Parenting comes with plenty of challenges, but parenting a child with a disability can bring many more. There’s no arguing that it can be difficult at times, but incredibly rewarding too. That doesn’t mean parents should do it on their own, however; there is support you can access if you have a child with a disability.
Starting school can be particularly daunting for children with a disability, as well as for their parents. Will they fit in? Will they be accepted by the other children? Will they struggle to keep up? It’s easy to get lost in the countless “what ifs”, but it’s important to put your mind at ease. Schools have a duty to anyone with a disability to give them access to services they need – therefore, there will be a support team for those with disabilities which both you and your child can make use of. Look for anyone who has done one of the moderate disabilities programs in Massachusetts, as they are professionally trained to make sure your child is comfortable and happy both with the work they’re set, but also socially. And, of course, teachers will be aware of your child’s disability and will make sure to give them appropriate work and not push them out of their comfort zone. They are also available for you to talk to at any time.
If you have a disabled child, they may need extra support with daily activities. This may mean they need other provisions or aids, which may cost money. There are many grants you can apply to or make use of to help you with these extra expenses necessary for your child to live a normal life, and can give you either money, opportunities or other support to help you make it through tough times or challenges that you face. If you’re not sure where to go for a grant, look to Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council if your child suffers from a developmental disability; they can give you the opportunities you need to overcome any problems. If your child suffers from a different disability, search for any grants in your area – there may be a grant specific to your child’s disability or for people with disabilities in general, but with a quick Google search, you should be able to find something to help you and your child.
It may sound obvious, but charities are a great source of support and help for you and your disabled child. They can connect you with others involved with the disability, as well as provide opportunities and experiences that your child might otherwise miss out on. A great charity is Canines For Kids – they are focused on raising awareness for those with disabilities, as well as dedicating themselves to increasing independence for children with disabilities and their families by promoting service dog partnerships, which can be incredibly useful but also comforting for a child with a disability.
These three sources are the best places to turn to if you struggle – there’s no shame in finding it difficult, and accessing the support you need is essential for both your own and your child’s well being.