The Unseen Army Working for Special Needs Children | downtown-houston

Posted on September 17, 2012

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We work, play and worship with them; they are our friends, daughters, sons, sisters and brothers – they are caregivers of children with special needs.   There are some simple things we can do to make their lives easier and let them know we care.  We can’t know each individual but we can look at their lives from a 50,000 feet and work down from there.

In the United States there are an estimated 16.8 million unpaid caregivers to children with special needs.   These are children with a medical, behavioral, or other condition or disability.  The condition can be ongoing or a serious short-term medical condition, an emotional or behavior problem, or a developmental problem.  Examples include attention deficit disorder, autism, mental or emotional illness, Down’s syndrome, developmental delays, asthma, etc.

For most of us the experience of raising a child includes their gaining independence and eventually severing the cord of dependence on the parent.  For these caregivers, the children continue to need help with one or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).   (see insert)

Special Needs Children Need Help with ADLs

These caregivers are an unseen army of women and men whocare for a child sometimes their own, sometimes not.  Approximately half of all caregivers are caring for their own son or daughter but it is also common for the child to be a grandchild, niece, nephew, friend or other non-relative.  Some caregivers are providing care for a younger sibling.

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via The Unseen Army Working for Special Needs Children | downtown-houston.

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