Becoming a parent is the most tumultuous ride of your life – just ask any of your baby-on-board buddies. To say your days will be long and exhausting is an understatement – mostly because your child simply cannot tell you what he/she needs to be satisfied. When a baby is crying, finding out the cause can often feel like tying to solve the The Da Vinci Code.
However, for parents whose children face special needs, their challenges continue well through the years. Adding “special needs” to an already complex kid-equation turns your entire life into a geometric algorithm. Educational concerns, family complications, and developmental milestones become weighted with emotion and uncertainty – because now you have to learn about your child and what makes your child “special.”
Once your child has received an official diagnosis, you’ll probably be hurled into a tornado of mystifying information. Amidst all of the disarray I want you to remember these 3 letters: ABA. Applied Behavior Analysis is the super-nanny of the Autism world. Early intervention is absolutely essential for a special child, as it provides both child and parent with the developmental tools necessary to improve his/her quality of life.
The best thing you can do for a child is to learn with them and support their growth/development. The more you know and understand the services your child is being provided, the better equipped you become in navigating your child’s wants and needs. The consistent and persistent implementation of therapeutic strategies by a parent is a sure-fire way to decrease challenging (and often perplexing) behaviors and improve the entire family’s quality of life.
In addition to ABA-based consultations, parents of special needs families also benefit from counseling sessions. Counseling sessions help families get through the heavily emotional journey with the support and communication they need. It also helps to have someone listen to you and your spouse, to find ways to work through it together in a way that sometimes just isn’t possible alone. For moms, it’s a much-needed source of support from someone who understands their day-to-day life. Counseling sessions are available for a single parent, both parents, as well as for the family.