How Parents Can Find Support for Children with Cognitive Disabilities

b3As a parent, it is not easy having a child with any disability. However, some things are inevitable. And sometimes, having a child with disabilities is one of them. In a word, cognitive disabilities are intellectual impairments. It means some part of the brain is not functioning optimally. In a child, this condition affects intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior.

There are many ways cognitive disabilities can be discovered in children. Some parents start getting worried when their child does not sit, crawl or walk at the right time. Also, slow speech and difficulty in learning things in children are pointers that something is wrong. At this point, parents would likely seek medical intervention. Medical report can either confirm or allay their fears. Examples of cognitive disabilities are autism, down’s syndrome, and cerebral palsy.

In the society today, a lot of people do not understand the struggle of children that have cognitive disabilities. They are sometimes seen as weak, slow or dumb. It can be quite hard as a parent to face this situation one day after the other. For parents whose child got diagnosed with a form of cognitive disability, the first reaction is fear and apprehension. The fear is often based on how the child will survive while the anxiety is on how best to manage the disability, so the child does not go through life feeling like a reject. You can find help for your child through this trying period by finding support in so many ways. Various methods of finding the support needed are discussed below:

Research the Disorder: The first thing you should do after the doctor has confirmed that your child has the cognitive disability is to learn everything you can about it. This will aid you in being adequately informed and updated about it. If any strange thing should happen, it will not take you by surprise. You may ask how this brings about support for the child. The first person a child can relate with is the parent. So, when your children understand that you know what they are going through, it is a step to conquering the world. It builds confidence in them. It makes them want to try their best to be better for their parent. Essentially, a parent’s support is a source of motivation. Carrying out research online, for instance, can help to discover good support groups in your local area. The support group can be for your child, or it can be for you. The crux of it is you should always carry out your research.

Network with Other Parents: It should not come as a wonder that networking can be a source of support for children with cognitive disabilities. There are lots of groups on social media where parents who are going through something similar share ideas and experience. You get to know parents of those children while your child might also interact with them one on one at a later date. Being in this form of the group can also help you understand the milestone development of your child. In essence, you know you are not alone in the situation. Your child also knows he/she is not alone in the situation as well.

Group Activities for Your Child: Getting your child engaged in peer activities will boost their social skills and confidence. It serves as a form of support group because your baby is learning new abilities. The skills are not just limited to what is being taught. Your child also builds better intellectual capabilities. Vocabulary skills are improved, and your ward gets to work on interpersonal relationships. Your child might just find a buddy in this activity that will become a friend for life.

Encourage Your Child to Be Independent: As a parent, you can find support for your children by reinforcing his independency. Place healthy restrictions on your child. They are capable of doing much more than you think. If you don’t allow them to try, they also will not know what they can do. Let your children do new things and cheer them for getting it right. If you have other children, tell them the importance of support. Do not exclude your kid with learning disabilities when giving out tasks. Do not treat you child any differently. Your other children might pick it up from you. Encourage your child and watch others follow suit.

Stay Involved: Your role in the life of your child with cognitive disabilities does not end in the home. Participate in the education of that child. Always go for parent meetings. Get the school teaching curriculum and educate yourself on the instructing method the school is using. When you know all these, your child can bring problems home from school, and you will be able to solve it entirely. Your child will be excited that you know all he knows.

Get A Support Teacher: You can get support for your child by getting a support teacher. You can liaise with your son’s school to make sure your child gets extra help. Getting a support teacher for your children means that they can learn at their own convenient pace. When done this way, learning for your child is more fun.

Bottom Line

Your child with cognitive disabilities is still a child. Children love to be free. They like to express themselves freely, and they love to have fun. The behavior is the same for your child. Your children might appear different. But at heart, they are just kids who want to be a full part of the world. Getting the right support for your child will help him to develop and be who he is meant to be. Do seclude your children from the world. If you do, you are destroying their inherent potentials. Celebrate your child’s difference and get support for him/her. If you do all these, the disabilities may not go away. It will get better and easier to cope over time. By the time your child becomes an adult, he/she will be a very independent and confident person.

Photo Credit: Specialeducation