One of the most important tasks of parents is to teach their children to be independent adults. The reality is that some children with disabilities may never be able to live on their own. Others may be able to live with assistance, or still, others may learn to manage their obstacles to the point that they can be entirely independent. Regardless of what future seems likely for your child, you must prepare them to be as self-reliant as possible.
Do not do for him what he could do for himself.
As you go about your child’s daily care routine, ask yourself, is this something my son/daughter could do? Why am I doing it instead of teaching him how?
What daily chores could your child manage? Can he hold a broom and push it around? Can she wipe the table with a cloth? Treat your child as though he or she is capable of doing the chores. They should have things to do around the house like everyone else.
Focus on basic life skills, and go from there.
What tasks would your child need to know in order to live on her own? Can he fix himself food? Go toilet by herself? Brush his teeth and get dressed? Handle small amounts of money?
Whatever she can manage, she should be practicing at home each day.
Do not make excuses for your child.
Remember in the account of Helen Keller how her parents, at first, allowed her to eat off their plates, throw tantrums, and receive candy when she screamed? It took the “miracle worker” teacher to show them they had spoiled their daughter by indulging her, making her disabilities far worse. Demand that your child behave and follow rules to the best of her ability.
A very common tendency for parents of special-needs children is to hover over them, doing things out of habit that their children should be doing themselves. Or they treat them like they are much younger than their true age. For the good of your kids as parents, you need to readjust how you think. Teaching them independence will help them to become functional and resilient individuals.