CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Disciplining the Special Needs Child
Parenting a special needs child is a tough job. It is likely to bring out the best and worst in a parent. Like all children, the child must be taught to adjust to family routines, to obey, and to manage himself.
Children with special needs trigger frustrations in parents. So how do they cope? Most parents with autism, apserger, down syndrome claim to have a different mindset and follow certain techniques described below in order to cope with the ups and downs of raising their children. Also by getting educated on your child’s needs removes the stress of unknown factors you will face.
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Parenting Mindset of Special Needs Child
- Come to terms with “Why us?” feelings and get to “Where do we go now” level.
- Learn to cope with child development and behavior in slow motion.
- The normal “stages” seem to go on forever, what usually takes 3 months to accomplish might take a developmentally disabled child over ten months up to a year. (ie. speech development)
- Be prepared to run out of patience.
Rejoice at each accomplishment and embrace each new challenge.
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10 Effective Techniques when Dealing with Special Needs Children
1. Avoid Comparison
Don’t compare your child with other children it’s not fair.Instead start enjoying your child and him for himself. Do not let the “condition” distract your energy away from the needs of the whole family. Take the time to find a balance between focusing on the child’s needs and attachment parenting.
2. Value the child
Refrain from focusing on the disability. Instead educate yourself on the “condition” and join support groups. Parents must provide love and attention so the child can cope with the lack of a particular ability.
Understanding the need level concept is an important for the child’s survival. Every child comes with a level of need, and every family has a level of giving. Stability and support from a harmonious family is the goal. By practicing attachment parenting the whole family will develop a sixth sense. This will form a quality of caring that the special needs child needs and desires. It is detrimental for his growth and development.
photo credit: cuatrok77
4. Different doesn’t equal inferior
Most children evaluate their self-worth by how they believe others perceive them. Being different for a child means that you are inferior. This may be more of a problem for other kids and siblings than for the special needs child until they learn to understand that it’s okay to be different. Be sure the child’s siblings don’t fall into a trap that “different equals less”.
5. Different doesn’t imply fragile
As a parent you don’t have to lower your standards of discipline instead you need to adjust and change your expectations of a special needs child. It may be tempting to be lenient but bad behavior should not be tolerated. It’s much harder to redirect a 2 year old than a 6 year old. The child needs to know, early on, what behavior you expect.
6. Provide structure and boundaries
Parents have the responsibility and require the sensitivity to identify what is needed and when. Carefully observe the child and connect with him try to understand inside his world.
photo credit: cuatrok77
7. Beware of the over attachment syndrome
Your whole life should not revolve around your special style of parenting. Instead focus on the joy of parenting and celebrate each step of success and achievement made with your child. Sooner or later, avoid being over attached you will burn out or you will break.
8. Understanding the behaviors and conducts
Children do or act up because they are communicating what they need. This is especially true for special needs children. Instead of reprimanding them the principle of replacement behavior can be used. This technique will channel the annoying behavior with a worthwhile activity. For instance, Mark a 9-year-old autism boy enjoys pinching his classmates, his teacher has given him the errand to distribute papers instead.
9. Instill a sense of responsibility
Children need to be taught how to do things for themselves. Give your child responsibilities this will give them a sense of self-worth and appreciation. They will value their work and accomplishment.
10. Provide your child with choices
At first, parents should guide their children into making a choice. As they become more at ease, providing them with alternatives will allow them to feel important. The more you provide choices the more you get to learn about your child’s preferences, abilities and receptive language skills.
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