Supporting Children, Youth, and Families in Greater Vancouver since 1990

Parenting a Child with Special Needs

Do you have a child with special needs? Do you have a difficult time coping with the stress and challenges to promote their health, development and well-being?

Children with special needs may experience the world differently based on neurological differences in the brain. The neurodiversity movement argues that these variations should be considered normal within the human experience and society must learn to accept, appreciate, and accommodate their needs. However, there is still much work to be done in society to accept and properly accommodate children with special needs. The prominent issue in our society is that most populations do not have the knowledge and skills to appreciate and accommodate neurodiverse individuals. Adequately educating society is important to dismantling stigma and creating a more inclusive world for neurodiverate individuals. 

We recognize each individual’s personality, brain wiring, family and community circumstances, culture, history, trauma, individual needs, preferences and communication styles are beautiful and unique to them. However, these unique attributes may also create challenges in communication and dynamics when interacting with others in a relationship, family, school, work or community setting.  

You are not alone

Research has found that parents of children with special needs disproportionately experience anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, hypersensitivity among other feelings. Understanding how often these symptoms arise on a regular basis will help determine the next steps in addressing your mental health. 

Although each child may have a unique and different set of symptoms, many parents will similar challenges. Connecting with parents experiencing similar emotional and relational challenges can help you create a vital support network . A strong network of friends with similar challenges helps provide support to remind you that you are not alone. Parents with special needs children are always in a position for caring for others consistently. No one can adequately care for others, if they neglect their own well-being, caring for yourself will improve your ability to care for your children.

Counselling Services

Our counselling services provide counselling to caregivers, siblings and other family members as needed. We understand the demands of raising a child with extra needs can be a challenging for the entire family. Our counselling team can help with different mental health concerns that may arise with all family members. Counselling and mental health support can help families to effectively cope with the demand of children with special needs. Counselling can help to alleviate the sense of guilt that families feel, and the negative attitude they may have towards their child.

Counselling assists family members to learn effective coping strategies and how to manage stress associated with the demand of parenting a child with special needs. Counselling can also trains the family with skills to develop problem solving, decision making and goal setting all together. 

Please email email hidden; JavaScript is required or call the intake line at 604-968-8211 for more information on our counselling services in North Vancouver.