Understanding the challenges of parenting a special needs child

Understanding the challenges of parenting a special needs child

Parenting a child with special needs can be challenging. It requires extra effort in time, awareness, and education. These considerations will be quite different from one child to the next because ‘special needs’ is used as an umbrella term to encompass anything from light learning disabilities to more severe behaviour issues. Proper diagnoses ensure parents will be focusing on the right methods and activities for their child.

There are some common challenges parents will face:

Family Impact
Often, raising a special needs child requires so much time, energy, and resources, that other relationships with the family start to suffer. Whether it is the marriage that suffers by lack of attention or siblings that act out due to jealousy. Parents will need to remember that their spouse, their relationship, and the children’s relationship with their siblings need just as much consideration and effort. Ensuring that everyone is talking and knows what is going on helps a great deal to build patience and understanding for everyone.

Social Impact
In many cases, children with special needs require specialised education that keeps them separate from other children. This can make the child’s socialisation much harder, and it can also alienate and isolate the parents from other parents of children with special needs.

This can eventually negatively affect the emotional and psychological state of the parents and the special needs child. Parents should try to find support groups within these specialised programmes in order to be able to connect with other people who are going through the same challenges.

Parents also play a critical role in the development of their child as they are the best advocates:

  • They know the patterns of their child.
  • They know what triggers the child and what attracts and holds their attention.
  • They know the general temperament of the child and their learning habits.
  • They facilitate understanding between the educators and the child.

It is as important for parents to take care of their own well-being so that they can properly take care of their children.

College of Allied Educators offers our Diploma in Learning Disorders Management & Child Psychology programme. This part-time programme is designed specifically to train potential teachers, parents and caregivers to identify, detect and support children with special needs, such as Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dyspraxia, and Dyslexia.


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