The world can be a cruel place for a child with disabilities, whether mentally or physically. They will face a variety of difficulties, from getting around to fitting in and making friends. As their parent, it’s up to you to help them overcome these obstacles so they can have a quality education and a childhood as rich and enjoyable as any other. Here’s how to make that happen.
The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act is your best ally. This is a federal law that guarantees that your child gets an appropriate education as well as the therapy they need to grow, learn and thrive, beginning at birth. Social workers and education specialists work together with you to create an Individualized Education Plan that meets your young one’s needs, including occupational therapy to develop motor skills and function in a school setting.
Prepare Your Home
Your home should be as comfortable for your child as it is for you, so chances are you’ll need to make some modifications. According to HandyWorkx Mobility, a company that specializes in such services, your child may need more room to move around the house, as well as to enter and exit. Though costly, renovations can be paid for through Medicaid, other government assistance, or non-profits. As for outside, a service animal would greatly enhance your child’s mobility while providing stress relief and emotional support. You can start your research here.
Get the Right Insurance
According to a writer for financial services company BBVA Compass, securing comprehensive coverage for a child with special needs can be a daunting task. However, parents can minimize out-of-pocket expenses by learning which physicians and providers are in-network as well as the details about referrals to specialists. However, be ready at all times to challenge your insurance provider to ensure that services they are obligated to cover aren’t denied.
Start an Emergency Fund
Even with the best coverage available, you’ll likely have to pay for some therapy, in which case it’s best to have an emergency fund. One expert at The Balance, a personal finance website, recommends opening a money marketing account or high-interest savings account that allows you to access the money quickly. Building up enough cash will likely require cutting down on daily expenses and setting a family budget.
Plan for Self-Care
Raising any child, let alone one with disabilities, is likely to cause some stress, and you’ll need healthy ways to cope. Though it may seem selfish, there’s nothing wrong with scheduling a little “me time” if it will keep you in strong mental and physical condition. This could include a massage or meditation, matched with a nutritious diet and exercise to keep up your strength.
Above all, stay positive. Though there are obstacles ahead, they can be overcome with love and support, as well as a little preparation.