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Main Office
861 Auto Center Drive
Suite "D"
Palmdale, CA 93551
Phone: (661) 945-7878
Fax: (661) 945-7553


 

Lancaster Office
540 West Lancaster Blvd
Suite #111
Lancaster, CA 93535



 

Santa Clarita Office
19040 Soledad Canyon Rd.
Suite #210
Santa Clarita, CA 91351
Phone: (661) 945-7878
Fax: (661) 945-7553

 

 


SPRING 2004

Dr. Elaine Fogel Schneider, Ph.D. Founder & Executive Director
A Word From Dr. Elaine
I know how busy everyone is these days with or without children.  Raising children with special needs takes someone special, and someone who will be able to handle being busier than most parents. 

So, for all of you who are finding yourselves doing a balancing act,  today I want to offer you 7 strategies to balance yourself while raising your child with special needs. 

1.   Take care of yourself first. 
I know that this may appear selfish, however, you cannot  give to your child if you are on “empty”.   You need to make sure that your needs are met first, so  you can have what it takes to give to your child. 

2.   Avoid overindulging your child. 
Many times when you have a child with special needs you find yourself taking care of every need and never allowing your child the opportunity to become independent.  You may not allow your child to try things on his or her own and learn the challenges and successes of every day activities.  It is natural to 
learn about consequences of one’s own actions.  Your child with special needs can learn this too. 

3.   Set structure and rules that your child can follow. 
So many times we feel that we are offering our children the best that life has to offer without setting up rules or structure in their lives.  All children need structure.  They all benefit from routines of daily living.  They will know what is acceptable and not when there are rules that have been set down that are appropriate for each stage of development and growth. 

4.   Be consistent and follow through. 
Whenever you have rules that you set for your children, remember to follow through with them.  Children are more apt to test you and continue to test you when they see that you are inconsistent with them.  When you say that they can get a video after they eat their meal, make sure that they get to watch the video after they eat their meal, and make sure that they really do not get to watch the video if they have not completed their meal. 

5.   Encourage your children. 
All children (and adults) like to be praised and encouraged.  Let your children know in a thousand ways how capable and unique they are and how loved they are.  You can tell this to them with a smile, with a gentle embrace, with praise and by giving them special time together with you. 

6.   Keep a sense of humor. 
It is easy to become discouraged when raising a child with special needs.  Many times you are faced with life shaking events.  It is helpful for you to remember to keep a sense of humor when you look at yourself and your child.  Get excited about the small “baby steps” that your child takes.  I remember what a great comedian once said,  “laughter is a vacation we give ourselves!”, at least you can do that. 

7.   Let go. 
Throughout life, letting go is probably one of the hardest but most important things to learn to do, over and over, and day in and day out.  You cannot control life.  Let go of the “shoulds”.  Do the best you can do and then let go of expectations just not your aspirations!   Remember, that there is a plan for us, just sometimes we don’t know what it is. 

All life is a matter of balance. At Baby Steps we take pride in being here for you and serving you.  If you are ever feeling burdened or out of balance please let us know so that our staff and myself may assist you and your family every “baby step” of the way.  (Parts adapted from ECAC NewsLine (Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center) Davidson, N.C.) 
 

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