Singapore is estimated to have 32,000 children with special needs. 80% of these children have mild learning needs, while the remaining 20% live with moderate to severe needs. As a parent with a child with special needs, you know the joys and challenges you face when raising your child.
Child development workshops offer parents tips on how to cope during a hard time. You will also learn how to make life more fulfilling for your child.
Hear from educators of children with special needs
If your child is yet to go to school for formal education, you may be questioning whether you should enrol him in a special needs school or if he will cope in a regular school. Singapore’s Ministry of Education encourages inclusion in mainstream schools, especial for a child with mild learning needs.
Although children diagnosed with mild autism, ADHD, and dyslexia will have some difficulties, they can still perform well when they learn with other children. When you attend a parent workshop, you may get insights on how to approach the selection process of a school for your child. You might realize that you are worried about something that is not an issue.
Discover support structures for your child
Parenting a special needs child is a journey that can be quite lonely. You don’t get to take your child to the park. You may not have the luxury of enrolling your child in daycare for a few hours a day because you are worried your child will not cope in the new environment. Additionally, some facilities don’t have the personnel to give your child the attention he needs.
Child development workshops will enlighten you on some of the resources available to help children with special needs. Some centres are specially created to care for these children. The teachers and caregivers have the expertise to ensure your child is safe and that he gains the skills he needs to be as independent as possible.
Learn from other parents
It is not easy to meet parents who share your thoughts and concerns regarding a child with special needs. In 2020, 12.5% of Singapore’s population was made up of children aged 14 years and below. This is about 17,000 children in a population of 5,690,000 people.
The best place to meet parents with special needs children is at workshops for parents. Sometimes information on how to help your child is not readily available. However, you might meet parents ready to share tips on what works for them.
For example, if your child is on the autism spectrum, how do you help him with a meltdown? Can you do anything to make learning easier for him?
Receive emotional support
You can’t support your child when you are emotionally drained. Caring for a special needs child can take a toll on the family. It can create unnecessary conflict, which, if left unchecked, can result in family breakdown.
Child development workshops are not just a chance for parents, but other family members as well, to get emotional support and guidance on how to cope with their challenges. Unfortunately, most people tend to be overwhelmed with their emotions that they forget the child with special needs has feelings.
The family’s strain may negatively affect the child, and he may regress from the progress he has made over the years. Instead of risking this, it is better to get the family the necessary emotional support so that their frustrations do not spill over to the child.
There is much to be gained from a parent workshop. Parenting is a journey of many successes and failures. These workshops will help you have more things to celebrate because you no longer
need to make mistakes to learn. You can now be better prepared for the journey with the help of experts and other parents.