges Every Caregiver Faces
1. Managing the Child’s Needs
First of all, a child with disabilities has unique needs and requires a parent’s complete attention. Apart from having to consider personal schedules, caregivers need to bear the child’s therapy, medical and academic needs in mind.
2. Coping with Changes
Parents and caregivers of special needs children often have to deal with changes in their health and emotional well-being. These shifts are a top source of stress.
3. Mental and Emotional Stress
Consequently, parents of Special Needs children often go through a gamut of emotions. Many feel guilty for causing the child’s disability. Mothers, for example, may believe that their child’s struggles came about because they overlooked their diets during their pregnancies. They struggle with the loss of the ‘perfect’ child.
4. Physical Stress
Taking care of special needs children is physically demanding because they have unique needs that are an effort to address. They also have more medical appointments than other children and need close monitoring.
Being a parent of a child with mental challenges can make a caregiver feel as though no one empathizes with his situation. Since fewer children face such obstacles, he or she may have a sense of isolation.
6. Fearing what the Future Holds
Parents and caregivers of special needs children are afraid of what may happen in the child’s, and by extension, the family’s future. Health and financial concerns are at the tops of their minds.
7. Financial Difficulties
Raising a special needs child stretches the dollar. Therapy and medication are costly necessities. The expense causes more than a few headaches for caregivers.
8. Lack of Support
Caregivers of disabled children find may find empathy for their situations sorely lacking. With fewer people sharing their experiences, they may be unable to find sources of support in times of need.
9. Impact on Family Life
Having a Special Needs child in the household has an impact on a family’s lifestyle. Caregivers often have to make changes to their family’s routine. They may have to choose different bonding activities as well.
10. Making Difficult Decisions
Guardians of disabled children often have to make difficult decisions regarding their charge’s health, lifestyle, and education. Deciding which academic programs to put the child on or the therapies he should go through can cause strain.
Developing Coping Mechanisms
How is a hassled parent to cope with the ins and outs of caregiving? OES suggests ways for guardians to handle their stressors.
1. There is available support.
Parents of Special Needs children may feel that they are the only ones with unique challenges. The good news is that countless people have to climb over similar obstacles. The possibility of encountering children with the same condition is slim, but they can build a network of friends who share similar experiences.
2. Caregivers Need Care Too.
Looking after a child who has more needs than most is a demanding responsibility, so caregivers need care as well. There is no harm asking loved ones to bring a meal by the home occasionally, or having a spa treat. Guardians, like everyone else, need personal space and time.
3. There is no perfection
Even the most dedicated caregiver on Earth cannot be perfect. Guardians should learn to see every failure or misstep as a blessing in disguise. Perhaps missing that appointment to see the therapist was necessary for the child to have needed rest.
4. Caregivers are Heroes
Parents and guardians of children with unique needs need to realize how extraordinary they are. They manage situations that are overwhelming to everyone else and wear a few more hats than others. Furthermore, they are no ordinary parents; they are therapists, nurses, doctors, confidantes, and friends.
5. Caregiving Should Not Shape A Person’s Identity.
Parents should not make caregiving part of their identity because they have a special needs child. Making him a focus can cause a guardian to lose his sense of self.
6. Maintaining a Sense Of Humor
Being a parent of a special needs child can make a person sensitive to others’ verbal slip-ups. Little slips can cause irritation. A sense of humor is essential.
7. Celebrate Small Successes
Parents or caregivers should give themselves and their charges a pat on the back. They often learn skills later than others and need more encouragement. A child who manages to spell simple words or wriggle his toes deserves praise.
8. Do not feel discouraged by typical parents.
It is hard to hear comments that someone’s son who is six months younger than one’s own is already walking. Parents must remember that people without disabled children will lack the context to empathize with them. Difficult as it is, it is more productive to practice patience and raise awareness.
9. Try not to compare
All children, whether they have extra needs or not, are different and face challenges. Comparing one child with another doesn’t make a parent feel positive. Parents with Special Needs children should always focus on their strengths.
10. Parents should trust their instincts
Caregivers know their charges best. If they feel that their doctors or therapists are not meeting their needs, it is always wise to get a second opinion.
Raising a child with special needs is a challenge, but also brings immense joy. These tips from One estate solution will help hassled parents and caregivers experience the fulfillment of raising a child with special needs.