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Some advice on parenting disabled children

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Some advice on parenting disabled children

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Parenting a child with a disability or additional needs can often be a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. The tips below are from parents to parents:

 

Get all the help you can  

Try every bit of help on offer- support groups, health visitor, Child Development Centres etc. It’s much easier to opt out than opt in later.  

Choose your battles 

Decide which battles are important for you and what you can leave. 

Friends and hobbies  

This can help take you out of your role as carer for a while and do something else you enjoy. It allows you to focus on something else for a bit.  

Exercise  

Exercise can help give you confidence in how you manage your child. It is also great to relieve stress and improve overall mood.  

Bullying 

We know that children are more likely to be bullied when they are vulnerable in some way. Research suggests that disabled children are three times more likely than their peers to be bullied. A survey by Mencap discovered that eight out of ten children with a learning disability have been bullied. People’s assumptions and prejudices about disability can make disabled children more vulnerable to bullying for a number of reasons, such as: 

  1. negative attitudes towards disability 
  2. a lack of understanding of different disabilities and conditions 
  3. being seen as “different” 
  4. not recognising that they are being bullied 

It is understandable to feel anxious about bullying; however it is important to remember that not all disabled children are bullied.  

 

Childcare for disabled children 

Quality childcare is important for all families – and disabled children or those with special educational needs can benefit from being around their peers and people outside of their family network, as they often don’t have as many opportunities to interact with other children, and can start to feel isolated.  

Also, sometimes families just need a break from their caring duties to spend time with the rest of their family.  

You can speak to your local authority to find out if there are play schemes, registered childminders or nurseries that specialise in working with children with disabilities.   

This is a summary of an article written by Family Lives. You can read the full article with more ideas at Family Lives here: https://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/your-family/special-educational-needs/advice-on-parenting-disabled-children/  

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