Caring for a child with a disability can be physically and mentally exhausting. However, the trial becomes much easier if you get external help. For instance, Oregon residents can get help from the state government through an Individual Support Plan established with the child and family. It helps people and families get support for the person with disabilities based on their unique needs, goals, choices, and interests.
But even if you don’t live in Oregon, it is important to know that you don’t need to go through the rough patches alone; there is no shame in asking for help. And to help you, we have listed ways to care for your child with a disability.
- File for social security disability benefits
Caring for a child with a disability can be quite expensive, and government assistance can help alleviate some financial burdens. So, filling for social security disability benefits should be on your agenda.
However, before filing for social security benefits, you must be familiar with the laws and requirements of your state. The laws can vary among different state governments. For example, the process in Oregon may differ from that in Florida. Depending on your state, it’s crucial to understand the variations in specific procedures and any additional benefits you can get from the state government.
The procedural variations can include the specific criteria for determining disability, the documentation and the evidence required. States might also have different application procedures, the availability of state-funded disability programs, or supplementary benefits.
In 2021, the Oregon state government spent $11.9 billion, or up to 40% of the yearly state healthcare budget, on disability healthcare, as reported by the CDC. This means if you reside in Oregon, you can expect substantial help from the government for your child’s healthcare. As a starting point, it’s essential to know how to file for disability in Oregon to get financial help for your child.
- Know your child’s diagnosis
You need to have a clear understanding of your child’s diagnosis. You can collect information by reading, researching online, talking to the specialist, and making notes from your research.
Suppose you are using online sources for gathering information. Anything with “.org” and “.gov” is a good place to get accurate facts and information. With this knowledge, you can effectively comprehend your child’s unique needs, challenges, and strengths.
Knowing your child’s diagnosis also empowers you to make knowledgeable decisions about your child’s health and well-being. You can seek better interventions, such as therapies, to tackle your child’s specific issues. Additionally, being aware of your child’s diagnosis allows you to communicate with healthcare professionals, therapists, and teachers more effectively.
- Know how to communicate with your child
When caring for your child with a disability, communication is the key. Apart from knowing what your child wants, effective communication allows you to strengthen your bond with them.
It’s important to recognize that not all children with disabilities can speak using words. However, this should not prevent you from communicating with them through alternative means.
Just as you communicate with a newborn who cannot speak, you can apply similar non-verbal techniques to connect with a child with a disability who faces speaking challenges. You can pay attention to their gestures and expressions. They might communicate their amusement and happiness through their laughter. At the same time, their crying might signal that they are in distress. Similarly, their facial expressions can also convey various emotions, such as sadness or frustration. When they get older, you can use communication methods, such as ASL.
As you continue to observe your child’s non-verbal cues, you develop a deeper understanding of their needs. Ultimately, you can offer them comfort and reassurance when they appear upset or provide them with reasons to be happy and excited. By caring for your child this way, you create a safe atmosphere where they can express themselves.
- Don’t miss your child’s appointments
Attending your child’s doctoral appointments is the hallmark of caring for your child. It not only shows your commitment to their well-being but also ensures they receive the necessary support.
Medical appointments are also a major source of guidance. You can consult with specialists, seek their advice, and ask questions. Navigating any concerns, uncertainties, or challenging situations becomes much easier with this information.
Maintaining consistency through following a schedule is the key to promoting healing in disabled children. By missing appointments, you can disrupt the schedule, delay crucial interventions, and potentially hinder your child’s progress.
Therefore, it is very important to keep all your other engagements aside when it comes to your child’s doctoral appointment. To avoid forgetting the appointment dates, mark them on your physical and digital calendars.
When attending your child’s appointment, it is important to maintain a professional approach. Make sure you come prepared and have all the medical records or reports related to your child’s condition or progress. Also, bring a list of questions you intend to ask the doctor to actively participate in your child’s treatment.
- Advocate for your child
Advocating for your child means not being afraid of speaking up and voicing their needs and concerns.
As an advocate for your child, actively participate in decision-making processes related to your child’s health. Don’t shy away from asking tricky questions to doctors or seeking a second opinion from other medical practitioners.
However, before you can act as a strong advocate for your child, you should be familiar with your child’s specific disability and the services available to them. You should also know laws and regulations protecting your child’s rights.
In this regard, you must know about laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). By knowing about your child’s rights, you can advocate for appropriate accommodations, inclusive environments, and equal opportunities more passionately.
Helping a child with a disability requires you to adopt a multidimensional approach. You must not only ensure proper medical help and curative interventions for them but also find ways to communicate with them effectively. Additionally, you must also understand your child’s special needs and try to identify the reasons behind their behavior, appearance, and movements. Lastly, you must advocate for your child’s needs and concerns, becoming their champion.