Written by: Shanyce Jones, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Parenting neurodiverse children can be both rewarding and challenging. Neurodiverse children include those with conditions like autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and more.
Here are some tips to help parents support their neurodiverse children
1. Educate Yourself: Learn about your child's specific neurodiversity. Understanding their condition and its implications can help you provide the right support.
2. Seek Professional Guidance: Consult with healthcare professionals, therapists, and educators who specialize in your child's condition. They can provide valuable insights and guidance.
3. Embrace Neurodiversity: Embrace your child's uniqueness and focus on their strengths. Celebrate their achievements, no matter how small, and provide positive reinforcement.
4. Create a Supportive Environment: Make your child's home and daily routines accommodating. Predictable schedules and sensory-friendly spaces can help reduce stress and anxiety.
5. Build a Support Network: Connect with other parents of neurodiverse children for support and advice. They can offer valuable insights and share resources.
6. Individualized Education Plan (IEP): If your child is in school, work with the school to develop an IEP tailored to their needs. This plan can provide additional support, accommodations, and services.
7. Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage desired behaviours. Reward systems can motivate and reinforce positive habits.
8. Patience and Flexibility: Neurodiverse children may need more time to learn or accomplish tasks. Be patient and flexible, adjusting your expectations as needed.
9. Sensory Sensitivity: Be mindful of sensory sensitivities. Pay attention to sensory triggers, such as loud noises or bright lights, and find ways to minimize their impact.
10. Social Skills: Help your child develop social skills through playdates, group activities, and social stories. Role-playing can be a useful tool for teaching social interactions.
11. Routine and Visual Supports: Establish clear routines and use visual supports like schedules, charts, or visual timers to help your child navigate their day.
12. Self-Care: Take care of yourself as a parent. Caring for a neurodiverse child can be demanding, so make sure to find time for self-care and seek support when needed.
13. Advocacy: Be an advocate for your child in educational and healthcare settings. Ensure they receive the support and accommodations they need to thrive.
14. Emphasize Strengths: Help your child discover and develop their strengths and interests. This can boost their self-esteem and sense of identity.
Remember that every neurodiverse child is unique, and what works for one child may not work for another. Tailor your approach to your child's specific needs, and don't hesitate to seek professional advice when necessary. Patience, love, and acceptance are key in raising neurodiverse children.
Shanyce Jones, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Shanyce Jones is a leader in Behaviour Consultant and Interventionist working with neurodiverse children and youth in residential and therapeutic settings. After she had an opportunity to work with neurodiverse children and found her experience very rewarding. She has dedicated herself to providing her clients with the best intervention and treatment. She is the CEO and founder of Behavioural Connections, a top behaviour consulting practice supporting neurodiverse children and youth from age 2. Her mission is to open a fun and therapeutic facility to support neurodiverse children and youth in every domain, in Halifax and her home country of Bermuda.