Does my child have a special need?

First things first you are the parent and you know your child the best. If you think he or she isn’t communicating, writing, socializing, or reading there is something to be concerned about. Children with special needs can have delays in various areas like physical, cognitive, communication and emotional delay.

Some of the signs are:

  • Lack of eye contact when called or when looked at
  • Delayed speech and language skills
  • Unable to read, write and spell at grade level
  • Inability to perform gross motor and fine motor activities or poor strength on one side of the body
  • Inability to think and solve problems
  • Frequent tantrums and meltdowns
  • Unusual aggression and low sitting tolerance
  • Lack of social interaction with others
  • Repetitive behavior and unable to adapt to new routines on a frequent basis
  • Lack of response to visual stimuli or sounds
The above signs need to be observed over a time period and documented. Please remember to be an informed parent if you think something is amiss with your child. Research well on the developmental milestones for each age level, reach out to doctors and therapists who can evaluate your child. This will make it easier for the doctor or therapist to assess your child. If you’re afraid of the label that may result from an evaluation, remember that label might not always be there. As your child starts to grow and you focus on the quality of care and services for your child, that label may disappear. If you can set aside whatever negativity and fear you might experience at first then you can immediately be there for your child.

Always remember that there is plenty of help out there in forms of therapists, teachers, management and other families. Take a deep breath and know that you and your child are more than the given diagnosis. Connect with other parents and support groups to help you feel that you are not alone in this process. Make the professional team your friend in understanding the need better. Use the internet cautiously as your companion in researching strategies to help your child. It is okay to forget all the advice given above and have a meltdown. Parenting a child is an extremely difficult job and perhaps more so with a child with special needs. Believe in your child and your abilities as a parent in this whole process!

Image source-Google

Author
SHIKHA SRIVASTAVA
Special Educator
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