Children with intellectual disabilities have mental and physical limitations. As a result, it may take them longer to develop the communication and social skills needed for everyday life. Although these limitations exist, these children can form connections and gain independence with the help of parents and caregivers. Read our parenting tips for kids with intellectual disabilities for advice.
Research the Disability
Gain insight into your child’s disability by researching it. As a parent, you may feel stuck and confused about how to help your child. Thankfully, there are resources available to you. Seeking out information will lead you to dozens of books, online articles, and publications that further explain intellectual disability. In addition, helpful material and tools are also accessible. Ultimately, the more you know, the more you can assist your child.
Depending on the nature of your child’s disability, start encouraging independence. Children with intellectual disabilities often feel bound to the hip of their parent or caregiver. Therefore, it’s important to allow room for independence. Give your kids chores, daily tasks, and responsibilities to build their confidence and liberation.
Examples of daily tasks include:
Brushing their teeth.
Refilling the family pet’s water bowl.
Setting the table for dinner.
Find Social Activities
As opposed to the average child, kids with intellectual disabilities need more time to develop social skills. Within the disability community, it’s known that intellectual disabilities affect communication skills. Therefore, seeking out social activities is crucial to your child’s development because that will allow them to interact with others. Through these interactions, your child will form friendships and bonds. It will also help with future interactions.
Provide Frequent Feedback
A confidence-boosting action is providing frequent feedback. Praise your child when they do something well and encourage them to continue. If your child is doing something wrong, correct their behavior but explain why it’s wrong. Use simple and clear sentences to get your point across. For example, if your child is running in the house, say, “Please do not run in the house. We only run outside.”
Parenting a child with an intellectual disability is challenging. You want to help in every way you can but also leave room for growth and independence. If you’re having a hard time or want some guidance, look back at our parenting tips for kids with intellectual disabilities to help you along the way.