Families with special needs children are routinely busy. Not only do they have the usual activities of school and extracurricular activities, but also they must grapple with the added stress of therapy schedules and medical appointments. If you have been struggling to make time for these appointments yourself, look at the following five tips for inspiration.
Determine Your Priorities
First, determine what is a priority in your life. Some things may be fun or good to do, but you might need to say no to them in this season. For example, you may need to pass up extracurricular opportunities, playdates or committee membership to make time to take your child to therapy. In this season, special needs therapy may be one of the most important activities for your family.
Second, stay calm even when your schedule is entirely booked. Your child will pick up on any anxiety that you are feeling, making therapy and normal daily activities more difficult than ever. Take a few minutes to just breathe, or make a list to help you get ahold of your stress.
Ask for Help When Needed
Never feel bad about asking for help. If you have a spouse, a parent or another close family member or friend who is willing to help you pick up some of the slack, do not feel bad taking them up on the offer. This individual may be able to take your child to an appointment every week or may be willing to help you with household tasks so that you have more time for driving to and from appointments.
Prioritize Early Interventions
Remember never to put off therapy when it is recommended. Early interventions can prevent many future concerns and can make your child’s daily life and education as easy as possible. If you notice a new symptom that needs to be addressed through medical, emotional or social therapy, bring it up to a therapist immediately.
Finally, be realistic about what you can accomplish during this season. Realize that a young child will need more help than he or she most likely will require in a few years. By devoting yourself to therapy appointments now, you can make life much easier in the future.