Kids with special needs
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Kids with special needs

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This presentation has been created to educate providers that work with kids with special needs.

This presentation has been created to educate providers that work with kids with special needs.

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Kids with special needs Kids with special needs Presentation Transcript

  • Who are you? What is your perception about you and the work you do for a family?
    5 minutes
  • WHO ARE YOU FOR A FAMILY?
    A family does not know your professional background or the degree you need to become a Primary Service Coordinator or an ITDS, but they do know “you” have the knowledge and the experience to answer their questions.
    Do you?
  • View slide
  • Maybe you do not know this, but a Family of a child with special needs (especially conditions such as CP, Autism, Down Syndrome or other kind of genetic conditions), get really excited before they receive your visit. Especially the night before, they have been thinking more than ever about the disability of their child, what the specialist is going to say about it and how “you” are going to look at their child and their family. One “smile” and encouraging word from you can make such a difference in their lives!
    YOU ARE REALLY IMPORTANT!
    View slide
  • Sometimes you ARE the only “Hope”.After having to be at so many places such as: hospitals and different specialists, families get tired of hearing the “diagnosis” and are ready to hear “solutions”. Think of yourself as the “Hope” the family is needing.
  • Avoid making comments about the child´s condition in general terms. Things like “children with autism usually are …” makes parents feel their child has a big “A” over his or her head. It’s better to try to give techniques using phrases like “if at any time you feel your child is acting like…, you could try to…”. This can make a difference and offers the family a way to cope with the problem that they may be having and help with their frustration.
    A diagnosis does not mean that this is a rule across the board such as, children with Down Syndrome won’t walk until three years old or children with CP will all have cognitive delays. Children with special needs may have tendencies for certain behaviors or delays, but life is a constant surprise. Every child is unique and special and if you teach the family how to work with the child’s strengths and not focus on the delay, families learn to celebrate the baby steps and not get as stressed out or depressed about the delays. You are an educator! Every word counts!
  • Do not give parents wrong information to make them feel better. Information is the key! Avoid giving % to a disability. No one can determine how significant a disability is by looking into a child´s face. For example, never tell a parent that their child has mild “Down Syndrome”. Explain to families that any condition can be faced by working together as a team and you’re part of that team. Explain to them what “Early Intervention” means and how important it is for them to be involved in their child´s life to help them be the best they can be.
    Every child is “PERFECT” in the parents eyes. A situation can cause reactions but no difference in the parent´s most important feeling that is “Love” . A parent will have many feelings like sadness, grief, desperation, but will finally be ready to re-adopt their old dreams to the reality. Saying good bye to the “dream child” takes time, but once you’ve accepted it, you are ready to welcome the child you will love for ever.
  • Look behind the reaction! All parents react in different ways to services. Some of them could look demanding or even aggressive, but STOP before thinking about this family as “a pain”, stop and think that they probably act like this because is really hard for them to deal with the situation. Offer to these families FRS services, a parent to parent support can help!
  • In many cases you become the life saver of the family, because you are probably the only person in the world who is going to celebrate, congratulate and listen!
    Always use the word “Child” first! You have a child with cp, you have a child with speech delay.
    Learn how to talk in a positive way for a family. Instead of saying “Your child has mental retardation” you can say “Your child has an intellectual disability we can work on”. Words do not change the reality but make it easier to cope with.
  • Some parents are obsessed with tendencies and information they find on the web. The best way to handle the situation is to explain to parents that resources are available on request and it all depends on what you are looking for. The best example is : If you look for information about kids with mental delays you will find devastating and depressing information; if you change your words for children with different abilities you will be surprised about children with the same condition who are able to do things people would never imagine that they could do!
    Every parent deeply affect the development of the child by being only a parent!
  • Parents who happen to be really depressed can learn from you that even they have another “ideal” about what the perfect child is; there are always new dreams to dream! You just need to adjust them!
    Some conditions are really hard to recognize when kids are young, many parents may feel like there is a miracle happening and that´s why the child looks so “normal”. Do not try to explain to them that they are making a mistake. Parents grow with the child and realize things can change, but at the same time having “hope” makes them feel everything is going to be alright while they move to the next step.
  • “Life with special needs is not better or worse than regular life; its just different! As any other experience it has challenges and prizes, and parents need to go over so many feelings before accepting “standards” that may not be the most important in life. Life is amazing in all his expressions, and that´s true : Kids with special needs are not angels but they are the closest human beings to them”