Parenting can be hard, but parenting a child with special educational needs brings parenting to a different level. Let’s face it, SEN parents are awesome!
If you are a parent of a child with special educational needs then we are here to support you with our 7 step guide to SEN parenting.
- Relationships and interaction: yes it can be hard to play, interact and have conversations with our SEN child. But we just have to learn to ‘speak properly’ and try to understand them.
- Awareness and observation: our SEN child perceives the world in different ways, and actually very interesting ways. Try to take some time to observe your child and understand why they do and say certain things. Suddenly it might make sense why they react (or don’t react at all) when you say ‘time to tidy up your room’.
- Let go of what is ‘normal and ‘should be’: use your common sense and parenting instinct. When I had 2 SEN children I had to let go of all that was ‘normal’ and ‘should be’ and start being a bit flexible in my way of doing, dreaming and hoping!
- Be consistent: do what you say you will do. Follow that routine you have made together, visually. Stick to the rules you agreed to! Be a predictable parent and your child will be much more calm and happy.
- Use visuals: most SEN kids feel more connected with visual cues and words. Try to have your rules, routines, responsibilities and requests on visual cards with images. Less spoken word is best!
- Be clear – use less words: only 8% of your communication with your SEN child should be spoken words. The rest should be your tone of voice, physical connection and visual cues.
- Stay positive: Try not to be affected by all the things your SEN child cannot do – but instead focus on all that he/she CAN do. Our children are SO interesting and unique, once we allow this to shine through!
Chaos is not just the reality of having a unpredictable child, is it often the product of not having clear, agreed and realistic routines and expectations.