In episode 88 we are joined by Jim, father of a special needs child TJ. His son is now 22 years old and he talks about the learning experiences he had, the impact his child has had on him, and suggestions on important actions to take when you child has special needs. While his son had learning disabilities and his motor skills are slower, Jim put forth tremendous effort for his son to have a “normal” life.
Here are 5 Tips on Raising a Special Needs Child:
1. Have patience – If you want someone to learn, you need to be patient. You must catch yourself before you lose focus of the child and what is important.
2. Presence – You must be a big part of their life. This means being present within their school, activities, and daily life. You must live in the moment.
3. Allowing more independence – Whether special needs or not, we often do much more for our children than they need. They are very capable. An important point for Jim was that he would have wished he allowed his son to do more for himself and possibly fail more often. Failing and learning from your mistakes is important.
4. Keeping your child social – Have your child interact with others regularly. Many times they prefer to be solitary but it’s essential to have friends, participate in activities such as music, sports, art, or other interests.
5. Education – While continuing education of your child is crucial to development, it’s also essential as a dad, you continue to educate yourself about your child’s situation.