If you know a family who has a special needs child and you wonder what you can do that would help, my hope is that this little post inspires you to do even the smallest thing. Parenting a special needs child can often feel like a very lonely place. It can be isolating and the challenges never end. The simplest gift can make the greatest difference.
Your simple act of generosity and kindness to parents of a special needs child can impact their life in ways you may never even know. Here’s 6 great gift ideas that can really impact a special needs family:
Babysitting. Are you great with kids or do you know someone who is great with kids enlist their help? Maybe your kids are close in age? When I asked our Sensory Mom Secrets support group if someone were to give them something that would help their family, this was the #1 response!
Parents of children with special needs are often lacking time together. Even if it’s just for them to get out to dinner or lunch together for an hour it can be really refreshing for them. If babysitting isn’t your strong point, ask someone who is great at it to help you out with this gift.
Gift cards for pizza delivery! Sometimes as special needs parents this is our only date we get. After bedtime, we order a late night pizza and eat it on paper plates on the sofa (because we can!). Romantic I know! Just the simple relief of not having to think about dinner is sometimes a huge gift to us!
Inspirational wall art. Find something inspiring that would remind them to keep fighting the good fight. Something that reminds them they can do this, they can keep going and they will make it. Let them know that you are there for them any time they need to vent or let it all out. Cheer them on, even though you may not know the battles they are faced with.
Send an encouraging card. Greeting cards sometimes have the perfect words already written for us. So, if you don’t know what to say or how to help, send them a card that says you have been thinking of them!
Make an in home survival basket. Sometimes on the really bad days, having a stash of special and new items is what helps us get through the day. Great ideas for this basket might be, age appropriate movies, games and kid activities. You can include a special snack and even something special (wine) for just mom and dad after bed of course! Invite them over to your house. Ask for ideas of how to make this go well. Prepare for the worst case scenario, don’t judge parenting or child behavior and focus on enjoying each other’s company.
Give the gift of cleaning. Hire a cleaning service or offer to come in once a month yourself. This is really a challenge for some families but making the choice to do this for our family has made a really big difference in our stress level.
If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy:
7 Christmas Wishes from a Sensory Mom
When your Christmas isn’t Merry and Your Heart isn’t Light
When Meltdowns Ruin the Fun
Simple Christmas Tree Craft
7 Great Gifts for Special Needs Parents