Communication is the foundation of strong, healthy families. Research has shown that communication is an essential building block of strong marital, parent-child, and sibling relationships. Effective communication, in general, is a national issue for families in America. This may be true but it is a skill that fortunately can be worked upon. Communication skills like empathy, reflective listening, and positive feedback are important for effective and successful communication for any child not just a child with special needs.
An open dialogue between your entire family allows for support, clarification and sharing information which makes your home a healthier environment.
Specific Ways to Improve Communication
As simple as this suggestion may be, I would suggest that you “believe in your child”. A parent’s attitude about their children and their capabilities have a powerful effect on how children view themselves. My parents told me that I could do anything and be anything that I wanted to be. Yes, I may have a mild form of Autism but the same can be said for most children with special needs. Your belief in them even when it seems hopeless will create miracles in time.
If you view your child with special needs or otherwise, as someone who is capable and responsible, that child usually has similar views. However, children who do have learning disabilities many times have parents who view them as fragile, needing help, scared and other more negative characteristics. Children absorb that negative view too easily and many times can be easily accepting of low achievement and not wanting to try without help or even not want to try at all. That is where your belief in your child comes in. You are modeling the behavior for them to believe in themselves. If a child feels capable and accepts themselves for who they are, they are more willing to listen and follow through with what is being communicated to them.
It is important to find your child’s strengths and play on those. It is so easy to focus on the weaknesses our children have because we want them to be the best possible.