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HomeHealth7 Useful Tips for Parenting a Neurodivergent Child

7 Useful Tips for Parenting a Neurodivergent Child

Parenting a neurodivergent child comes with its own unique rewards and challenges. As a parent, you want to ensure your child feels understood, accepted, and supported. You may also be choosing to foster a neurodivergent child, which can mean extra challenges on top. Here are 7 tips to help make parenting a neurodivergent child a little easier.

1. Educate Yourself

Learn all you can about your child’s neurotype – whether it’s ADHD, autism, dyslexia or something else. Understanding how their brain works will help you support them better. Look into the common strengths and difficulties associated with their neurotype. Connect with other parents who are going through similar experiences. Knowledge is power!

If you have chosen to foster children with special needs, speak with your foster agency, such as Fostering People, to find out more about the child being placed with you, and any special care needs they have.

2. Advocate for Your Child

Be your child’s champion! Learn about the legal protections and educational supports available. Speak to teachers and healthcare providers on behalf of your child when needed. Help educate others in your community by explaining your child’s needs and abilities. Remember, you know your child best.

3. Find the Right Therapies

Every child is different, with unique needs. Finding the right therapies can life-changing. This may include speech, occupational or behavioural therapy. Look into what types of therapy may help your child thrive, and don’t be afraid to try different ones until you find the best fit. It can take a while to secure the help you need, so don’t give up.

4. Make Accommodations at Home

Make small adjustments at home tailored to your child’s needs. This could mean setting up a distraction-free homework space, allowing noise-cancelling headphones, or providing fidget toys. Adapt household rules and discipline methods in a way that works for your child’s neurotype. Accommodating their needs fosters success. 

5. Connect with Community

Find or build a community of those who “get it.” Local support groups, both in-person and online, allow you to share joys and frustrations with others on the same journey. Facebook groups offer a lot of support for parents finding the journey difficult, and foster agencies are always there to support foster carers when they need extra help. Community centers may also offer inclusive programmes where neurodiverse children can make friends. Finding your people provides invaluable support.

6. Focus on Strengths

When the going gets tough, remind yourself of your child’s unique strengths. Do they have an incredible memory? Great athletic skills? A creative flair? Nurture these innate abilities and talents. After all, the world needs different kinds of minds! Help your child recognise the gifts their neurotype brings. 

7. Practice Self-Care

Being a caregiver is hard work! Make sure to also care for yourself. Whether it’s taking time for a hobby, getting support from your spouse, or having an honest chat with friends, don’t neglect your needs. Seek help around the house or care for your child if you need a break. Protect your mental and physical health along the journey of parenting.

Though each day may bring new challenges, children who feel unconditionally loved, supported in pursuing their talents, and accepted for who they are can thrive! With patience, compassion and these handy tips, you can help your neurodivergent child flourish.

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