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How to Cope as a Parent of a Child with Special Needs

You Are Not Alone

It takes a while to learn how to cope as a parent of a child with special needs. We have been there and are happy to share what we’ve learned along our journeys. Here are 10 tips we find help us deal with the stress.

  1. Allow yourself to feel sadness related to your child’s disability. It is part of the cycle of grief and, ultimately, of healing.
  2. Surround yourself with supportive people who “get it” about your child. Connect with other parents who are walking in your shoes. You are not alone!
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Often family and friends want to help, but they just don’t know how.
  4. Be honest about your feelings and share them with trusted friends, family members, or a counselor.
  5. Do not let your child’s disability define you or your child.
  6. Celebrate your child’s accomplishments and his/her successes no matter how small, they all count!
  7. Even though it is often difficult, try to live in the moment and truly enjoy your child for the person they are!
  8. Learn about your child’s disability – it will go a long way toward understanding and advocating for your child.
  9. Have a sense of humor – laugh often! It is important for your children to see you happy.
  10. Take care of YOU! With all you have to do, it is important to fit at least a little time for yourself. A refreshed parent goes a long way toward helping your child.