Being a parent is hard work under any circumstances, but being a parent with a disability presents a unique set of challenges that not everyone understands. Every parent desires the same things for their child such as health, happiness and to feel loved. For those who are new to parenting, welcome to the club.
Here are a few tips to help transition you into full-fledged parenthood.
Step 1: Know Your Rights
Let’s face it, parenting has its challenges. As a parent with a disability, it's important for you to know your rights. Whether it's your biological or adoptive child, and whether you are starting a family, blending a family or taking on the task of parenting solo, be sure to take a closer look at what legal protections exist. This can help you avoid the pitfalls that many parents, regardless of whether or not they have a disability, might encounter as they raise a child.
Step 2: Prepare Your Home
Prepping your home for the arrival of a child of any age is that boundaryless realm that is the same for every parent. General preparation should focus on danger remediation with the minor details based on the age and needs of the child.
Check your smoke detectors. It’s a good idea to replace smoke detector backup batteries. Now is also a great time to review any fire escape routes and make sure they adequately accommodate your new addition.
Service or replace fire extinguishers. If you do have fire extinguishers, you may already know that they don’t last forever. If you don’t have them, now is the time to get them. In addition to the kitchen, it’s a good idea to place one near the doorway of the room where your furnace is located, as well as in the child’s room.
Install carbon monoxide detectors. If you don’t already have these life-saving items, you should. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, and affects children much faster than adults. These are inexpensive and plug into a standard outlet in most cases. Be sure to test these each time you test your smoke detectors.
Use outlet covers and cabinet locks. These handy little devices keep tiny fingers from getting shocked, pinched, or worse. They can also help you limit access to medicines, cleaners and other substances that you may need to keep low to accommodate your own needs.
Secure heavy objects. While many dressers, TV stands and other objects that pose a high risk of tipping over now come with warning labels, some new parents might opt for using older models. Make sure you consider and secure any items in your home that are at risk of tipping over on your child.
Step 3: Find Support
It’s important for any new parent to have a support network that falls outside of others who know and love your child. Everyone is entitled to feelings of frustration, whether it is with the child or your own expectations of how things should be, without having those feelings come back to haunt you at a later date. Having someone who understands exactly what you are going through can make all the difference on the difficult days and sharing your joy with them will make the good days even better.
Becoming a parent is scary, but you’re not alone. Know that there are people out there just like you, and that the basics of being a good parent are the same for everyone.
If you are like me, you're probably going through a shock stage and if you managed to stay safe and dry, maybe you're feeling stressed and helpless watching the news coverage. Take a break...there will be plenty of opportunities to help, do what feels right and comfortable for you. This can be physically lending a hand, or extending your wallet to organizations in need of financial donations. Here are some tips to how to get through the aftermath of the devastating hurricane.
If you or someone you know, could benefit from support and counseling, call us.
With our fast past lives, and a society that seems to value work above all else, we forget to take time for ourselves. There's lots of research out there pointing to how mindfulness exercises help us to refocus and take a much needed time "out". I've listed an app that's been helpful. Be advised, parts are free, others require a monthly membership. Whether you use this app, or some other tool, taking 5 minutes a day to recharge can make a huge difference. Try to aim for a 5-min a day meditation and see if you notice any changes in sleep or your outlook on things the next day.
Simple Habit-The Best Meditation App for Busy People
Katy Psychological Services, PLLC presents:
SOS FOR PARENTS: HOW TO EFFECTIVELY DISCIPLINE AND HANDLE COMMON MISBEHAVIOR IN YOUNG CHILDREN
Who is this presentation for: Parents of children (approximately ages 18 months to 8 years)
When: Thursday, April 27, 2017 6:30-8:00 PM
Where: Kiddie Academy Daycare 24404 Kingsland Blvd. Katy, TX 77494
What will be covered:
As spring break passes and the end of the school year gets closer, the topic of retention starts to move back to the forefront. Despite decades of research showing that retention is NOT an effective intervention, school personnel start to bring up this topic as if it were a good idea. In layman's terms, it sounds like a good idea. The child is too immature or not going to thrive in the upcoming grade level even if placed. Why put that stress on the child? I would agree, no one wants to stress a child out more than what they already feel. However, it is also a sign that something else needs to be done. Exposing him or her to another year of more of the same does in fact, show short-term gains in progress. Think about it, why wouldn't it? The child has already been exposed to the curriculum from last year. What the research shows though, is that is a short-term gain that is quickly erased, and then the child is back to struggling again. Why? Well, if you have not addressed why the child was struggling in the first place, there will always be new stuff to learn, but this time they are older and the learning demands have continued to increase even though the only thing that was done was to have them repeat a grade.
There are many factors as to why a child is struggling, it could be environmental, a teaching fidelity issue, or perhaps learning or attention problems run in the family? Consider digging deeper to finding the root cause of the child's learning difficulties. It's important to find out his/her style of learning and adapt to this, rather than make him/her adapt to the instruction.
I realize that every case is different. I am writing to express my concern in general about the practice of retention and to open the discussion of what we know works and does not work from what the facts show from longitudinal studies. My hope is that it provides information for parents to carefully consider other options when deciding on whether or not to retain their child.
Dr. Dyanna Villesca
Have you heard about Our Pact? A free app to help you control Internet and phone options for your child? It has helpful contracts parents can use to discuss appropriate limits for "screen time" while allowing parents the control to turn their child's devices on and off--thus limiting power struggles.
With the digital age advancing our technological minds, it is important not to lose sight of the importance of exercising our children's "social minds". Devices should be put away when at the dinner table, during visits with relatives, etc. as a form or courtesy but also respect to the people that are right in front of you.
More information can be found at: http://ourpact.com/
Relational bullying most commonly happens between girls, but boys are affected too. It is the discreet form of bullying that takes shape in the form of excluding a peer, giving a dirty look, or doing subtle but mean things to another girl (or girls) to make them feel inferior, rejected, and alone. Because of the stigma still today about telling another adult, and rather than risking embarrassment (and fear that the problem will get worse, not better) many children/adolescents suffer in silence. You may see small changes in their behavior, becoming more withdrawn, or disengaged in activities they once used to enjoy. Add that we now live in the age of social media, cyberbullying in the form of texts (Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) makes it difficult to escape a bully. This is a serious problem that needs a voice because no school is immune to relational bullying, sad but true. Don't let your child be a victim and if you suspect they are (or have been) please seek us out for further help. There may not be physical scars, but the emotional ones can be even larger and more painful.
I have listed below a website designed specifically designed to give you strategies to combat relational bullying, it's called a "Girls Guide to End Relational Bullying":
Also, I would highly recommend the extremely insightful and powerful video, "A Girl Like Her" available on Netflix or Amazon:
Check out the link for support groups sponsored by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Houston.
This website is a guide for Texas parents and caregivers of children with diagnosed or suspected disabilities from birth through 5 years of age
AutismSpeaks.org always has great information to share with parents. Check out this resource with information about apps that support children diagnosed with autism. Check out the link below: