Bringing Up A Specially Challenged Kid
In this modern, high-tech and hectic world where entertainment is available at a click of a button, it is hard to bring up a normal, attention seeking and hyper active kid. So we cannot imagine the trials and tribulations a parent undergoes to bring up a specially challenged child. There are soo many different aspects faced by these parents just to get through each hour and each day of which we are unaware of.
The virtue of patience and understanding of parents is hugely undermined in such cases. When we come to know of any special kid in our family after the initial shock and waves of sympathy for the parents, we simply shrug it off as a part of life which does not affect us directly.
- Kids with learning disabilities, autism or even attention deficit syndrome are also broadly classified as retarded in our society. The fact is the symptoms in the above mentioned cases can be categorically treated and with some extra effort and patience and counseling, these kids become normal.
- Abnormal kids born in rural areas are the most affected. Belonging to a society enmeshed in unfounded superstitions, illiterate parents do not understand that it is not a sign of evil or wrong doing as is implied in case of birth of a retarded baby. In extreme cases such children are sent to Babas’ and other holy places to be treated using a lot of foolish and mindless rituals. In other cases they are chained like animals to a cot as taking care of them is beyond their scope.
- The requirement of each special kid varies according to their range of mental ability to comprehend day to day activities. Some can be toilet trained but many require changing of diapers and it is not easy to change nappies of a 35 to 40 kgs grown kid. Feeding and ensuring a hygienic surrounding requires a lot of physical and mental exertion on the part of the care giver. It is at this point friends and relatives can lighten their burden by giving some time in taking care of the kid. Even having hour or two gives provides mental peace and physical rest for the parents.
- Parents of specially challenged kids are a victim of their own emotional turmoil of which one is guilt. Guilt that they have done something like excessive drinking, drug abusive or even their genes or their past karma. The other emotion which envelopes a parent is; shame. It is common to see a parent to keep the child confined to a room when they entertain guests to whom they pretend such a child never exists.
- Educating the kids with love and care leaves a lasting impression on the Psyche of the child and helps him /her to differentiate between basic right and wrong. Activities make them slowly increases the scope of their mental ability. Parents are required to undergo basic medical training as some kids are prone to sudden epileptic attacks and end up harming themselves.
- Financial constraints are one of the many problems faced by the parents. The special child needs a lot of extra medical expenses, therapists and specialized treatments which parents can’t afford to pay. Some kids are set up with trust funds as they may outlive their parents and will have none to take care of them. But not everyone is endowed with the means to do the same. The Government needs to look into this problem and try to help these cases with subsidized medical help and rehabilitation of these kids.
In conclusion, I can only state that these kids are special in their own way, so loving and so very innocent in their own way. They teach their parents to find happiness in simple things of life as it is often the simple things like spotting a colorful butterfly, having a box of cookies or a toy is sufficient to brighten up their day. These kids are gift of God and we should very well learn to appreciate them. Knowing that there are lot of hurdles and challenges in bringing up such kids, I salute the parents and the people involved who work to help these special kids everyday to make their life meaningful.
Parenting is a challenge in itself and when it comes to parenting plus then there is a lot more to it than what meets the eye. To read more on parenting plus try Attention deficit- in kids or parents? and Bringing up twins.