For many parents, receiving a diagnosis for a child who is on the autism spectrum or who has other special needs can be overwhelming, especially if they are unfamiliar with the disorder. There is often a lot of stress and anxiety that comes with such a diagnosis, and parents may be unable to imagine where to go next. Fortunately, there are many ways you can move forward that will be beneficial to both you and your child, and many things you can do to help ensure her comfort and safety as she grows and learns.
One of the most common issues parents face when helping a child with special needs is anxiety, as many children who are living with autism, ADHD, or a learning disorder like dyslexia feel stress when they are uncomfortable or overwhelmed. Fortunately, you can help reduce those feelings by keeping her environment geared toward her specific needs and making sure she has a routine she’s comfortable with. Schedules and order are very important for children with special needs, because routines help them find structure and balance.
Here are a few things to think about after receiving a diagnosis for your child.
Consider all your medicinal options
There are many different treatments for children who have special needs, as well as many different types of medication. For those who want to try other options, CBD oil may be one worth considering. Derived from the marijuana plant, this treatment isn’t a psychoactive drug; in fact, it has been shown in studies to reduce anxiety and help users focus. Talk to your doctor to find out if CBD oil can help your child, and do some research online by reading guides and testimonials.
Make sensory considerations
Many children who have special needs are living with symptoms that can be hard to detect, but easy to remedy. Sensory problems are common in children who are on the autism spectrum; they find it overwhelming to be in a space that has certain colors or types of lights, or they may be very sensitive to sound. Being mindful of these issues and finding a way to take them into consideration will help her stay comfortable and happy. You might have her wear noise-cancelling headphones, or paint her bedroom a soothing blue and adorn the space with soft lighting.
Introduce your child to meditation
Meditation can be extremely beneficial for people of all ages and abilities in reducing stress and anxiety, and the best thing about it is that it can be done almost anywhere. If your child becomes stressed easily or has trouble getting to a calm state when faced with crowds or new experiences, it may be helpful to introduce her to meditation and/or yoga. If it’s something she enjoys, help her create an area in your home where she can relax, with calm lighting and no noise or distractions, and be sure to give her a comfortable spot where she can sit and meditate.
Use music to your advantage
Music can be very helpful in helping kids with special needs; not only can it help reduce anxiety and stress, it can help her communicate and release emotion in a new way. Singing, dancing, and playing instruments can be hugely beneficial for children who are on the autism spectrum or who have a learning disability, because it acts as a sort of therapy for them and can help them learn social skills, especially when it’s done in a classroom setting.
After receiving a diagnosis about your child’s abilities and needs, you may feel overwhelmed. Talk to your doctor about any questions you have, and do some research on the various ways you can help your child feel comfortable and safe from day to day.