First of all, thank you for joining me on my first “series” blog project! I might have to try this again….it helped me focus and plan out my thoughts a little more. Something which my hubby is always trying to get me to do lol.
So for our last part…how you can help! A lot of people feel like the only way to help are in big…life changing ways. Because of this, often people feel like there is nothing they can do to help out a friend who is raising a special needs child. But remember, when life seems hectic and out of hand, it’s the small things that make the most impact.
So here are a few ideas you can use when helping out a friend in the special needs community.
- Provide a meal. You have no idea how amazing it feels to receive a meal from a friend when life seems out of control. When a family has a full day of appointments, therapies or hospital visits, coming home and planning dinner is the last thing they want to do. Providing a meal takes one task off their plate and allows them a chance to relax a little. Not someone who cooks? That’s ok! Fast food, pizza or even a gift card is perfect too!
- Drop off a coffee or soda. I don’t drink coffee, but I have heard from other mamas in the DS community who microwave their morning coffee multiple times before they have a chance to sit and drink it. I’ve poured myself a glass of soda and by the time I got a chance to drink, the ice has melted and its watered down. Bringing a friend a nice beverage is the perfect way to show them that you were thinking about them and figured they needed a pick me up.
- Put a sweet note in the mail. Words of encouragement can take a bad day and make it bright again. When we received Peanut’s ASD diagnosis, I fell into a funk. However, I was bombarded with words of encouragement from dear friends and it honestly pushed me out of my pity party. With their support I felt rejuvenated, and that I would have the strength to deal with whatever comes our way. Peanut is part of an online special needs group. We mail each other out cards and goodies to brighten the families day. Each sweet mail she gets warms my heart. The fact that someone took time out of their day, wrote a sweet note (Who writes anymore!) and took the extra time to mail it out…that’s huge!! I keep each card I receive and cherish them! Even if you can’t mail something out, a text or email goes a long way! Just something that can let a family know you are thinking about them.
- Purchase diapers, wipes or even baby food. Now, this is something you probably can’t offer to do…you might just have to do it. I know when people have offered us, I tell them not to worry about it. When a newborn comes into the world, the family is showered with diapers and wipes, things that they will need constantly daily. Many children with special needs wear diapers well into their elementary age. Some even as adults. Now, there are programs that do help with this need, however, they are very hard to get into and most of the time they add more stress and appointments to the family. But these items get expensive and they are needed daily. Purchasing a small amount to help a family would go a long way. Juan and I buy our boxes at Costco and at first, we were worried she would outgrow them but she has worn the same size for the last year. So diapers always help.
- Baked goods always make someone smile 🙂 I LOVE pretty much every baked goodie known to man. However, when I bake them myself, I usually don’t really eat them. But when someone takes the time to bake me something, it tastes even better. I have a friend who makes the BEST Spiced Sugar cookies, (she won’t share the recipe so I have to ask her to make them lol) last summer she was leaving for a few months, so she baked a whole bunch for me to freeze. That way I could have a sweet treat whenever I needed it. Can’t bake? That’s ok! Even a package of Chips Ahoy can hit the spot! No one can be upset when they eat a cookie or cupcake right?
I’m sure there are a ton of other things that you can think of. From experience, we’ve had a few meals provided, been handed cash while shopping for diapers at Costco, we’ve received unexpected presents for Peanut. And even something as huge as our family car…it was given to us when Peanut first entered our lives because we didn’t have a vehicle big enough for our whole family. From big acts to small words of encouragement, each special gift someone has shared with us has touched our heart.
So now I want to know your ideas! What special things have you done for others? Or better yet, what special acts have been done for you? Please share them in the comments or message me. I’d love to hear how your family has been blessed!!