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Q:

What are some ways to balance the needs of my child with special needs with the needs of my other children and family members?

Hi everyone,

I have a 7-year-old son who has been diagnosed with autism. He requires a lot of attention, therapy, and specific parenting strategies to help him develop and navigate daily life. However, I also have two other children who are 9 and 11 years old, and it's becoming increasingly challenging to balance their needs with my son's needs.

I want to do everything I can to support my son's growth and development, but I also don't want my other children to feel neglected or left out. At the same time, I'm also trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance and keep up with household responsibilities.

I would really appreciate any advice or strategies that you have found helpful in balancing the needs of a child with special needs with the needs of other family members. Thank you!

All Replies

feest.sabryna

Hi there,

I can relate to your situation. I have a 5-year-old daughter who has Down Syndrome, and I also have a 3-year-old son. Balancing the needs of both children can be a real challenge, but I've found a few things that work for me.

One thing that has been really helpful is setting aside a specific time each day to focus solely on my daughter's needs. For example, during her therapy sessions, I will make sure my son is occupied with a coloring book or toy. This helps me to give my daughter the attention she needs without feeling guilty about neglecting my other child.

I also found that involving my other child in my daughter's therapy sessions can be both fun and helpful. My son loves to help out with certain activities and games, and it gives him the opportunity to interact with his sister in a meaningful way.

Another strategy that worked well for our family is setting up a routine that incorporates everyone's needs. For example, we have designated "quiet time" every day where my daughter can rest, and my son can do his puzzles while I take a break. This helps to create structure and predictability for both children.

I hope these tips are helpful for you. Remember to take care of yourself too and prioritize self-care, so you can be there for your children.

okey57

Hey there,

I totally understand where you're coming from. I have a 10-year-old daughter who has ADHD, and I also have a 12-year-old son. Juggling both their needs can be challenging, but I've found a few things that work for me.

Firstly, I try to involve my son in my daughter's care as much as possible. This creates a sense of ownership and responsibility for him, and it also helps him to understand his sister's condition better. I've found that this also helps them to bond and become closer as siblings.

Secondly, I set aside specific times during the day where I spend individual time with each child. For example, while my daughter is at her therapy session, I take my son out for some one-on-one time. This creates a sense of balance and attention for both children and minimizes any feelings of neglect.

Finally, I try to keep our daily routines as consistent as possible. This predictability helps both children to feel secure and in control, which is especially important for my daughter who can be easily overwhelmed.

Remember, it's essential to take care of your own needs too! Try to find time for exercise, hobbies, or socializing with friends. This is going to help you be a better parent, partner, and person in general. Stay positive and keep persevering!

piper.sawayn

Hey,

I have a 6-year-old son who has cerebral palsy, and I also have a 4-year-old daughter. Juggling both their needs can be a real challenge, but I've learned a few tricks that have helped me to balance things out.

Firstly, I try to make sure that my daughter never feels left out of the "special needs" world. I explain things to her in a way that she can understand, and I even bring her to some of my son's therapy sessions when it's appropriate. It's a great way for her to see what her brother is going through and understand why he might need extra help.

Secondly, I try to involve both children in activities that they both enjoy. This helps to foster a sense of togetherness and sibling bonding. Sometimes I'll take them on outings, like to the zoo or a park, where they can both have fun and be active.

Finally, I've found that being flexible with routines and schedules is essential. Sometimes my son's medical appointments or therapy sessions can disrupt our day, but I try to be open and communicate effectively with my daughter so she knows what's going on.

Remember, you're not alone in this! There are many resources available, like parent support groups and online forums, where you can connect with others who are going through similar experiences. Also, don't forget to take time for yourself and practice self-care. Only by taking care of yourself can you effectively take care of others.

cecile.cassin

Hi everyone,

I'm a single dad of two girls - a 9-year-old daughter who has ADHD and a 6-year-old daughter. It's not always easy balancing their needs, but I have found a few things that make it a little less stressful.

Firstly, I try to have one-on-one time with each child whenever I can. This helps me to connect with them individually and gives me a chance to address any issues or concerns. It also ensures that each child feels valued and heard.

Secondly, I try to involve my younger daughter in my older daughter's activities as much as possible. For example, I'll take them to the park together, and we'll play games that my older daughter enjoys but my younger daughter can also participate in. This helps to avoid any feelings of exclusion or resentment.

Thirdly, I have found that setting up a reward system for good behavior and milestones can be helpful. This not only encourages positive behavior, but it also helps to create a sense of teamwork and support amongst siblings.

