Caring for Children with Special Needs

Written By: Mrs. O.C. Ogun

A Parent in the Child Clinic

Children with special needs are children born with one form of disability or the other. Disability is the inability to carry out certain needed task due to physical or mental challenges.

Children with disability are born into every race, social class, culture, and sphere of influence known to mankind. Some of these children were born with these disabilities while some of them became disabled from one cause or the other after birth.

 

MY CHALLENGES AND NEEDS AS A PARENT

Parents of mentally challenged children face a lot of difficulties and I as a parent faced and I am still facing the following:

It was so difficult to psychologically accept the fact that my child had the diagnosed medical condition which the doctors said she had. I was worried and devastated and I visited all manners of places I shouldn’t have gone to just to seek for solutions but ended up complicating my issue.

My already meager finances became more difficult to manage. I could not cope with the dietary and helpful supplements recommended from the clinic. More so, the  services of various professionals like the physiotherapist, speech therapist, special educators at the same time were difficult to afford. My child needed a one to one attention and I had to cut down on all my comfort to afford it.

I faced a lot of problems with stigmatization from my neighbors and friends. It hurts deeper when it came from family members. When I go with my child to public places like the church, market, parties, on the streets or at the bustop, people tend to avoid us or scoff at us especially when the child just wants to interact with these people in her own little way.

My employer was becoming fed up with my repeated permissions take my child pot to the hospital for her scheduled appointments and because of this I became afraid for my job and started skipping some of my clinic visits. I have found that this is slowing down the initial good response to treatment I got when she first started therapy.

 

HOW HAVE I COPED

  • First, I have accepted this child and I show her a lot of love and attention no matter how other people feel about her.
  • I have been able to get her siblings to accept her and not to feel ashamed of her in the presence of the other.
  • I now seek for help and medical attention at recognized and reputable centers.
  • I have understudies and tried to understand my child and her perculiar needs and nature so that managing her would be easier for me.
  • I protect and defend my child from undue external aggression especially from people in public places.
  • I also watch out for this girl child who is blossoming into a youth now so that I can guard against unscrupulous men who may want to take undue sexual advantage of her.
  • As I pray, I watch out for every little potential she has and try to encourage and develop it. My greatest aim for this child is for her to be able to have an independent life after I might have gone.
  • May God continue to help and strengthen all parents who live with and care for children with special needs and may God also bless our hospital caregivers. Amen!
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