Providing care for a child with disabilities or a serious illness can be both stressful and overwhelming to caregivers. This is why Caregivers Alberta is here to support you. We understand the unique challenges and demands of caring for a child who is living with disabilities or navigating an illness. The specific care of each child will differ based on circumstances and needs, but one thing is constant: all children, regardless of their situation, require unconditional love and understanding first, above any other aspect of caregiving.
Children are resilient—there is no doubt about that—but when it comes to trauma, they are susceptible to long-term impacts that could affect them well into adulthood.
Here are a few (immediate) things caregivers can do to ease these effects:
Communicate openly and honestly with them about their disability or illness
By including them in the healing and/or caregiving process and keeping them as informed as possible, you can help foster good self-esteem and a sense of autonomy in the child.
Listen to them
Be mindful of the fact that children may not always have the vocabulary to clearly express their thoughts and feelings. It is important that a child knows you take them seriously and that you don’t dismiss them. Practice patience and do what you can to support their emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual needs.
Let them be kids
Children learn a lot about themselves, their peers and the world around them through play. Encourage them to explore, fuel their imaginations and prioritize time for excursions, activities and playtime.
We can help if you’re caring for a child living with:
- Anxiety-related disorders
- Autism & spectrum disorders
- Cognitive impairment
- Developmental impairment
- Eating disorders
- Physical impairment
- Trauma-related impairments (including trauma from hospitalization)
Caregivers Alberta’s mission is to empower caregivers and promote your wellbeing. We want all caregivers to feel valued and supported and we have a full library of resources and tools to help you and your child with a disability receive the information, resources and support you need.