Autism Speaks estimates that the lifetime care cost of a child with autism or other intellectual disability is between $1.4 to $2.4 million, according to Consumer Education Services Inc. Parenting a child with additional needs is not only costly but also challenging. As a parent, you’ll lack confidence in your parenting abilities at some point. While raising children with special needs or not, you will feel overwhelmed with the uncertainty of what’s best for your child’s future.
Fortunately, you can manage the emotional stress of parenting a child on the spectrum by using various tactics. For example, building a sensory room for your child is a sure way of helping them to use their senses and relieve anxiety. You can also improve the quality of your life by following stress management tips for parents raising children with special needs.
Join A Support Group
It might seem daunting, but joining a support group for parents is crucial for your emotional health. According to CPFN, caring for a child with special needs may be confusing and sometimes lonely. However, when you have a strong network of support, you’ll soon realize that you’re not alone.
Many parents in your network experience the same struggles as you do, and they are willing to share coping strategies of their own. A support group also gives you room to vent out your frustrations to others who understand, which is essential for your overall mental well-being.
Embrace A Positive Attitude
Embracing a positive attitude is one of the best ways to cope with parenting stress. To achieve long-term results, re-frame negativity in all aspects of your life. Stop comparing your child to others and accept that every child with additional needs is unique. Raising children with special needs is unique. Most importantly, be your child’s cheerleader even when the steps they have made seem little to you. The key is to maintain positivity towards your child and foster a stress-free environment.
Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help
Balancing work life, caring for a child with special needs along with their siblings and household chores can take a toll on your physical and mental health. To help reduce stress, ask for assistance from close family members and friends. They can help you look after your children or help out with house chores.
That way, you can have some free time to unwind from daily stressors. You can relax by engaging in physical exercises, reading your favorite book, or taking a walk.
Make Time For Fun
Parents tend to be busy and over-scheduled. However, consider spending quality time with your family even for a few hours every day. Keep in mind family time creates room for bonding, reduces stress, promotes adaptability and resilience. Therefore, engage in play, physical exercises, read a short storybook, or watch a comedy film with your child.
Raising children with special needs is overwhelming and often leads to emotional stress. However, you can manage stress by following simple tactics. Start by joining a support group for parents with special needs. Also, foster a positive mindset, ask for help, and create time to have fun with your child.