It is not anyone’s fault that a child should be born requiring special attention. Children with Special Needs are not necessarily the same or requiring the same kind of care and support. These children may have mild learning disabilities or profound cognitive impairment or born with food allergies or terminal illness. They may suffer developmental delays that catch up quickly for some or remain entrenched unfortunately. Some suffer occasional panic attacks or serious psychiatric problems. Experts assess them individually to determine the appropriate attention needed to help the child as well as the stressed family.
It requires a complex understanding of their individual needs. Knowing precisely what should or should not be done or given to the child; which food to ban, activities to avoid and or experience to deny, can be extremely challenging to the families. Many mourn for their child’s lost potentials. With some conditions becoming more troubling over time, it is truly painful for the families concerned. Some families may find that their child’s challenges make triumphs sweeter, believing that weaknesses are often accompanied by amazing strengths. Anyway, no two families with a child with special needs are the same. A family dealing with developmental delays will have different concerns from the ones dealing with chronic illnesses, which will also have a different set of concerns from the one dealing with mental illness or learning problems or behavioural challenges.
Above those, medical issues for some children can include serious conditions like cancer and heart defects, muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis; chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes; congenital conditions like cerebral palsy and dwarfism. Health threats like food allergies and obesity are also common.
Those children with medical issues may need various tests requiring long hospital stays, expensive equipment, and special accommodations for disabilities. Their families have to deal with frequent crises, uncertainty, and worry. With diagnoses like ADHD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Dysfunction of Sensory Integration, and Tourette syndrome, that require specialized strategies tailored to their specific capabilities, the families can be really strapped as well.
Diagnoses like autism, Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities often cause children to be removed from the mainstream. For children with learning disabilities like dyslexia and Central Auditory Processing Disorder, specialized learning strategies are developed to meet their potentials. A child with mental problems ranging from depression to sever anxiety can pose unexpected danger both on the child as well as people at home. Living with a child with mental health issues can put family members on a roller coaster of mood swings and crises and defiance. Parents have to find the right professionals to help, and make hard decisions about therapy, medications, and hospitalization. The consequences of missed clues and wrong guesses can be significant.
However, although every special-needs child is different and every family is unique, there are indeed some common concerns that parents of challenged kids share, including seeking appropriate care and promoting acceptance in the extended family, school and community.
A message concerning children with special needs was posted on Facebook recently and has gone viral bidding people to copy and paste on their status. The person claimed that he or she was prompted to start the chain post because of “the exclusion of an autistic child from participating in a school trip.” It is hoped that this article could shed light on issues confronted by families with children that require special needs. If you have missed the viral post, here’s the message:
“My parents taught me, don’t eat in front of others if you don’t have enough for everyone, go without. If you have a party, and you invite your classmates, they are all invited. When I volunteer, I am the first to arrive and the last to leave. In light of recent events on the exclusion of an autistic child from participating in a school trip I feel the need to write this.
There are boys and girls that nobody invites to birthdays, for example. There are kids with special needs who want to belong to a team, but are never selected, because it is more important to win. Children with special needs are not rare or strangers. They only want what everyone else wants: to be accepted!!
May I ask a question? Is there anyone willing to copy and paste this post in your wall without sharing it, like I did for a friend? This is a request from a friend.”