How Planning And Charities Can Help Parents Raising Disabled Children

I'm lucky that I live in a place where getting disability payments from the government for kids with disabilities is not so difficult (well, depending what the disability is). But for those that don't, the extra costs entailed by living in a society not designed for disabled people including kids can be quite costly. This post from a reader gives some tips on how to work with the situation to make life easier for the family.

Across America, there are over 2.8 million children living with a disability: roughly 6% of all children. Raising a child with special needs presents a multitude of challenges, both emotional and financial. Medication and accessibility modifications can quickly drain a bank account, while the difficulties of child rearing can be made all the more stressful. However, with the support of organizations and a few simple measures, it is possible to provide a healthy environment in which your special needs child can thrive.

Living a normal life

It is important for the development of any child that they grow up with a sense of normalcy. This means being included in family events along with their siblings, which will keep them from feeling isolated. Similarly, though outings and holidays can be complicated, avoiding them will only leave your child feeling burdensome. Holidays, though challenging, are entirely doable, and made considerably easier through proper research and preparation.

The advertised accessibility of hotels is often misleading. Ramp access is a common example, often being portable rather than permanent, requiring a doorman to be on hand to assist each time you want to come and go from the hotel. Difficulties like this can usually be identified using reviews from other parents and customers with disabilities, however, and are an invaluable resource when planning your trip. You may also want to use Google Street View to examine the surrounding area, allowing you to identify any obstacles or potential complications well in advance.

Wherever you go however, it is vital to remember that hot weather can have a number of implications for disabled children, especially those that are non-verbal. CPFN advises that wheelchairs be fitted with umbrellas and that children are kept in the shade as much as possible. This is because wheelchairs can become uncomfortably hot in the sun, sometimes to the point of injury.

Government and charitable support

Parents of children living with disabilities who are also on low incomes may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Beyond government benefits, there are numerous charitable organizations that provide all kinds of support from funding to community. The Disabled Children’s Fund (DCF) provides over $2 million dollars worth of support annually, offering crutches, wheelchairs and rehabilitative services. Challenged America also offers assistive devices and rehabilitative services to disadvantaged and developmentally challenged children. For children requiring therapy varying from physical and speech to occupational, Gracie’s Hope Inc. is a non-profit offering a number of services for families in need. Taking advantage of these resources can help parents improve the quality of life of their child, better meet their needs and alleviate some of the financial stress associated with disability.

As public awareness grows, disability resources continue to improve, and while governmental aid is often not enough, charitable organizations are often there to pick up the slack. These days it is easier than ever to plan accessible travel, meaning that your child needn’t miss out on some of the best aspects of childhood. Indeed, providing them with as normal a childhood as possible is the best thing you can do to help them reach their potential.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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