by Lori Herren June 26, 2020 4 min read

A person with special needs is defined as one that deals with physical, mental, learning or emotional disabilities. They are some of the kindest, most loving people you will ever meet and they don't let any of the various disorders they face keep them from living a full life. What are the different types of special needs?

Some of these conditions are, but not limited to, the following examples:

  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Emotional disturbance
  • Epilepsy
  • Reading and learning disabilities
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Pervasive developmental disorder
  • Speech and language impairments
  • Spina bifida
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairments

How can we care for children with special needs?

  • Make sure to find a way to relate to the child and make them feel a part of the environment they are present in. They might not respond verbally but they know you are talking to them and including them.
  • Keep a good observance on the child's behavior. Even if they are non-verbal you can get a good sense of what might be going on with them within their behavior.
  • Keep the environment safe and comfortable for children with special needs. Make sure there is a place for them to sit down if they have to wait, if outside, make sure there is cover from the sun and rain. The more comfortable and safe they feel the more likely they are to enjoy themselves.
  • Each child with special needs is different and moves at their own pace. Make sure you always have a plan, but not just one plan, have at least 5 different plans ready to go at all times and be flexible, each child is unique and you want them to feel safe.
  • Special needs children thrive on schedule and consistency.  When they adapt to a routine they stick to it, and this allows them to experience great things. The routine becomes very important to their well-being, so keep as close to their usual routine as possible. Consistency is also key. If you set rules, stick to them. Make sure the routine is consistent, that way they know what to expect.
  • Find good visual, sound and experience cues to establish getting their attention, signaling for them to go, stop, wait, etc. This gives them consistency in knowing what to do. It's when they are surprised or startled they have the most trouble adapting.
  • Always be positive and show children with special needs an upbeat, positive attitude. Like all of us, if you approach someone with a negative attitude they will be negative towards you. These special children are no different. Always aim to be supportive and they will enjoy the friendship that forms from your efforts.

How do you find a special needs caregiver?

In some cases a special needs caregiver is necessary, to look after the adult or child with special needs. There is a fabulous network available to locate and find these individuals. There are many websites available for you to use so you can find, interview and hire these caregivers, right in your area. You may ask other families that have children with special needs if they know of any good caregivers looking for work, word of mouth is sometimes the best way. And asking your child's pediatrician or specialty doctor where a good place to search for a caregiver is always a great idea. Sometimes you can find those that offer special needs child care in an environment where the workers are trained and experienced in helping children who need extra care.

How do you adapt activities for special needs individuals?

Parents of special needs children are constantly having to find alternative ways to adapt everyday activities to fit in the context of their child's understanding and capabilities. Even daily activities like meal time, bath time, and brushing teeth can look completely different for a child with special needs. As a good example, many parents face frustration with the difficulty of trying to help with daily oral care, knowing it's importance, but finding it painful or a struggle for their child. The most important things we do take care of our children should never cause them stress or anxiety, especially for parents with a special needs child.

Brushing your teeth can be painful for those who have complicated health conditions and other physical and mental struggles. The Brilliant Special Soft Toothbrushwas specially created for extra special people and their specific special circumstances. It has the softest bristles and the greatest amount of bristles of all manual toothbrushes in the Brilliant line. over 21,000 to be exact! The 21,000 bristles in this brush design is for those that deal with soreness and strong sensitivity initiated by medical treatments, sensory processing disorders, autism, or other forms of special needs. Brushing your teeth should never be a battle causing pain or discomfort. Bring comfort to brushing time!

The Brilliant Sensitive Toothbrush has over 18,000 microfine soft bristles that  allow you to clean your teeth gently without irritating tender gums and/or sensitive teeth.The Brilliant Sensitive Toothbrush was created for people with sensitive needs to have gentle, everyday oral care This bristle technology actually polishes your teeth, instead of sweeping over them like a typical, flat, one-sided toothbrush. Whether your pain and sensitivity occur from coping with an illness that affects your teeth and gums, enamel loss, or sensory issues, the Brilliant Sensitive Toothbrush will help you cope with sensitivity and help ease your brushing concerns.

Great Strides In The Special Needs Community

From health care to school, sports to child care, our communities are making great strides to carve out a special place and create special opportunities for children with special needs. Our national and state governments have also made great strides in protecting our special needs communities with rights reserved just for them, to protect them and defend their rights. If you have a heart for this community but don't have any children with special needs, you can search for ways within your own community: schools, churches and Special Olympics programs, to help care for children and families with special needs.

 

 

Lori Herren
Lori Herren


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