Also, I try to be as open and honest with both girls as possible. I explain ADHD to my younger daughter in a way that she can understand, which helps her to better support her sister. I also encourage my older daughter to educate her sister about her condition and what she needs help with.

In conclusion, balancing the needs of a child with special needs with those of other children can be challenging, but with patience, communication, and creative solutions, it is possible to create a dynamic that works for everyone in the family.

pierce57

Hello everyone,

I have a 5-year-old daughter who has a speech delay, and I also have a 7-year-old son. Juggling both their needs can be a challenge, but here's what has worked for me.

One thing that has really helped is incorporating my daughter's speech therapy into our daily routines. For example, we practice her speech exercises during mealtime, playtime, or when we read books together. This normalizes her therapy and takes away any feeling of her being singled out.

I have also found that involving my son in her therapy and progress can be helpful. It gives him a sense of pride and a deeper understanding of his sister's needs, and can encourage him to be more patient and empathetic towards her.

Additionally, I try to find activities that both children can enjoy together that require little to no verbal communication. Swimming or playing in the park are perfect examples, and these often open windows for communication and language development.

Lastly, I have realized that it's essential to give both children individual attention too. Spending some one-on-one time with each child helps them to feel valued and appreciated, and it also gives parents the opportunity to address any issues or concerns.

Remember to go easy on yourself, and take things one day at a time. Balancing the needs of a special needs child with those of other children requires patience, flexibility, and creativity to make it work.

gkoss

Hey everyone,

As a mother of three boys, ages 5, 8, and 11, parenting a child with special needs has its challenges, but there are strategies that can help. My 8-year-old son has hemiplegia, which affects his movement and cognitive abilities.

One strategy that has helped me balance the needs of all three is involving them in physical activities to promote bonding and teamwork, and also improve my son's motor skills. For instance, we engage in activities like bike riding, swimming, or playing basketball, tag, and board games which they all enjoy.

I also support their individual interests and hobbies. So, when my son is attending therapy sessions or medical appointments, I let the other boys spend quality time doing an activity of their choice, keeping their routine normal as much as possible.

Additionally, involving our family in support groups, therapy, and workshops prepares the other children for the different challenges that come with having a sibling with special needs. Also, involving grandparents and close family members in supporting my son helps relieve a bit of the strain and supports their relationship.

Lastly, self-care of parents is crucial. As parents, we need time to recuperate emotionally and physically, having someone you can confide in or go out for a fun activity, helps reduce the pressure that comes with the day-to-day routine.

In conclusion, balancing the needs of all children is a continuous journey that requires flexibility, creativity, and patience to incorporate various solutions that work best for a family.

kuhlman.lexie

Hello everyone,

I'm a father of three children, aged 6, 8, and 11. My oldest son has Asperger's Syndrome, and I have learned a great deal about balancing his needs with my other children's needs over the years.

One thing I've found helpful is to involve all of my children in activities that are of interest to my son with Asperger's. For example, he loves to play video games, so I've used that as an opportunity to engage all of my children in a shared activity, while also helping my son with his social skills.

I've also found it helpful to allow my other children to take on some responsibilities in helping my son, such as providing reminders or helping him with his homework. This not only supports and acknowledges the value of teamwork, but it also creates compassion, understanding and an open dialogue within the family that everyone's needs are equally valid.

Finally, setting limits and expectations for all children is equally important to avoid resentment and to create healthy respect amongst siblings. Communication is key, and my wife and I try to create a safe space where emotions can be expressed, and concerns can be heard.

In conclusion, balancing the needs of your child with special needs with those of your other children takes time and practice, but becoming a closer and more bonded family makes the journey worthwhile.

evert13

Hey there,

I am a mother of two children, a 8-year-old daughter with dyslexia and a 10-year-old son. It can be challenging for me too trying to balance between the intensive support that my daughter requires and ensuring my son does not feel left out.

One thing that has worked for me is involving my son in my daughter's activities like reading together, playing games together that help her to build her reading skills. This not only helps my daughter but also ensures my son builds more empathy and an understanding of why his sister needs special support.

Another tip is to have individual one on one time with them, leaving behind all distraction and technology. During these moments, we talk about their day, what they are learning in school and what they are excited about. I try as much as possible to make the conversation developmentally appropriate for both children.

Lastly, I try to make the most of the little things like our car rides, where we sing along to favorite songs or have fun games like “I spy" that we all can participate in. I have found that keeping things calm and casual makes my daughter feel less overwhelmed, and my son more comfortable.

Balancing the needs of both children can be a real challenge, but it's possible with some patience, love and organizing your time well.

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