Special Needs Children – nurturing capacity even when limited. 

Episode Description

In this podcast, Jenny Brown explores the challenges of parenting Special Needs children – neurodiverse kids or children with a biological impairment of some kind. She interviews Nicole Clarke, who is both a mother of a child with Autism and a school counsellor. 

It is helpful to consider if the same principles of working on the parent rather than the child apply to special needs kids. A systems view suggests that any added stress and anxiety can be relieved by a parent by making a more intense project out of finding help and treatments for a child. Yet, at the same time, this extra focus on the child can reduce the child’s development capacities. The child becomes attuned to a parent’s increasing involvement which can trigger more dysregulation. 

It is so very hard for parents of children who appear to be neurologically different in their capacities to socialise, empathise and control behaviours, not to get swept along by the pull to add multiple treatments to the child’s life. Nicole speaks of the value of working to be less intense as a parent despite the extra challenges. She talks about the treatments that focus on getting your child to be different as opposed to accepting who they are and reducing fear about the future.