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  1. SESSION 1 Parenting a child with special needs

  2. PARENTS OF A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS FACE PARTICULAR CHALLENGES • Standard parenting advice often doesn’t work. • Other people don’t understand what it’s like. • It’s easy to feel frustrated and isolated.

  3. GROUP AGREEMENT What ground rules do we want in this group to help it run smoothly?

  4. TIME OUT FOR PARENTS AIMS TO: • Increase your confidence in your skills and abilities to parent. • Help the relationship between you and your child to be even better than it is now. • Teach you skills to help raise your child’sself-esteem.

  5. TIME OUT FOR PARENTS AIMS TO: • Help you work out the best way to effectively discipline your child. • Give you tools to help you in your relationship with your child’s other parent or carer and to encourage mutual support. • Provide you with greater support where you would like it.

  6. SESSION PLAN • What are special educational needs? • Course outline. • Helping your child to reach their potential. • In for the long haul.

  7. WHAT ARE SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS? • Difficulties that make it harder for a child to learn than for other children roughly their age. These can be mild, moderate or severe, temporary or long term. • A disability which hinders them from accessing standard educational facilities. • This term excludes additional needs where there are no education difficulties.

  8. WHAT ARE SPECIAL OR ADDITIONAL NEEDS? • Learning difficulties. • Emotional and behavioural difficulties. • Developmental disorders. • Speech and language problems. • Hearing or visual impairment. • Physical disabilities. • Medical conditions.


  10. TIME OUT FOR PARENTS – CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS • Parenting a child with special needs. • Helping to raise your child’s self esteem. • Coping with feelings. • Understanding behaviour. • Managing behaviour. • Home and school issues. • The wider family.

  11. YOUR CONCERNS What concerns would you like to deal with during the course?

  12. GETTING TO KNOW YOU! • One of my strengths as a parent is … • One thing I love about my child is …

  13. BREAK

  14. HELPING YOUR CHILD REACH THEIR POTENTIAL Can you think of one unexpected thing that your child has already achieved which surprised and pleased you?

  15. HELPING YOUR CHILD REACH THEIR POTENTIAL • Acceptance is about not giving up – and it’s constant! • Invest energy into overcoming difficulties. • Don’t underestimate their potential. • Aim for them to be fully involved in society.

  16. IN FOR THE LONG HAUL What do you do to keep yourself going?


  18. INVOLVING THE FAMILY • Aim for a consistent approach. • Share your new ideas or discoveries with your partner or others who are involved in the caring. • Use this opportunity to strengthen family relationships.

  19. REFLECTION Today we have looked at: • Made a group agreement • Looked at the aims of the course • Explored what SEN are • Looked at the course outline • Considered how to help our children reach their potential • Thought about being in it for the long haul

  20. FOCUS FOR THE WEEK • Do something nice for YOU! • Tell your child what you love about them.

  21. NEXT WEEK We will look at helping build your child’s self-esteem.

  22. SESSION 2 Helping to build your child’s self-esteem

  23. SESSION PLAN • What is self-esteem? • The importance of play • Special time • Finding something your child can achieve • Parenting styles • Meeting emotional needs

  24. WHAT IS SELF-ESTEEM? Self-esteem is the way we feel about ourselves deep inside. The self-esteem of children with special needs is fragile and can be easily damaged. They need: • To be encouraged • Someone to believe in them • To feel loved • To feel competent

  25. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO BOOST YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM? • Be their greatest fan! • Don’t ‘obsess’ about their special need. • Avoid discussing their needs in their presence. • Pick out specific behaviours and small achievementsto praise.

  26. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO BOOST YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM? • Involve them as far as possible in the management of their condition. • Don’t compare them unfavourably with their brothers and sisters. • As far as possible, treat them the same as your other children. • Reassure them that they will always be loved.

  27. SHOWING LOVE THROUGH THE SENSES Love is communicated in many different ways … We can communicate love to children with more severe disabilities through the senses.

  28. THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAY Play is a vital part of a child’s physical,emotional, social and brain development. It increases: • Cognitive and language skills • Social skills • Creative skills and imagination • Manipulative and physical skills • Emotional development

  29. STAGES OF PLAY • Solitary play • Parallel play • Cooperative play

  30. SPECIAL TIME • Let child choose what to play. • Don’t interfere. • Occasionally comment. • Sometimes just sit quietly and enjoy. • Try playing by yourself if child is shy. • Observe what they’re doing. • Join in at their request.

  31. PLANNING SPECIAL TIME • Could you plan a special time? • How long do you think it should be? • How often? • What would your child like to play (or do)?

  32. BREAK

  33. FINDING SOMETHING YOUR CHILD CAN ACHIEVE • Boosts confidence. • Builds self-esteem.

  34. FINDING SOMETHING YOUR CHILD CAN ACHIEVE What does your child enjoy doing that you can encourage?

  35. THERE ARE DIFFERENT RECOGNISED STYLES OF PARENTING • Permissive • Authoritarian • Assertive/authoritative





  40. OVER-PROTECTIVENESS Are there any dangers to being over-protective? Aim to strike a balance!

  41. MEETING EMOTIONAL NEEDS • Attention • Acceptance • Appreciation • Encouragement • Affection • Respect • Support • Comfort • Approval • Security

  42. MEETING CHILDREN’S EMOTIONAL NEEDS • Which need does your child particularly like to be met? • Think of two ways you could meet this need.

  43. REFLECTION Today we have looked at: • Last week’s focus for the week • What self-esteemis • The importance of play • Special time • Finding something your child can achieve • Parenting styles • Overprotectiveness • Meeting emotional needs

  44. FOCUS FOR THE WEEK • Have special time with your child. • Give overheard praise. • Meet one of your child’s emotional needs. • Read the article ‘Welcome to Holland’.

  45. NEXT WEEK We will look at coping with feelings.

  46. SESSION 3 Coping with feelings

  47. SESSION PLAN • Labelling. • Talking to your child about their condition. • Handling other people’s comments. • Emotional reactions. • Coping with feelings.

  48. LABELLING “We felt for a long time that something was wrong. It was a relief when someone put a name to it.” “Ben’s got ADHD so we can’t expect him to behave properly.”

  49. THE PROS AND CONS OF LABELLING When a child gets a diagnosis, they also get a ‘label’. What are the advantages of labelling? Are there any disadvantages?