To increase understanding of the emotional impacts of raising children with special needs.
For parents/caregivers to learn that they “are not alone” and that their feelings are normal.
This presentation does not reflect the experiences of all parents/primary caregivers of children with special needs. Each family unit and every family member experiences the impacts of raising a child with special needs in their own unique way.
Every Child is an Individual Each Parents’ Experience is Unique Some Families May Have Similarities but None are the Same
Upon initial diagnosis of a child with special needs, most families have begun a journey…. They will experience various emotions… And will hopefully learn how to cope with the unexpected changes in their lives.
What did they do to cause the special need/disability?
Unable to protect child or to have prevented special needs
They are not able to cope effectively
Their partner should be reacting differently
Toward their child/ren
For having the special need/disability
For demanding so much attention
For siblings to be more understanding/cooperative
Toward the Medical System
For having made the diagnosis
For having missed the potential for a diagnosis
For being invasive/insensitive during diagnosis or treatment/prolonged treatment
Toward their Treatment Team
Expectations/Amount of treatment recommended
“ We know your child’s needs better than you do”
Toward their Religious Belief System
Why would their belief in a higher power/universe allow this to happen?
What did they do to “deserve” this?
Feelings of Guilt: Unable to protect child Child’s suffering “ What did I do to cause this?” “ How could I have prevented this?” Less attention toward other children Loss of intimacy with partner Less focus on personal needs
Extended Family Members Other Committ- ments Therapies Finances Careers Schools Medications Hospitals/ Clinics/ Labs Community Accomodations Insurance Companies Early Steps Or Related Programs Specialized Equipments Case Worker Specialized Physician(s) Primary Pediatrian Spouse Other Children Child/ren With Special Needs Parents/ Primary Caregivers
Empowering Parents/Primary Caregivers Parents/caregivers are capable of making decisions that work for their families Higher self-confidence can lead to positive parenting “ Walk life’s path with gentle footsteps” -Flavia
“ Stuff happens, people do the best they can, and very often they learn and grow thereby.” - Louise Rachel, Mothering