Having a child with a disability can be a daily struggle, especially as your little one grows and begins to interact with other children. Alex Dwek knows this struggle all too well. His daughter, Maya Rose, has special needs due to a chronic illness doctors throughout the Tri-State area are unable to diagnose. In an effort to increase awareness and help other parents who are trying to raise a child with a disability, Alex founded The Maya Rose Project. In speaking with other parents, he’s learned many adults have difficultly explaining special needs or disabilities to their young ones.
Here are three tips on how to discuss disabilities and special needs with your children from a fellow parent raising a child with a chronic illness:
Continue The Conversation
When speaking with your child, remember this is a conversation that will continue for years to come. It’s important to discuss your child’s disability as well as how they are feeling emotionally on a regular basis. Frame the conversation in a way that informs them of their condition but also includes all the things they are capable of. Practice positivity and be open to their questions and concerns.
Talk About Yourself
An easy place to begin a conversation about special needs is to talk about yourself and your own strengths and weaknesses. The opportunity to connect and understand everyone has struggles and talents will help your child immensely with embracing who they are.
Let Them Know They Are Not Defined By Their Disability
Most importantly, your child should understand their disability does not define who they are. Address this clearly so they know having special needs is only a piece of their life and who they will become.
To learn more about Maya’s story and Alex’s struggle to understand her chronic illness and disability, visit The Maya Rose Project website. For more information on how you can help Maya and other young ones with special needs, email Alex directly.