Have you ever wondered if there is a way how you can meaningfully support a Special Needs Parent friend or family member?
There definitely is! And it’s much simpler than you thought.
Since our Parent Reality meetings started in 2014 the biggest, most evident benefit our parents receive is understanding.
To be a Special Needs Parent means that; from the day your child is born you start searching for answers. I would describe us to be walking encyclopedias relating to our children’s circumstances or diagnosis. We have spoken to doctors, therapists, family members, teachers, schools, Google, have read books and have subscribed to anyone who seems to know what they are talking about, in regard to the development or improvement of our kids.
That being said, it would make sense then to not try to comfort or support us by means of solutions. Makes sense, right?
When attending our support meetings one of the most heart-warming experiences is how these parents instinctively just listen to each other in support. These parent’s children are not diagnosed the same, yet their journeys made them wise in the art of just being present and helping when asked.
You might not be a Special Needs Parent, but could be related to, or a friend to someone with a Special Needs child.
If you would like to support them your best bet will be:
- To listen and not advise.
- When asked for advice give it …em-pathetically
- Ask them what you can do to help
- When you agree to support, commit to your involvement
Our world is so revolved around fixing problems fast. That is why it would seem much better to just try to find a quick resolve to your friend’s problems. Truth is, here in this situation, there are no quick fixes, if there were …. trust me …. that parent would have found it.
The definition of empathy is:
The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
This my friend is the key to you giving your support.
You will never know how much empathy means to the Special Needs Parent in your world.
Thank you for wanting to help! We appreciate you!
Written by Johanni Meiring
Thank you for reading! It was a pleasure having you here!
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