Definition of “Special Needs”

The term “special needs” can cover a wide spectrum of disabilities ranging from mild learning disorders to slow mental or physical development, physical impairments, chronic illness, food allergies, panic attacks, psychiatric problems, etc. In the U.S., a special needs student can benefit from educational programs and medical services that enables him or her to receive a quality education and establish a professional career.

Special needs children have limitations in coping with everyday living in a “normal” family environment. There’s often much they cannot do on their own. This makes it necessary for parents to become more involved in their daily care. Some parents resent or bemoan the weaknesses of their children; others face their children’s difficulties with a positive attitude and learn valuable lessons of love and sacrifice that benefit the whole family. How parents react to their special needs situation can make or break their family. By facing the challenges with an optimistic attitude, parents can help build a stronger, happier family environment and encourage their children to reach their full potential.

Most parents face similar concerns when it comes to caring for children with special needs. They may feel lost, alone and inadequate in providing their kids with the help they need. Special needs children may require consistent medical care, mental or physical therapy, a specialized learning environment, constant supervision and more. Some parents find it difficult balancing the care of these children with other children, home responsibilities and career. Financial concerns can also take a toll on the family environment.

Support groups can be a tremendous help and encouragement to parents in their time of need. Most communities offer counseling, community services or online support for parents with special needs kids. Talking with other parents who have had more experience in this area can give you valuable insight into how to cope with your kids everyday care. You can also benefit from the friendship, fellowship and encouragement of like minded parents who understand what you are going through.