In the United States, roughly one in seven children aged between three and seventeen have a developmental disability, while over 35% have some kind of physical disability, the Office of Population Affairs reveals. If you’re raising a child with a disability, it’s important to take care of both their emotional and physical well-being. By giving them the tailored encouragement, love, and support they need, you can help your child thrive in all areas of life. 

Joining a support network

Caring for a child with a life-long disability like cerebral palsy can be confusing, overwhelming, and lonely unless you have a strong support network. However, making the conscious decision to respond to challenges with positivity and a can-do attitude will give your child hope and confidence. As such, joining an online community is one of the best ways you can equip yourself with the knowledge and tools needed to give your child excellent care. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with families going through similar situations and challenges, ask questions, and receive advice and support.

Enjoying physical exercise

80% of children with functional limitations on physical activity are either overweight or obese. For children with physical disabilities, exercise is inevitably difficult, as movement is a challenge, and they may tire quickly. However, dedicated sports programs for children with disabilities and special needs mean it’s possible for your child to participate in virtually any sport and enjoy the physical, mental and social benefits of exercise. Ask your child’s doctor, therapist, or teachers to recommend good local sports programs. Be sure to check the qualifications of the instructors, so you know they’re capable of looking after children with disabilities. 

Dealing with emotional issues

Children with disabilities commonly experience emotional issues. Brain damage in children with cerebral palsy, for example, typically makes it difficult for them to regulate their emotions. Fortunately, therapies exist to help children with disabilities manage their emotions healthily. In particular, play therapy typically helps children with ASD, behavioral disorders, or learning disabilities freely express and explore their emotions through play. Monitored by a therapist, sessions take place in a playroom and help your child find ways to express themselves in healthy ways, communicate respectfully, and solve problems more effectively.  

Children with disabilities face unique challenges throughout life. Taking proactive steps to manage their emotional and physical health can help your child move forward with determination and confidence.