No words can describe the kind of labour parents do for their children, particularly those with special needs or disabilities. Although it is an obligation, they are willing to carry, these moms and dads deserve a taste of life whenever possible. As a close friend, relative, or neighbor, you can help them survive and thrive by extending a hand or showing them how to make their situation a lot better.
Although there are millions of special needs families globally, many resources, support groups, and government programs are available to assist them. With so many things to worry about, parents may not have the time to search or even ask for help. That’s where you come in as a concerned friend or community member.
Understand That Not Everyone Would Accept Help
Despite the situation, not everyone would welcome assistance from friends, neighbors, and other people for many reasons. Special needs parents require space and enough time to admit that they need to open their doors and eventually accept a helping hand.
Once they let you in, listen to their stories and don’t make assumptions. Identify the kind of help they want and assess if they would be happy to hear some recommendations. And when they finally asked questions, make sure to answer thoughtfully and without a patronizing tone.
Be An Ordinary Human Contact
The first step for them to enjoy life is to have adult friends to forget their issues. Instead of talking the whole time about their child’s disability or how you can help, drink a beer, invite them to parties or have a chit-chat about a show or any topics regarding mutual interests.
Be a regular friend who’s there to aid and someone who also asks for a bit of help. Have fun together without mentioning the word “special.” When the time for opening up comes, listen up but don’t forget to share your frustrations about life as well.
Ask Them To Join Support Groups
You can serve as an emotional outlet. However, as someone who has their own share of difficulties, you can only handle as much. While yearning to feel better, talk about local support groups headed by specialists. Here, they can join a circle of parents who are happy to share both of their parenting problems and hacks.
Offer To Babysit
A time off is a treasure for special needs parents. Although they do not want to stay away for long, and that doing so would only make them worry, a quick dinner date or a pampering session would be their ideal treat for themselves. However, not all would ask their friend or neighbor to babysit their kids for a few hours. If you think they are hesitant, volunteer as the babysitter, but make sure you get all necessary instructions before the parents go.
Be A Resource
While many special needs parents receive guidance regarding government aids, not everyone would have the time and focus on reading through all their options. If they told you about a program like NDIS and have been worrying about managing it by themselves, suggest for them to avail plan management or anything similar. Such arrangements could take away the time they spend on managing finances and use it for other chores or rest.
Also, not all institutions would inform parents of children with disabilities about things they are qualified to and how to get them. As they don’t have the luxury to research, find helpful programs and available entitlements. You can say that you came across an article on Facebook that you think would be of help, so you won’t make them feel owing that you’re going to such lengths to make life easy for them.