There are an estimated 93 million children with disabilities throughout the world at least, but the number could be much higher. For parents of those with disabilities, knowing how to properly support them throughout different stages of their life can be a daunting task, particularly when it comes to higher education and gaining independence. With that in mind, here are just a couple of tips to help you make the transition as easy as possible for your child.
The power of valuable resources
Surrounding yourself with an abundance of resources is a valuable way to support your child in making the transition to college. This can involve reaching out to their current high school counselors, support groups, and even a prospective university to gather important information on disability friendly accommodations. In fact, only 17% of college students who live with a learning disability take advantage of learning assistance resources at their schools — however, being informed and simply knowing what’s available can help to change that.
Depending on your situation, a lawyer may be another valuable resource to lean on in helping to support your child. For example, parents whose child’s disability is a result of medical malpractice (as is often the case in with cerebral palsy) could benefit financially if they took a legal course of action following the incident. Specialized lawyers, such as cerebral palsy lawyers, can help in getting financial compensation, which may aid in supporting your child in a number of different ways. For example, it can be of great assistance when it comes to helping shoulder the cost of medical bills, thus helping to support them financially with medical needs such as doctor’s visits or procedures, and helping to alleviate the financial burden as they focus on their education.
Fostering independence early on
When your child is looking at prospective universities to attend, it’s important to foster independence as soon as possible, as they’ll likely need to do a lot on their own when they’re there. As such, it’s important to avoid helping them when possible, and to positively encourage them to do small tasks on their own — such as problem solving or making time to study on their own, which will play a part in their college life (especially if they plan on living on campus). In doing so beforehand, you can effectively prepare your child for the level of independence they’ll need in order to be successful. With that in mind, setting reasonable and attainable goals is a great way to keep track of such tasks before they leave the nest, and can help in motivating them to meet those goals as well.
Supporting a child with a disability can be difficult at times, especially when it comes to new experiences like going to college, where gaining independence is likely to be a necessity. However, through making use of your resources and fostering independence early on, you can make the transition much smoother.