Ways in which parents of disabled kids can empower & enable them
All parents play a crucial role in shaping the lives of their children in the formative years. They wield great influence and have an enormous power to shape them positively. This is true for all children, regardless of disability. Often, lack of information and stigma can act as a wall and it is important parents don’t let that happen.
Disability comes with many challenges and coupled with lack of awareness and stigma, parenting a child with a disability can be hard. This coupled with the difficulty many disabled kids face in expressing their feelings can make the experience a lonely one. But it is important not to back down in the face of such challenges but instead equip yourself with the tools to empower your child.
All children feel safe and happy around their parents. When it comes to a child with a disability, physical presence is even more important. It helps in their growth and development, strengthens the bond and improves learning. The parent is the first teacher in the life of a child and helps shape the child’s perceptions.
When a parent is involved in the child’s education, it helps ensure they don’t fall behind. It has been observed that the involvement of parents in child’s education improves overall performance and also motivates the child to do better. Dattatray Bankar , who has a child with a disability, says parents act like mentors.
Parents are like mentors to children with disabilities and it is a full time job. They are the first ones to interact and teach the kids with disabilities and disorders. An alert parent who is fully involved with the child will be able to understand the delays in millstones like speech, physical and mental growth. As parents, we observe the different growth millstones and when they are delayed, we work on them with the kids. At times, work can keep a parent busy but it is vital that at least one parent spends time with child and be a part of their social, academic life. – Dattatray Bankar, Parent
The involvement of a parent also helps ensure that communication with the teachers is a constant process. A positive home environment and parental support at home can do wonders for the mental and physical growth of children.
Karen Karbhari , is the founder of Buddy Centre in Pune, which works to empower disabled children through education and skill development.
“I have noticed that getting the parent’s involved not only improves the child’s learning speed, it also helps the parents connect with their kids. Once parents accept the limitations of their children, life becomes less stressful for them and they are able to have quality time in family. We encourage parents to spend more time with their children as it is good for the kids,” she says.
Karen has initiated programs at the center that involve parents along with their children. Fun activities, games, extracurricular activities are conducted to encourage parent-child bonding.
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To know more about Buddy Centre call: +91-9823054518.
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