Shylah Blatt MA, LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of Whole Family Counseling, located in Danville, CA. In her Danville counseling practice, Shylah specializes in providing counseling and therapy services for children, teens, families, and adults experiencing issues related to depression, anxiety, stress, life transitions, and disordered eating. Read Helpful tips and..
Hi Everyone! I hope you all have been enjoying the warm, sunny days we have been having here in Danville. Though perhaps some of you are ready for the colder fall weather.
Fall is all about transitions, and expecting a new baby is a crazy big transition. I know this from recent personal experience! In this next post, Ashley Taylor shares her wisdom in preparing one’s life and home for a child with a disability. Also, I will say that her advice is helpful for any expecting family.
Preparing your life and home when you’re expecting a child is a big job, and when your child has a disability, there are even more things to think about. From making sure your home is safe and comfortable to figuring out insurance plans, there are so many details to consider. It’s also important to make sure you take care of your physical and mental health during this time so you’ll be at your best for your child.
The earlier you can start preparing, the better. This means getting answers to as many questions as you can, figuring out how to plan for your child’s future, and making sure you can provide for your child’s needs. Talking to your doctor will help, as will doing some research online. Write down any questions you have so you won’t forget them when it’s time to start planning.
Keep reading for some helpful tips on how to prepare your home and your life for a child with a disability.
Make some home modifications
Making major renovations to your home can be costly, yet it’s important to make sure it’s safe and comfortable for your child and will suit her needs. Fortunately, there are many simple changes you can make that will help get your home in shape, from adding grab bars in the bathtub to make bathing easier and safer to placing threshold ramps in doorways. These are typically DIY projects that don’t require a lot of money or time. Depending on your income and state, you may be eligible for financial assistance when it comes to home modifications; do some research online to find out how you can get help with the necessary changes to your house.
Budget for medical expenses
Even if you have health insurance, it may not cover everything when it comes to your child’s medical expenses. It’s imperative to get familiar with your coverage, learn what you’ll be responsible for out of pocket, and start budgeting now. You can also talk to your child’s doctor about any medications that might be required, and learn more about how they’re covered and what generic options there are.
Take care of yourself
It’s imperative that you take care of your mental and physical health, both now and after the baby comes, so that you can be at your best. This means getting enough rest, eating a well-balanced diet, and reducing stress as much as possible. You might ask close friends and family members for help, especially during the first few weeks as you and the baby find a schedule. They can assist with cleaning around the house, bringing over dinner, or taking over for a few hours so you can fit in a nap.
Having support from friends and family will be essential, so talk to them about what your needs are and how they can help. Whether it’s physical support or the emotional kind, having someone to lean on when you’re feeling overwhelmed will help you be the best parent you can be. You might also look for support from other parents of disabled children, either with an in-person group or online.
Preparing your life and your home for a child with a disability can be exhausting and overwhelming even at the best of times, so it’s important to think of ways you can get organized and find support as early as possible. Keep communication open with your doctor and family members so that everyone is on the same page, and remember to practice self-care as often as possible.
Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer, photographer, and advocate for people with disabilities. She created DisabledParents.org to provide information and resources to other parents with disabilities. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.