How to Find the Right Help as a Special Needs Parent

two young children pushing a shopping cart with groceries


With about six million children requiring special education services, you may very well be the parent of a special needs child. Your journey may be difficult.
How can you be sure you are getting the best care for your child?
Are there programs to help your child that you don’t know about?
What can you do to make yourself feel better during the extra stressful moments?

Here are 8 tips that were offered by special needs parents.

1. Communicate

Talk with other special-education parents and create a support group. Share some of the daily challenges. Listen to the issues of the other parents. What can you relate to? Share your thoughts. Offer your advice. This may mean a weekly chat at a local coffee joint, or it could also mean chatting with other parents online. Make your goal to find a time and place where you can express your feelings in a safe environment.

2. Write About It

Keep a journal. Record your child’s successes. Also take the time to write about your own feelings about what’s going on.  Often when you put your thoughts to paper, you can gain perspective. Write out an action plan for your child. Include a set of realistic goals that you’d like to see your child accomplish.

3. Alleviate Stress in Creative Ways

Kickbox, dance, do yoga, walk, meditate, sing in the shower, take a cooking class. Research shows that parents of special needs children have more stress than those parents without special-needs children.

4. Be Open

Try new ideas and suggestions. The parents of other special-needs children have a profound interest in their kids. They also each have a unique skill set that they bring to the parent-rearing table. Many of them are up-to-date on the latest research about some of the challenges that your child faces. Remember that information is power. Stay current on issues that affect special needs children.

5. Support

Show your gratitude toward extraordinary special-education teachers and other professionals. These are the individuals who make it their job to help special-needs children achieve their goals. Keep these lines of communication open. Show your satisfaction when something works well. Talk about moments in the classroom or examining room that are or are not working for you and your child.

6. Don’t Go It Alone

Learning about the issues and topics that affect your child can be as overwhelming as trying to master the concept of geothermal energy. Find help and support from the National Association of Parents with Children in Special Education (NAPCSE). Here you will find information about special education and the law for parents, as well as resources, and a place to ask the experts all your pressing questions.

7. Put Yourself and Your Child Out There

Get involved in school and community programs with your child. Smile at the parents who seem to want to get to know you and your child. Be social and talk to other parents about the common elements of parenting.

8. Don’t Give Up Hope

Parenting a child with special needs can feel isolating and overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to celebrate the small triumphs. Make time to focus on the good stuff.

About the author: Adrienne Erin is the proud mother of two girls, one of whom is autistic. She wrote this post to try and help other parents find the same relief she has found from a variety of outlets. She enjoys her life as a freelance writer and blogger, which gives her the time and flexibility to be at home with her daughters and write about everything from autism to geothermal energy.

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Written on 2013/04/23 by:

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  • http://www.facebook.com/leslie.hanes.16 Leslie Hanes

    Thanks for this. It should also be noted that products as well as services are hard to find. As the owner of the SOSecure Swim Diaper brand, I can’t tell you how many parents express to us how hard it was to find a product they needed for their children’s swim class or just for vacation or recreation. But, typical advertising is neither affordable or effective. Thank goodness for social medial (special needs groups) who tell each other when they find a supplier. Still, central well-known website that list service AND product providers are most helpful to them.
    Leslie Hanes
    http://www.SOSecureProducts.com
    http://www.DiscoveryTrekking.com

  • Calm Kids

    thanks for this – going to post on our campaign page ‘ teach children meditation’ on facebook. Especially as you mentioned it in no.3 ! :)

  • IrishMomOfMany

    This wasnt what I expected it would be. Perhaps pick a different title for this? I did not get ANY help from this…..oh but wait number 8 is dont give up hope…so maybe next thing I read.