Another year passed and the time for New Year’s Resolutions is upon us. As parents of children with special needs, we have many responsibilities. In addition, we have things we intend to do but never get around too. Therefore, with the start of 2016, here are some resolutions for special needs parents.
Review your children’s resource hours
If your children receive resource hours, you should know how they are being used. The help children need may change as they get older. For example, if your children are in sixth class, resource time could prepare them for the transition to secondary school.
Review your children’s IEPs
Although not legally required in Ireland, many schools prepare individual education plans (IEP) for children with special needs. Review your children’s IEPs several times during the school year. Check your children’s progress on their IEP goals and revise or establish new goals as needed.
Help your children become independent
As our children get older, it is important to decrease their dependence on us parents and on school staff. At home, encourage your children to do more tasks without your help. In addition, give or increase your children’s chores to foster their independence in 2016. At school, talk with your children’s special needs assistants about strategies to increase your children’s independence at school.
Organise your children’s paperwork
Special needs parents collect lots of paperwork including medical reports, assessments, school reports and other documents. Managing this paperwork is often overwhelming. However, it is important to organise your children’s information so you are better prepared to advocate for your children at important events such as school meetings and medical appointments.
Schedule special time with siblings
Children with special needs require a lot of time and attention from their parents that can frustrate other siblings. Set aside time with your children without special needs. Playing a board game, going to a movie even just talking with your other children reminds they are just as important to you.
Special needs parents need to take care of themselves
Happy and healthy parents are better prepared to help their children and handle problems when they arise. In 2016, make sure your health, dental and vision checks are up to date. Resolve to improve your lifestyle in 2016 by including exercise, eating a healthy diet and scheduling some “me″ time