SESSION 1 Parenting a child with special needs
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.
GROUP AGREEMENT What ground rules do we want in this group to help it run smoothly?
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.
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.
SESSION PLAN • What are special educational needs? • Course outline. • Helping your child to reach their potential. • In for the long haul.
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.
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.
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.
YOUR CONCERNS What concerns would you like to deal with during the course?
GETTING TO KNOW YOU! • One of my strengths as a parent is … • One thing I love about my child is …
HELPING YOUR CHILD REACH THEIR POTENTIAL Can you think of one unexpected thing that your child has already achieved which surprised and pleased you?
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.
IN FOR THE LONG HAUL What do you do to keep yourself going?
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.
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
FOCUS FOR THE WEEK • Do something nice for YOU! • Tell your child what you love about them.
NEXT WEEK We will look at helping build your child’s self-esteem.
SESSION 2 Helping to build your child’s self-esteem
SESSION PLAN • What is self-esteem? • The importance of play • Special time • Finding something your child can achieve • Parenting styles • Meeting emotional needs
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
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.
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.
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.
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
STAGES OF PLAY • Solitary play • Parallel play • Cooperative play
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.
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)?
FINDING SOMETHING YOUR CHILD CAN ACHIEVE • Boosts confidence. • Builds self-esteem.
FINDING SOMETHING YOUR CHILD CAN ACHIEVE What does your child enjoy doing that you can encourage?
THERE ARE DIFFERENT RECOGNISED STYLES OF PARENTING • Permissive • Authoritarian • Assertive/authoritative
OVER-PROTECTIVENESS Are there any dangers to being over-protective? Aim to strike a balance!
MEETING EMOTIONAL NEEDS • Attention • Acceptance • Appreciation • Encouragement • Affection • Respect • Support • Comfort • Approval • Security
MEETING CHILDREN’S EMOTIONAL NEEDS • Which need does your child particularly like to be met? • Think of two ways you could meet this need.
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
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’.
NEXT WEEK We will look at coping with feelings.
SESSION 3 Coping with feelings
SESSION PLAN • Labelling. • Talking to your child about their condition. • Handling other people’s comments. • Emotional reactions. • Coping with feelings.
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.”
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?