When your child is born or diagnosed with special needs, early intervention may consume your life if you are not careful, depriving you of the natural experience of getting to know your child as an individual.
The first three years of a child’s life are the most important ones for development, however, this statment should not turn into something negative as a result of pressure.
These are four ways to stay focused on what rally matters:
THINK OF YOUR CHILD FIRST Kids want to be loved, cuddled and get a lot of positive attention, they don’t have a clue about the benefits of early intervention, therapies or stimulation. Yes, early intervention and therapies are important, but your love and your and attention are the best stimulation ever. Over-scheduling and overstimulating with activities that may or may not help your child progress in the long run does more harm than good, especially when he’s missing out on the love and affection he truly needs to thrive, regardless of his or her ability or disability.
ENJOY LIFE AND FREE TIME. Instead of daily therapies, work with the therapist to discover exercises that you can incorporate in your child’s daily routine. Early intervention is all about taking advantage of the natural environment of the child, work with your Infants and toddlers specialist (ITDS), on identifying those opportunities to learn to play with your child as the most natural and engaging therapy ever. Ask the therapist to explain to you what she’s doing and how to repeat it at home, you’ll be surprised at your child’s progress and engagement.
FOLLOW YOUR CHILD’S LEAD. It doesn’t matter how silly you look or feel, be sure that every time he smiles, he’s learning something about himself, about you, and about all his possibilities. Let him tell show you!
EMBRACE THE REAL WORLD. Celebrate everything around you and take advantage of the priceless and simple things. Put him in the stroller and walk around the block. Talk to him about the trees, the sky, and the animals around you. Let him touch the leaves and play with dirt. Kids benefit from typical experiences, like going to the beach, playing and experience with the sand in his toes, or having fun on a family trip while getting surprised with the world and the love of his own family. Let him explore and live a moment of freedom to grow with no pressure or fears. He needs to use his own senses to experience the world around him. He needs trust, love and joy.
Becoming a parent of a child with or without special needs, is alla bout learning to believe, calm down, and understand that desperation doesn’t bring us anything helpful.
More than ever breathe, close your eyes, think, and work toward a main goal: to make your child happy!
Relax in order to love and enjoy your child. That’s the best way to stimulate him while strengthening those bonds of love that will keep you moving forward and making the miracles happen for your whole family