2000 Jordan Institute
Vol. 2, No. 3
You Can Take: Assisting Families with Special Needs Children
about the resources for families of children with disabilities available
in your community and at the state level. The CARELINE (800/662-7030)
is a good place to start.
the parents work through the grief reactions that occur when the diagnosis
is first made. This may help prevent maltreatment of the child.
yourself. Understanding the symptoms and long-term prognosis is crucial
to your ability to serve this child and his or her family.
about the laws that govern the rights of disabled children, and encourage
the family to learn about them.
a candid, ongoing conversation with the family regarding their financial
situation and stress levels. Explain to them that these discussions
will help you assess their need for respite care and other support
in caring for this child.
for respite care well ahead of time. Regular respite care is critical
for families of special needs children.
with the family to develop a diverse network of support resources
to help them manage the demands of caring for the child. This network
may include devices (such as a cellular phone or special walkers)
as well as people.
the family keep the child's life as "normal" as possible.
Encourage the child to participate in sports and clubs, if that is
at all possible.
© 1997 Jordan Institute