Some tips to make day to day activities easier for disabled children
Children with disabilities deserve a lot of care, love and attention. Due to busy lives, many parents are unable to give enough support for their disabled child. That is when teachers, therapists and special educators enter the picture. It is extremely important that disabled children are given the right therapies to ensure that they have an overall physical and mental well-being.
For instance, occupational therapy is one of the most important therapies that help a child to stand on their own feet. This therapy is used in certain activities as an aid to recuperation from disabilities.
I feel consistency and a regular routine is very important to make day to day activities easier. But again, each disability has its own needs and requirements. For example, a child with autism will connect with things more when they are introduced to images, pictures and photos. It is always better when you break down things and teach them- Vanitha S Rao, Founder, Sunshine Autism Trust.
Check out these tips that can make day to day activities easier for children with disabilities
- Create routines- This is very helpful for children who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Whether it is school or college, ensure that they follow a regular routines. If you create illustrations, images or photos, it gets easier, especially for children with autism. For instance, if your child usually gets ready for school and eats their breakfast by 9 am, ensure that they do this on a regular basis. They will have a fixed routine when they do this daily. So even when the parent or teacher is not there, they will be able to do it on their own!
- Give them extra time- Disabled children might need extra time to do their day to activities, while some don't. For instance, a child with Down syndrome will need more time to read a news paper when compared to a child who does not have a disability. Give them all the time. Let them do things on their own and explore it. This is applicable to their school work as well.
- Introduce them to new things- Every child, irrespective of being disabled or not, loves to explore new things. That is what childhood is all about. So let your disabled child get introduced to new activities at home and school. Talk about how to do new things and rules to do it. This will help your child in many ways.
- Encourage socialization- Man lives in a society. Hence, socialization is very important. Does your child love swimming or some other sports? Make sure that they go to an inclusive sports centre that allows them to socialise. Our cities have many inclusive theatre groups, art classes and even sports academies. Identify them and let your child interact with other children.
Jenny D Souza is the co-founder of Sandesh, an NGO in Bengaluru that empowers disabled children.
"For a disabled child, following a consistent pattern for doing things is very important. So every day, the parent must make sure that they follow the same routine. You can do that by making a time-table for the child. Parents and teachers must give the child their own time. Too many goals and patterns will only cause more confusion. So one at a time. That is the mantra to success", says Jenny.