Difficult and rewarding. How do those two words fit together? Parents of special needs children live out the answer every single day. A diagnosis can be devastating, and there are aspects of their journey that may seem hopeless. It’s important, however, to keep in mind that every individual can have hope for their future, including those with special needs. With a multitude of resources and inspiring individuals, parents with special needs can have faith that their children will live fulfilling lives.
One way to see your special needs child grow and learn everyday is to provide him or her with educational opportunities. The field of special education has grown and expanded into an incredible way for children with disabilities to socialize and foster friendships with others. Those who work with special needs children in educational settings are passionate about providing their students with the best opportunities to grow as individuals.
Educational opportunities can expand your child’s knowledge of the world around them and teach them how to be active members of today’s society. A few common ways for special needs children to be involved in educational opportunities are:
There are also resources for families who are looking for college-like experiences for loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Some universities offer admission for special needs individuals, while some programs are specifically designed for adults with special needs.
Think College offers resources for families and individuals with special needs who are seeking higher education opportunities. Learn more about institutions accepting students with special needs as well as scholarships and other resources available.
THINK COLLEGE →
Organizations like The Arc offer resources for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Some of the many resources available from Arc include:
You may also find local organizations in your area that offer support and resources for individuals with I/DD and their families. In the Memphis metro area, you can find a variety of resources dedicated to improving the lives of I/DD individuals. Baddour Center, for example, offers a residential community dedicated to providing a safe space where adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can thrive.
We recommend taking a look at local resources in your area to find resources and support for your family. Depending on the size of your community, you may find numerous organizations who offer resources, and you may also find that local churches and other organizations may offer camps, daily activities and more, for adults with I/DD. Thrive Memphis is another local organization which offers activities and educational opportunities for adults with disabilities throughout the week.
Working in the real world allows special needs individuals to feel a part of something bigger than themselves. Serving others will make anyone feel warm on the inside, and those with special needs are no different. In fact, many employers say that special needs workers are some of their best employees. Many businesses are continuing to look for individuals with special needs to join their work force and make their company a better place.
There are a multitude of ways to get your special needs child involved in work opportunities. Finding work opportunities takes time and research, but will pay off in the long run. Most states have a Department of Rehabilitation Services who work with individuals with disabilities who are able and willing to find employment. You can also follow along on social media using the hashtag #NDEAM to learn more about employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
An easy way for anyone to gain work experience is to volunteer when the opportunity presents itself. Volunteering is beneficial, because it teaches individuals to work hard for the sake of helping others. Volunteer opportunities can help your child identify strengths and weaknesses in order to improve for their future.
Part-time jobs are one of the best ways for your special needs children build their experience and work towards a fulfilling future. No matter the individual, part time jobs provide you with the opportunity to learn lessons and gain experience for future jobs.
Many employers have job opportunities available specifically for special needs adults. If you’re interested in part-time job opportunities for special needs adults, ask around your city and find out different locations with open positions! At the Baddour Center, residents can be involved in many opportunities including the Baddour Packaging Center and the Baddour Garden Center.
Everyone has a hobby they enjoy. No matter what that activity may be, special needs individuals can also get involved in a multitude of local opportunities. This will allow them to do something they love while meeting others and building relationships.
If your special needs child is interested in recreational activities, you’re in luck. A few amazing individuals have begun programs and opportunities over the years that allow those with special needs to participate in activities they love. The Special Olympics are a popular event for special needs children and adults to take part in their favorite sports. Some facilities also offer athletic programs specifically for special needs children and adults, such as the Baddour Center.
SPORTS AND RECREATION AT THE BADDOUR CENTER →
For those who are passionate about art, consider getting involved in a local art school or workshop. This allows your child to get their creative juices flowing and express themselves in a way they may not be able to elsewhere. Some of our group activities include going to local shops that host paint nights or pottery stores like Clay Canvas, where Baddour residents can design their own artwork.
Whether it’s singing, dancing, or acting, your special needs child has an opportunity to shine when pursuing their performing arts hobbies. At the Baddour Center, individuals can be active members in the Miracles Choir and/or the Performing and Creative Arts Program.
Other organizations dedicated to offering performing arts opportunities for special needs individuals include the A.B.L.E. program and Company d of Memphis, a nationally recognized dance company of young adults with Down syndrome.
Caring for children and adults with special needs is a job that requires attention to detail and is an immense responsibility. However, it’s rewarding to see these individuals grow and accomplish many of their dreams. Living in a group home allows those with special needs to find opportunities and experience life with others similar to them. Group homes like The Baddour Center have many benefits for you and your special needs child.
Accomplishing a chore or task gives us a sense of independence and satisfaction. Those who live in group homes have the opportunity to work and accomplish small and large goals and chores set just for them. Because every person is different, tasks may be something minor or something large. Housekeeping chores empower individuals to feel confident and independent.
Another advantage of group homes is the ability for individuals to foster friendships with those around them. Nobody enjoys feeling isolated or alone. Group homes work to eliminate loneliness with group activities and opportunities for everyone to interact with one another.
The Baddour Center exists to care for special needs individuals by giving them opportunities to thrive in and outside our group home. Our team works every day to grow each individual into a hardworking member of society, helping them feel hopeful and accomplished. We want parents of special needs children to know that their are a multitude of ways to find hope for your child with special needs.
To learn about what the Baddour Center is all about, read more on our mission, vision, and philosophy. If you’re interested in touring the Baddour Center, contact us today to schedule a tour.