Coping with a Child Who
Has Developmental Disabilities
Providing the highest quality pediatric occupational therapy to children across Texas in the comfort of their home or day care.
For parents of children with developmental disabilities, life can be a roller coaster. From therapy appointments to family and friends’ advice to researching information on the internet, you can be bombarded with various techniques for your child’s disability. This can cause parents of special needs children to experience depression, anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia. Therefore, self-care is essential to your child’s and your continued health.
What is a developmental disability and how many types are there?
The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities describes someone with a developmental disability as an individual between birth and nine years old who has a substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired condition.
There are four described types of developmental disabilities:
- Nervous system disabilities
- Sensory related disabilities
- Metabolic disabilities
- Degenerative disorders
What are some coping techniques for parents?
For the average parent, raising children while dealing with life’s everyday stresses can be challenging. Parents of children with developmental disabilities experience added stressors due to increased medical costs and disabilities’ social stigma. The best way to cope with the stresses associated with caring for a child with a disability is to consider your own importance in their development.
Learn your child’s specific disability
Become an expert for your children specific developmental disability to help give you peace of mind and allow you to advocate for your child when necessary. Learning about your child’s disability will ensure you provide the proper care for their needs to facilitate further growth and development.
Locate resources and programs for yourself
Whether virtually or in-person, it is crucial to find social support for yourself to deal with negative feelings. Online resources are also a great way to cope with emotions, discover new therapies, and make new friends for you and your child. The best thing you can do is reach out to other parents of children with similar disabilities to connect with individuals in similar situations.
Communicate your feelings with family
Many people think suppressing emotions will give the appearance of control or strength. However, holding in feelings can have long-term adverse effects on your health, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and an increased risk of diabetes. Be open and honest about yours and your child’s situation to mitigate potential health risks.
Stick with a daily routine
Finding a routine that works best for you and your child will create a sense of stability for everyone. Establishing a routine can also build your child’s confidence in tackling everyday tasks and help them meet developmental milestones with early intervention.
Make time for yourself
Planning time for the things you love can be as simple as watching an episode of your favorite TV show or reading a book chapter right before bedtime. Anything that takes you away from the pressures of your child’s developmental disability can relieve stress, build self-confidence, and reinvigorate mental processes.
How can Therapy 2000 help?
Therapy 2000’s team of therapists will listen to the needs of the families we support and encourage participation in their child’s care. We offer pediatric speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy for your child’s specific needs. Contact us today to determine how we can help you decide which treatment plan is right for your child.
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