Parents and caregivers of children with special needs know without a doubt that caring for special needs children can take a significant toll on their own individual lives and their relationship together. It’s important to prioritize parent togetherness time.

Want to learn more about Floortime for parents? Take a look at our Parent and Caregiver courses for children with special needs at Floortime U!

Parenting a special needs child is a challenge. Parents and caregivers need to find time every day and at least every week to spend time together, to compare notes, to find ways to recharge. They need to care for themselves too.

Dr. Greenspan knew the demands of occupational therapy appointments and speech therapy appointments. He also knew the frequent reality of the need for marriage and family counseling. As ever, his sage advice for caregivers is to slow down, emotionally engage, and look for ways to invest the erstwhile ordinary with meaning and intention.

Often when children are at the early levels of working up the [developmental] ladder, there are intensive sensory integration based OT therapy two or more times a week, speech therapy often three or more times a week, sometimes physical therapy appointments. In addition there’s often the early childhood educators and special educators involved with the child.

As well some families, because of family difficulties, may need counseling for marriage counseling or for the parents individually because the stress of having a child with special needs often challenges marriages. We see more than probably the ordinary 50% separation and divorce rate in the general population. So it’s important [for couples] to spend some time together alone on Friday nights or Saturday night and have some time each evening.

Otherwise, they get lost in the stress and strain of just the daily routine as well as the anger and the sadness, anxiety and worry that’s part of the challenge. So it’s very important for Mommy and Daddy to be supporting one another. And it’s important for the therapist to see if that’s working well, and if it is no help is needed, but if it’s not to provide that support and help.

The Practical part of it is that time is very important. Somebody just insisting within the family that the two adults have some time alone. Their own energy levels need it.

Dr. Stanley Greenspan

For an overview of Dr. Greenspan’s Floortime approach and resources available for parents of special needs children, take a look at our parents of special needs children page! And parents, please make sure to prioritize parent togetherness time!

Learn more about Dr. Stanley Greenspan and the Greenspan Floortime approach. If you are new, we have a background and introduction to Greenspan Floortime including how it helps special needs children. We also have Greenspan Floortime training courses at Floortime U. specifically designed for parents and professionals including the Floortime Manual.

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