A special needs child is a special gift from God which you have to accept.
While it is a blessing though, it might get increasingly difficult when the child is unteachable, always needing you and never giving you a breather. It gets even harder when the society you are living in sees the kid as an outcast and you have to work really proactively to show them that the child is nothing but unique and a great gift to you. Needless to say, you need to always take care of yourself since no one is ever going to take care of you.
So how can parents with autistic, cerebral palsy kids take care of themselves.
- Always accept the help from others to babysit your kids. No matter how much troublesome, unruly and the amount of tantrums the kids are likely to throw, accept caregiving help from other people even if it is for a single hour. That one hour you can use on yourself to sleep, take a walk, go for a picnic or watch a movie so that you do not burn out taking care of your kid 24/7.
- Take them to a special needs school. You might be tempted to have your kids home schooled because you feel that you understand their special needs and that you will monitor them throughout when they are at home. However doing this does not help you at all. Special needs schools have an IEP(Individualized Education Program) that guide the teachers on how to teach the kids while giving each kid special individual attention depending on their needs. The schools also grow their social skills by interacting with others as well as playing with them. In good schools, the teachers are trained to take care of special needs school, help them grow intellectually, emotionally as well as socially which your kid might lack were you to bring them up at home on your own. The schools will also have play things that help intervene on the growth pattern of the child.
- Get involved in support groups, walks and functions involving parents with special needs. You need to go out there and meet other parents with kids with similar needs as yours. This encourages talk and helps you understand that you are not alone.
- Buy them engaging toys. Rather than spend the whole day playing and talking to the kid, you can allow them some alone time with toys that are healthy to use. This will allow you some time to rest.
- Get them adaptive living tools : if the kid has cerebral palsy, they will have difficulty eating because their fine motor skills are not very good. To avert this, get them some adaptive feeding equipment which they can use.