Goal Setting, Medical Alert Devices Can Help Children With Disabilities Realize Independence

All parents want their children to achieve as much as possible. This can mean sending them to the best schools, frequently communicating with their teachers, and encouraging them to reach their goals. The parents of children with disabilities face additional challenges that other parents may not understand. Whether it’s medical alert devices, assistive technology, or a great school, finding the tools your child needs to reach his potential can be a full-time job.

Goal Setting for a Bright Future

Setting individualized goals and developing a plan to meet them is the best way to ensure your child continues building skills and making progress. It’s vital that you keep track of the goals that teachers, therapists, and doctors set for your child, so you can monitor her progress and share it with any of her caregivers. Keep a spreadsheet or notebook handy that allows you to record and update her progress over time.

According to the US Department of Education, about 13 percent of students in public schools have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). These plans can be basic, acknowledging that a student needs extra assistance in a single subject. They can also be much more complex and ensure that the aides, teachers, and school administrators all recognize the goals set forth for your child and work to help her reach them.

IEPs are based around a number of “measurable annual goals,” and they can include not only educational goals but occupational therapy goals as well. Adapted physical education and assistive technology may also be employed for some students who have related goals. In some cases, your child’s therapist may be willing to attend her IEP meeting with you. However, in most cases, you may have to rely on a list of goals he has prepared in advance.

You may have also found yourself in a position where you felt you had to fight for your child to receive the care she deserves. A local support group or club for parents of children with disabilities may be able to help you find local resources for getting all of your child’s care partners get on the same page. Community programs for children and teenagers with disabilities are also a good place to find other parents who have been in your shoes.

How Medical Alert Devices Can Help
Once your child reaches his teenage years and has a degree of independence, you may want to consider other ways to help him feel more confident. Medical alert devices can offer peace of mind for a teen with special needs — and help you balance your duties as a caregiver with other obligations. If your teen’s independence is limited due to blindness, epilepsy, a neurological disorder, or any of a number of other disabilities, medical alert devices may make it possible for him to stay home alone for short periods of time.

The duties of a caregiver for a child with a disability include ensuring the child grows up to become as independent as possible. This can be achieved by setting goals that build independence and working with care providers to reach these goals. As these goals are reached, an investment in a medical alert device may ensure that he is comfortable and confident in his newfound independence.

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