On my blog at the EB Info World website, I posted the 8 things you can do to Help Bereaved Parents, which is something I wrote for the back of the book I wrote about my son called Losing Alex, available now for the Kindle and paperback.
On that note, I had written, also for the EB Info World website, a blog titled ‘Helpful Words for new EB Parents“, but I now wanted to take things a bit further. I often get asked what I need, and it may surprise you to know… it’s not much. All I need most days is to just know people care.
Here’s the list I compiled, I hope it helps someone!
How to Help Special Need Parents
If you have a friend or a relative with a special need child, please remember the following:
1. Many parents feel distant and isolated from the world, themselves, their families and their friends. Reach out to them – let them know they’re NOT alone. All you have to do is check in with them every now and again, ask them how they are doing or/and how their child is and listen and offer kind words. That’s all you need to do. Knowing that someone cares is really important, and this simple fact cannot be overstated. Even something as quick as sending an email, or text message, just to let them know you’re thinking about them could help them to find the strength to keep moving on a really bad day.
2. If you live close-by, go visit them. Please, please, please, don’t start avoid them too. It’s hard to get out with special needs children sometimes, and your friend is probably extremely lonely.
3. If you have extra time, do something for them. Don’t ask what you can do for them, they won’t tell you. Pick a thing to do for them and do it. Bring dinner, mow the lawn, help clean the house, run errands for them, anything, really.
4. Support their cause. Whatever the diagnose, learn about it and please don’t compare your friend’s child to another who is doing better or worse. Every patient is different. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions that can help educate you. Knowing that you took the time to learn about their child’s condition would mean a great deal to any special needs parent.
5. Please know and understand that Special Need Parents are often tired, scared of the future, can be jealous, are often very lonely but they are always fiercely human. Nobody is perfect. Some parents have been challenged and pushed beyond their limits. While their life is now centered around their child, they still have dreams and aspirations of their own. Please be patient with them.
6. Please see #1. That’s how important it is.
Love and Hugs,