New Year? New plan to support parents of children with special needs.

Yes, you have survived a crazy 2020, thinking that 2021 should be easier but it has been a crazy start. Before anyone is done with their new year resolution, surprises are in your face. Here are some suggestions to support you to keep going.

Evaluate (what you need)

Look at the progress you have made in 2020 and re-work on the need that you have – physical, emotional and mental needs. Is there something that has been working for you? Is there something missing? Do you need a new routine? Do you need an accountability partner?

Once you have looked at your personal needs, then look at what is needed for your child, again physical, emotional and mental needs. Let’s not forget progress made and gaps to bridge. When making plans for your child, keep in mind of their needs, ability and development. As they rely on your decision and plan, their plan has to be realistic and achievable for them.

Make a list

Based on the needs list, identify the following:

  • People who can support you in meeting the need
  • Resources that you need
  • Financial commitment, if any
  • Where to seek help / information

Then, ranked and prioritize the list based on people, resources and financial commitment that you have. For the rest where either information is incomplete, needed more research or to seek for people who can support you, then you can create a separate to-do ranked list.

Making a list makes it clear for you on what to do next. Having them in your head may create other worries like, “what did I forget?” or “Have I spoke to XYZ on that?”.

Accept help

Once you have your list ready, speak to the people who can support you and make a plan that is workable for you (and your child).

For those items that needed more research or information, first explore with the people around if they can point you in the right direction. Speak to their contact, decide if you are happy with the responses that you received, if not, ask for referral again. As you are speaking to more and more people, you may get a clearer indication of what you are looking for as you get educated on the need. Very often, information that you need may be just be one call away.

If you get overwhelmed with all the different responses, make a new list. Put the information gathered on paper and it will help anchor your thoughts instead of allowing it to float (everywhere). Then, go back to your priority list and decide how to move forward.

Seek professional support

Different people will have different solutions to same problem, though not all problems are the same. However, understand that no one knows your child better than you. If you ended up with analysis paralysis, then, seek professional help. Seek counselors, educators, doctors or trained professionals who are working with family of children with special needs. They would have various encounters (i.e. more diverse experiences) which may give you a better perspective and guidance.

Be kind to self

Developing self (and child) requires time and effort. It requires resilience, persistence and commitment. Some things work out as planed while some don’t. Be kind to self when things do not work out as planned. Yes, you may not feel great when things do not work out but you found one way that didn’t work. Thomas Edison discovered 1,000 ways not to make a light bulb.

How are you coping so far? Do reach out to us if you need planning done for your child’s progression. We are Business as Usual (during this unusual business times).

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