Parents & Special Needs Children

Parent and child holding hands

Betsy & Michael Brauser have shown their commitment to special needs children in the community of  South Florida. The donation made by the Betsy & Michael Brauser Foundation to build the Center for Jewish Life at the Friendship Circle of North Broward and South Palm Beach is an example of their commitment. Children will be the prime recipient of the programs facilitated at this new center. However, as parents, Betsy & Michael Brauser understand the challenges that parents face when raising a family. Parents have a huge responsibility and must see to daily meals, school, appointments, and activities. Often overlooked are the challenges parents face if their child has special needs.

Thanks to Michael Brauser, the center will continue to provide support to parents living with the added responsibility of parenting a child/children with special needs. As part of a three pronged approach to supporting the community, a coordinated ‘parents night out’ to get parents out is vital to the health of the family. This gives parents a chance to network by exchanging stories and most importantly realize they are not alone.

What Stresses do Parents with Special Needs experience?

  1. Challenge keeping a schedule- They are often told  that consistency is important, but it can be very frustrating to execute. A child’s behavior sometimes changes from day-to-day.
  2. Adult Relationships can be difficult to maintain- Marriages can feel stressed and friends may not be willing to provide social support.
  3. Moodiness- Managing doctors, social workers and administrative red tape can create moments of fear, anxiety, sadness, and fatigue.
  4. Financial Distress - Expenses associated with education, special programs, travel, medications and professional services can be overwhelming. Especially if the home has one income.
  5. No One Has Your Back -When we tell someone we’ve got their back, it’s usually done unconditionally. When looking for support outside family and friends there can be feeling of loneliness (especially when you feel like every move forward is a battle).

How Can You Help?

Through the Betsy & Michael Brauser Foundation, Michael Brauser has done what he can to help. Here are some things you can do. Parent holding childs foot

Make a Donation- Donate to a Friendship Circle near you. It will help support various programs that create child development and support families. There are other similar organizations such as Easter Seals, The Arc and Parents Helping Parents.

Show Empathy- If you have a friend who is parenting a special needs child, there ARE things you can do to help. Just ask. Accept that a social visit is not the same as your other friends and enjoy the time together without expectation.

Volunteer- Many programs help parents cope with their day-to-day responsibilities. If you can help with outdoor/indoor home maintenance, laundry, tidying or shopping. If a cash donation is not for you then inquire about volunteering at an organization.

The Friendship Circle Michigan, online resource center contains a selection of articles specifically for parents with special needs.

Here are a few favorites:

Dads Matter! 5 Bonding Tips for Fathers and their Child with Special Needs

Four Tips For Making Breakfast Better For Your Child with Special Needs

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