When I put a call out on facebook asking for what you, my readers, want more of and less of, I received a request from one such follower. And as I sit here and write this post on how you can help a child with a disability, I realise and contemplate the exhaustion and challenge, yet the rewards and pride so many parents must feel.
I was so fortunate to watch a program last week on a father’s fight to help his two year old through his brain injury. I saw a glimpse of the pain he and his son go through every day; just a glimpse!. Surgery, physiotherapy, exercises, and more exercises. A constant daily routine. And then I saw his pride, strength and ‘never give up attitude’. And so I was inspired. I was inspired just a little more. Because this was a man that had so much determination and will power to help his son.
Because each day is a new challenge. Each moment is a new challenge. Yet in each challenge there are milestones. And within these milestones is joy. Looking at the big picture is important. Know that a set back is just a bump in the road. As a parent, it is your role to be their advocate; their strength when they are down. Although tiring and exhausting at times, it is your devotion, love, compassion and strength that helps them get through each day.
As a parent, you are constantly a role model. You are constantly watched by the mind of that little person. You are their role model. You are their lead. So remember that if you approach life with optimism, your child will likely embrace this too. If you approach a challenge positively, they most likely will too. You are infectious to them. When you see challenges as a bump, not a roadblock, you inspire them to feel and do the same.
Focus on their strengths, not their weaknesses. Focus on their interests, their talents, the things that give them joy. By focusing on these, you are inspiring them to. You are inspiring them to know that there is more to them then their disability. They are not defined by their disability.
Your child might be the person who has a glimmering shimmer in their eye; a shimmer that captures everyone around them.
A love of music. Weird music at that, but it gives everyone goosebumps just knowing that they have this specific taste.
And then just like that… you will see something change. Something shift. Maybe an extra step, a smile, acknowledgement, or communication. Just like that, you will see something.
Because life with a child with a disability is not going to be easy. It is going to be hard. But the inspiration you get everyday from this little person will be like no other.
But it can be sometimes so easy to forget about yourself. Forget about your needs and your piggy bank. Day to day you spend your life as a parent focusing on your children. Day to day it is their routine, their life, their schedule. But you need to know that being the best person you can be is being the best person for them. We all imagine the nice twenty minute bath at the end of the day, but know in reality it may only be five minutes. But this is the first step in giving yourself a little love. A little TLC too.
Work as a family, communicate as a family about your child’s needs. If you have other children, remember to include them as much as possible. Help them feel empowered that they too can make a difference for their sibling. They have a power like no other. Their suparstar powers could change everything.
Remember, you are the best expert for your child. Don’t doubt yourself. Have faith in yourself.
Linking up with Diary of SAHM