Staying on track and in routine for a child with special needs can be both needed and appreciated. Routines that keep the family moving smoothly, and more importantly, give your child more confidence in handling everyday life.
Structure is key in many ways.
- Eliminates Breakdowns: Being able to transition smoothly from one activity to the next is a must for many special needs children. Knowing what is going to happen next allows the child to both physically and mentally prepare for the change. With a set schedule, they are familiar with the day’s routine and realize it will soon be time to move on to another task or event. That familiarity offers security and can help eliminate breakdowns and tantrums.
- Creates Security: As previously mentioned, being able to establish a routine for your child helps to create security for them. They can feel safe and secure when in a predictable environment. Even as adults, change can be difficult for us to understand or handle, and children are no different. Special needs children look for the familiar and thrive on the things they know. Home. Schedules. Family. These places and things create a safe haven for them
- Builds Confidence: As a special needs child goes through their daily routine of brushing their teeth, eating their meals, or having structured playtime, they build confidence in doing these tasks on their own. The repetition and simple knowledge of how each activity is done within their comfort zone helps them feel better about repeating them outside the home.
- Bonds Family: As the family is solidified into a familiar routine, the children begin to find their place in the family unit. Each member plays a role and a bond is created through the relationships formed. Family dinners, outings, play times and even rest times help create a relaxed home environment for everyone. This in return creates a stronger family bond and a happier child.
Routines and schedules not only help the special needs child, but the family as a whole. In terms of special needs children, the confidence to handle daily life and continue to develop social skills is key. These are life skills that can be taught and carried outside the walls of the home with attention and care. Plus, a routine and little structure can do everyone good.
Author: Staci Salazar
Blog: 7 on a shoestring