Even the most well-intentioned people often have difficulty discerning the best ways to help a friend with a child with special needs. If you are looking for easy and practical ways to show you want to support them, here are a few ways to do just that:
Every parent of a special needs child desires the opportunity to vent to a sympathetic ear. One of the best things you can do to help a friend is to be there to listen, give solicited advice, and be understanding. By giving them the opportunity to share their concerns and triumphs, you are gifting them with the blessing of true friendship.
Because of the overwhelming time commitment involved in caring for a child with special needs, these parents are often more exhausted than their typical parent counterparts. By offering to watch their child for a bit, you are giving them the invaluable gift of time and relaxation. A night out or even the chance to grab a nap is incredibly helpful.
A way to any person’s heart is through the stomach. Parents of special needs children often need help with meal prep and grocery buying. Showing up with a meal is one of the most useful ways to lend a helping hand. Better yet, come bearing freezer meals so that the parent can pull them out whenever it is needed.
Make It Shine
One of the last things on the priority list of a special needs child parent is the housecleaning. By offering to clean their house, you will be taking a big load off of their mind and helping to keep their busy life as organized as possible. Coming home to a sparkling house and fresh laundry will help ease the stress that comes with parenting a special needs child.
Help with Errands
Next time you drop off your dry cleaning, consider asking your friend if they need anything picked up or dropped off. Helping with simple tasks such as this can ease the load of a special needs child parent. Taking on more of the carpool burden when ferrying other kids around is another practical way to make life just a little easier for your friend.
Lisa Landman has a passion for helping others and has worked with special need adults throughout her career. Learn more about her professional work or check out her Twitter!