Here are some guidelines that parents of disabled children must follow during Coronavirus times
During these Coronavirus times, having children at home can be challenging. When you have a disabled child, the anxiety of parents will be more. Here are some guidelines for parents who have disabled children.
The ongoing Coronavirus scare has brought with it many challenges. People are now working from homes and staying indoors. Earlier this week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared for a complete shutdown of the country for the next 21 days as a measure to curb spread of the virus. Staying indoors is not easy. Once you complete your work, you need to find things that can keep you occupied.
For people who have children at home, keeping them engaged is not easy at all. The challenge can be even more difficult for parents who have children with disabilities.
Most disabled children, unlike regular kids, do not have online school sessions during this time. Parents are now finding different ways to keep them engaged. But most importantly, there are certain guidelines that parents must follow during these Coronavirus times when they have a disabled child at home.
Shiny Vinson, Principal, Navajeevan Special School in Kochi says that parents must find activities to engage their children.
This is the time to teach them new things while at home. Find out their interest and motivate them to do better. Read out storybooks to them. They can even study the mathematical tables in a fun way. Teach them new spellings and games. Also, let them participate in household work. Parents must be patient and let them do activities. In case they are doing outdoor games, parents must be vigilant- Shiny Vinson, Principal, Navajeevan Special School.
Here are some guidelines for parents
Keep your child at a safe distance from guests– Everyone is staying indoors right now. So chances of having close relatives and neighbours who stay near you visiting you now is high. Children with developmental disabilities are prone to infections since their immunity is much lesser. So parents must be careful and make sure that their children stay away from people outside the house. Caregivers must be even more watchful if the guests have cold, fever or other health-issues.
Basic hygiene is important– One of the best ways to kill Coronavirus is by following basic hygiene methods. This includes washing hands properly using hand-wash or soaps for at least 20 seconds. Experts say that this method can kill the virus in case it is on your hands. Keep nails clean, brush teeth at least three times a day, take shower and wash mouth after feeding. Parents must make sure that their child follows all this without fail.
A balanced diet matters– This is the time to provide children with foods that can their boost immunity. Add plenty of fruits and vegetables to the diet. Fruits like lime and orange, that are rich in Vitamin C, can boost immunity. Fibre-rich foods are also great. Avoid sugar and junk foods. A balanced diet will make sure that the child stays healthy. Also, make children drink plenty of boiled water at regular intervals.
Staying indoors is best– It is common that most children, whether they have a disability or not, wants to go play outdoors. Parents must understand that this is not a vacation period. Rather, it is the time to stay indoors for the sake of a healthy world. So do not let your child go outdoors at any cost. Find some indoor games and activities that will engage them.
Sangeetha John, who has a daughter with autism says that she divides her household work amongst both her children.
“My daughter Sherin who has autism was always home-schooled. So the current times is nothing new to me as far as spending time with Sherin is concerned. Since we don’t have our housemaid for the next three weeks, I have divided the household work between Sherin and her sister. That is one way of engaging them. Sherin was initially anxious about the Coronavirus scare. But I calmed her down by making her draw pictures and reading out pleasant stuff to her”, says Sangeetha.
Reducing screen time and appreciating your child’s good behaviour is also essential. Parents must understand that this is a quality time for you to spend with your children. Unlike other days when you are busy with work, you are now free and have a lot of time to know your child better.
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