Archives for the month of: October, 2014

 

iStock_000020416440_Large

Mealtime can be a challenge for any family. The challenges are often intensified when a family is caring for a person with special needs. It may become a difficult, frustrating time when everyone focuses solely on the person’s effort to eat and neglects the opportunity to enjoy the meal. Thankfully, there are solutions to make this enjoyable family time.

On a practical point of view, adapted tableware can save you a lot of stress. Have you heard of those plates with high walls? They are especially designed to help push the food onto the spoon or fork, making them easy to use by a person with motor skills issues. As for eating utensils, some of them have a special grip that can adapt to the person’s hand morphology, some are weighted to keep hands steady while eating, and many more features are available. Drinking aids exist as well, including the “cut-out” cups that do not require too much neck movement, and all kinds of entertaining straws. All these supplies will help a person with special needs get more active during mealtime and ultimately, gain independence.

You can also think about ways to involve family members better in this shared experience. For instance, educate your children on nutrition so they understand what you are trying to get them to eat, and they may even want to get involved in the preparation! You may as well work on a routine adapted to the family schedule. This implies a fixed time, specifically assigned tasks for each family member, and possibly designated seats around the table, or anything that would make you comfortable. This routine will help all family members easily remember when they need to come around and what to do.

In any case, your priority will be that everyone eats, but it is possible to turn mealtime into a fun family moment. The guideline is to stay positive and creative!

 

 

iStock_000010912186_Large

As a mother caring for a special needs child, your responsibilities are never-ending. You may always feel like you could do more, right? But you need to take a break from this pressure, once in a while. Because you deserve it and because your family will be happy to have a fresh, rested Mom coming back to help. You may want a night out with the girls or a day at the spa. Maybe a romantic evening with your significant other or just some quiet time alone. Whatever it is that makes you happy, or energizes your spirit, just take some time for yourself. This does not always need to be a big event either. You should always take a few minutes everyday to meditate, enjoy a cup of coffee, or just be.

Although this may all sound interesting you are probably wondering “how do I do this?” We acknowledge that taking a personal break is not always that simple for the parent of a child with special needs. Maybe you feel only you know your child by heart when giving care. This may be true, but someone else can manage the job if you provide them with the proper information. The key to being able to take care of yourself is being able to ask for help. Don’t consider this as taking a break from your child but rather taking a break for yourself. There is no reason for you to feel guilty. Remember, you must take care of yourself first if you ever expect to take care of someone else.

%d bloggers like this: