On a global scale, around 11% of children have one of four disabilities, according to research: hearing loss, vision loss, childhood epilepsy or intellectual disability. That translates to about 2.6 billion children around the world, and for a parent, this means understanding what your child may need.
So if your child happens to have complex needs, it’s worth knowing what you need in order to raise them appropriately. So what can help your child with complex needs thrive?
Assistive technology is any piece of tech — software or hardware — that enables individuals to work around their challenges, according to Understood. Parents may utilize assistive technology to help their children with everyday tasks. For example, children with cerebral palsy may find it difficult to sit on their own, so this is where seating devices for cerebral palsy may come in handy.
Children with cerebral palsy that use seating devices report significant improvements in their static trunk control, according to a study published in Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. Other assistive technology comes in handy in your child’s education, like talking calculators, phonetic spelling software, electronic worksheets, and many others.
A Parent’s Group
To fully help your child thrive, understanding how you as a parent can support them is crucial. Information that you may seek regarding this is in the hearts and minds of other parents in the same situation, according to specialists Carole Brown, Samara Goodman, and Lisa Kupper. By connecting yourself with a parent’s group, you will be able to learn from the experiences of other parents.
A parent’s group can also help you connect your child with socialization opportunities that are necessary for their development. It may also give you a chance to get support for yourself if you start to feel caregiver stress. If you are in a better place, you’ll be able to address your child’s needs more effectively to equip them with the life skills that they’ll need.
Parents need to not be afraid of seeking professional opinions for their children, according to Anne Haffey. A healthcare professional is in the best position to correctly diagnose your child’s needs so that you are able to give them the right support. Regular check-ups can give you a better picture of your child’s progress and what milestones they’ve hit.
Professionals can also connect you with lectures and classes that can equip you with the caregiving skills that will help you prepare your child for life.
Professional support can also give your child a better chance at recognizing their capabilities and limitations in a safe medical environment. It also gives them an opportunity to learn that healthcare professionals can be trusted with their welfare, and that can lessen the occurrence of outbursts later on.
It is entirely possible for children with additional needs to live full and fulfilling lives. In order to help them achieve this, parents must arm themselves with pertinent knowledge. It’s lucky, then, that there are multitudes of sources that you can tap into so that you may assist your child as they grow.