All children, including those with disabilities, need love, respect, nurturing, and time.
1. Keep your child safe.
Keep emergency contact numbers where you can easily see it, like on the refrigerator.
2. Be supportive, empathetic, and loving.
Your child may not have the same support they usually have, and this can lead to additional challenges such as increased stress, anxiety and frustration. Use physical and verbal support to make your child feel accepted and loved. Positive body language gestures, and words make a big difference!
3. Communicate with your child.
Get down to your child’s level when communicating with your child. Maintain eye contact and a positive attitude. Take your time to allow your child the space to communicate. Observe, listen to, and confirm that you understand your child.
4. Reinforce the positive.
Reinforce your child’s strengths with praise and highlight their abilities rather than the things they cannot do. Only help children when they need it. Too much support denies them the chance to become independent and can feel patronising.
5. Ask for help when you can.
Share the load with other adult family members. You are not alone! Keep connected with people who understand your situation. Share your challenges AND your successes. It is normal to feel stressed, frustrated, and afraid at this time. Be kind to yourself and take a break when you need to!
6. Strengthen routines.
Routines help children feel secure and safe. Create a daily routine with activities that are familiar to your child and include some of their favorite activities. Help your child connect to friends and daily members via phone chats writing cards or drawing pictures. Provide your child with choices so that they have a sense of control. This also increases self-esteem. Use simple language and clear instructions and nonverbal communication for children who need it (for example: gestures, pictures, visual aids).