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Balancing Special Needs

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Zach Stones

on 21 May 2016

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Transcript of Balancing Special Needs

Balancing Healthy Families
Family Care / Caregiver Care / Self Care
"Expert" Expertise vs. Parent Expertise
"Special" Needs vs. Other Needs
Safety vs. Independence
Balancing Your Family with Special Needs
Zach Stones
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
San Diego Center for Children

"Expert" Expertise vs. Parent Expertise
Safety and Security vs. Growth and Independence
"Special" Needs vs. All the Other Needs
Child with Special
Surly Teen
Child with Special
Surly Teen
Experience with
similar cases
Experience with Your Child
Investment in Your Child
Dealing with Professionals
Avoid extremes: "he knows much better than me" and "this guy is an idiot", the most talented expert is still a flawed human
A professional should be able to explain their knowledge and reasoning about your child if you ask
A professional should be very interested in your experiences with your child (red flag if they are not)
If there's an opportunity to help a professional be better at their job, take it!
Always stay calm and polite, even if they haven't earned it
Be assertive, calm and polite doesn't mean passive
Core tasks of Parenthood
Special needs can lead to emphasis here at cost of the other side
Special needs can lead to anxiety about child ever being independent
Can also lead to resentment
Families need time dedicated to enjoying family (not getting somewhere, getting ready, getting chores done, etc.)
Kid Needs - Safety,
Respect, Love
Parent Needs - to know kids are safe, to feel respect/appreciation, love
Caregivers need to feel like a unified team, not adversaries or competition!
For couples, this means making time to meet the needs of your relationship, separate from kids
This is often the very last priority for a busy family yet can be one of the most powerfully helpful steps.
If there are other caregivers in your family team (grandparents, relatives, friends) make sure to make time to appreciate them and maintain your relationship outside of caregiving
If you don't take care of yourself you are being a bad parent
You make poor parenting decisions when tired and stressed and lack the patience necessary for parenting
You also are providing a poor role model and making it more likely that your children also do not care for themselves
Take a moment to sketch your own family in terms of the diagrams below
Bubble Size - importance in family
Lines - relationships
1. Honestly accept where you are
2. Honestly accept it may not be possible to get where you want to be
3. Focus on the very next step
Full transcript