Today after interacting with a group of parents of children with special needs the first thought which struck my mind was that blessed are people like me who are born normal, who are parents of normal children, who are leading a normal life.
I have been a regular visitor to orphanages, old age homes and schools for children with special needs but such visits do not actually expose one to what a parent of these children may be going through every day. Being a parent carrying a life-long guilt consciousness of not being able to do the best for the child, getting physically and emotionally drained day after day, dealing with the tantrums/ fits of anger the child resorts to, giving up on social commitments as one parent/ family member is always required to be with the child, constantly plagued with the worry of future (what after us?) life is not easy and practically impossible for parents of normal children to visualise.
It is not just the child, but the parents also require constant support and education. They must be groomed to accept the truth, trained to face the challenges, to maintain the calm in the adversity. It is easy to lose temper when the child is throwing tantrums but then that is the worst response expected from the parent, it will do more harm than give any relief. Every action taken in front of the child has to be measured. The parents must undergo classes for stress management and learn best ways to teach and take care of the child. It is the combined effort of the parents, teacher and the medical practitioner which will give the best results.
COVID has added on to the problems of the parents with the children missing on the much required therapy sessions. Most of these children are maybe missing out on the only opportunity they used to get of going out of home and meeting / seeing other children when they went to school, this must be certainly making them more restless. Schools are attempting online classes, but the onus lies more on the parents to learn the right procedures and techniques to be able to help the child in practicing.
Parents must make effort to become members of various support groups especially of the parents of children with special needs on various social media platforms and share thoughts and seek support/ guidance. The main support the mother and father draw, is from each other, they should always be there for each other, when one feels low the other should lift the spirit. Lastly, the humour should not be allowed to escape from life, light moments of laughter are the best for relieving stress.