A,B,C’s of Living with a Child with “Invisible Special Needs”

by Sue Badeau

A – Advocacy

Learn to be your own best advocate

B

Behavior management skills help both you and your child

C – Creativity

Stretch your mind, look at situations from new angles

D

Drug and alcohol issues may be prevalent

E – Early Intervention

Don’t wait for problems to become too hot to handle

F – Family system approach

Avoid the ‘IP’ model of intervention

G – Grief and loss

Develop an understanding for their impact

H – Humor

Don’t lose yours (and work on building it up if its weak!)

I

Identify positive qualities in your child, and build on these

J – Just do it!

You won’t know for sure if something does or doesn’t work until you try!

K

Know your (and your child’s) rights! Be assertive!

L – Learn

New ways, new ideas, new approaches, for yourself and your child

M

Marriage and/or other key relationships – don’t neglect them

N

Never give up

O

Other Parents are often your best sources of support

P – Partnership

Develop a “peer/partnership” approach to service providers

Q – Questions

There are no dumb ones – keep asking until you get what you need

R – Resources

Don’t be afraid to seek and use

S

Schools can be a constant source of stress, work hard to develop an educational team

T – Therapist

find a good one and develop a trust-based relationship

U – Unknown

this will be one of the top 10 words in your life – get comfortable with it!

V – Vacations

Family time together, away from everyday stresses is valuable

W – Weekends

, and their lack of structure can be problematic, try to establish routines

X – X-tra curricular activities

Find a hobby, sport, or skill your child enjoys and encourage!

Y – Yourself

Take care of yourself or you have nothing left to give!

Z – Zen

Develop your inner self, spiritual resources, connect with a community of faith