Managing Day to Day


Some advice from other parents of special needs children on how to manage in a world that may not really understand your situation.

Find a peer

Try to locate another parent of a child with a disability, to share information and advice, and lend an understanding ear. It is best if you can find someone whose child is about the same age as yours, and whose challenges are similar to those of your child.

Approach a leader

You may find a talk with a spiritual leader deepens your perspective.

See a professional

A few focused sessions with a psychologist might help you deal with your intense feelings. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication you might need at this point. Social workers may be needed to handle your child's needs and yours.

Communicate with family

Resist the instinct to lock your feelings inside. Listen to your spouse and kids. Show interest in the way each family member feels about this situation that affects you all. Don't judge the way a family member feels.

One day at a time

Avoid worrying about the future. Chew challenges in small bites. Deal with today. Good choices today will lead you and your child to the brightest possible future.

Get educated

Ask medical personnel to explain confusing terminology. Don't allow feeling intimidated to stop you - you are responsible for your child. Research his or her condition so that you can advocate for your own son or daughter.


Before you enter appointments or meetings, list your questions and points you intend to bring up. Afterwards, jot down a summary of conversations that took place. Get in the habit of filing your information in a multi-part folder and/or on your computer. If you are too overwhelmed to get organized at this point, at least toss all papers into a bin or box marked with your child's name - you may have to search later to find an important document, but it will be inside. Store safely.

All in the family

Medical professionals are doing their job by focusing only on your child with special needs. You may need to balance well meant suggestions that could help that child with the understanding that the child functions within your family unit. Everyone needs attention, care and calm. This may not be easy to achieve, but keeping it in mind can trigger ideas for maintaining family stability - a good thing for you and your child who has special needs.