Mental retardation is the condition of an IQ measured below 70 to 75. It leads to significant limitations in daily living. The specific individuals are less likely to have adaptive skills and are not able to make the best of community resources. For instance, they are not good at producing and understanding language, exercising healthy, safety, leisure, social and self-care methods and are slow in academic functions like reading, writing and math. Over 3 million children (4.3% of the under-18 population) in the US had a disability in 2019 which is up by 0.4% since 2008. A few common causes are down syndrome, genetic conditions, fetal alcohol syndrome and infections before birth.
The good news is that every special child has strengths. So as responsible and empathetic parents, try to focus on what they can do instead of their disabilities. Special child health services and short-term skilled care are available for children up to the age of 21. Highly qualified, compassionate, caring and patient-centric nurses can help with walking or climbing stairs, doing errands alone or simply concentrating and remembering. If you have little or no knowledge of how to handle mentally retarded children, below are a few correct ways for effective parenting in 2022 and beyond.
Certified Medical Care at Home
Getting professional support and being honest with your needs are important. Leaving your child with a trusted caregiver can help them develop resilience and adaptability. You, on the other hand, can rest assured that your precious one is in good hands. You do not have to constantly monitor the child for bathing, dressing, eating or playing.
It is especially necessary if you have a second baby. A good nurse is able to offer special assistance with comfort, care and better communication. No wonder the home healthcare market size touched $320 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2022 to 2030. They may also educate parents on developmental disorders and specific needs. They can also accompany you for child therapy sessions and doctor visits.
Breast milk is especially important for a disabled child’s growth, nutrition and brain development. It contains plenty of anti-inflammatory, immunological and growth factors and live cells. They can help a special baby prevent respiratory infections, gastrointestinal illnesses and ear issues and promote healing as well. But infants with neurological disorders, trisomy complexities and Pierre Robin Syndrome may not be able to latch and suck.
At home, mothers can consider double pumping around 8 times every 24 hours to build a good milk supply. It will help express sufficient milk and feed the baby for 5-7 months. It can aid with mouth muscle development which can improve speech later on. Mother’s milk is also said to have a protective effect on autism spectrum disorder. In general, breastfeeding keeps children from the risks of asthma, type 1 diabetes, obesity and SIDS too.
An optimistic body language is of utmost importance while dealing with special kids. Try not to get overwhelmed, agitated and discouraged. Consider creating a happy and comfortable environment for raising the child. Harmony in parent-child relations resulting from parental attitude is effective since the cognitive element leads to a better understanding of the baby with intellectual disabilities. Always keep a smile on your face, praise the child well and repeat things if they are unable to process instructions at once. Further, identify their talents in sports, art or education. Avoid being stigmatized and allowing others to use terms like ‘they’ and ‘us’ but emphasize ‘we’ for better social inclusion.
These can increase their self-esteem and confidence in different situations. Psychological well-being is also improved which ultimately helps in quality living. The child can interact, observe, use common sense and pick visual, auditory or tactile cues as well.
Gifted children may not be able to do everything their peers do which is completely fine. Be gentle and let them know they are not alone. Allow the child to enjoy whatever makes them happy. Further, it is necessary to make time for your kids even if you have nurses at home. Parents may not always get everything right. But putting these tips into action is worth a try. Keep in close contact with healthcare experts for better results.