How to Support Friends with Special Needs Children
Kristen’s love for her intellectually disabled son, Jason, shines through in the ways she cares for him. Over the years I have seen her fiercely advocate for him to live as full a life as possible and she commits to choose joy and positivity each day. But while Kristen and other parents of special needs children actively look for and celebrate the good in their situation, life is not without its frustrations.
In the most recent episode of The Bearing Life podcast we talk about how we can walk well with friends who have special needs children. Kristen explains that as a parent of a special needs child, she has moved through the grieving process his entire life. She is often encouraged by her friends who step into help support her family.
3 Ways to Support Friends who have Special Needs Children
- Include their child in fun outings and activities-Don’t be afraid to invite your friend and their family to events and activities. As parents of special needs children, these moms and dads know what their family is capable of doing. More often than not, they want to jump in and participate!
- Go ahead and just pick up the dry cleaning, or coffee, or groceries. Are you already there? Send a text and find out what they need. Don’t wait for your friend to ask for help.
- Involve your kids. Allow your children to ask questions and talk to special needs kids. This allows your child to become comfortable and helps normalize the experience for special needs families. Instead of quieting your child’s curiosity, encourage him/her to talk to the family and engage them in conversation.
Kristen tells the story of her experience and shares so much with us in this episode. Ultimately, she tells us that it is all about human connection. We can show love and care to other parents, families, and children by sharing their burden.
Listen to Episode 1 of Season 2 of The Bearing Life!