This is a partnered post.
Nearly 54 million Americans cope with special needs arising from a plethora of conditions – including cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, and social and emotional disorders. When parents first receive a diagnosis of a special need in their child, they can feel overwhelmed and stressed, not knowing what steps to take to empower their child to live with their disability. However, it is important for parents to know that there are resources and support organizations ready to inform, make suggestions, and aid families. Once you know a bit more about your child’s condition, it is vital to take a planned approach to ensure you and your child can achieve key goals.
Working Out Your Legal Rights
Some special needs can be caused by medical negligence. Cerebral palsy is one of them. For instance, delays in delivery of a baby can cause hypoxia (lack of oxygen), which can be avoided with due care. If you think the medical team that delivered your baby has been negligent, then seeing a cerebral palsy lawyer is key. This is because obtaining damages will enable you to access a wider gamut of novel treatments and therapies that may be costly. These include stem cell therapy, which is still in its early stages.
Discovering Your Financial Rights
It is also important to do your research to discover whether or not your family is eligible for cerebral palsy financial assistance. Just a few options you may be entitled to include supplemental security income (SSI), which is available to families with children with disabilities (mental, physical, or both). If you have an older child who is unable to work, they may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance. Temporary programs are additionally available – including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, focused on those seeking employment.
Being Part Of A Family
It is important to join networks (both online and physical) so as to meet and interact with people coping with the same special needs. Other parents are a goldmine of information on everything from talented therapists to new treatments, resources and aid. Joining a network will also help you from an emotional perspective, and will provide you with support in tough times.
Once all the material elements are out of the way – including finding the best equipment for your child, deciding on schooling, and choosing therapists that ‘click’ with your child, it is important to take a courageous stance so your child feels confident and independent. You can do this by taking public transport to cultural spots in your city and to attend events and concerts. You can also encourage your child to sign up for local workshops specializing in the subjects that most interest them – be they art, music or pets. Ensuring your child has plenty of opportunity to meet and interact with other children will enable them to feel like they belong and will create powerful friendships that may last a lifetime.
If you have just learned that your child has one or more special needs, it is logical to feel scared that you may not know how to cope. Information is power, though, so joining networks and relying on resources provided by key organizations will set you on the right track. Discover your legal and financial rights as well, so your child can be as well-off as possible. This will ensure they have a better quality of life and access to treatments that could make a major difference in their progress.