Disabilities refer to both physical and mental conditions that affect a person’s ability to perform typical functions. Some individuals are born with disabilities, such as autism or Down’s syndrome. Others become disabled as a result of accidents. For example, head trauma can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) which can affect your memory and cognitive skills. It’s also common for people to develop some more common disabilities as they age, such as hearing loss, mobility issues, and visual impairments.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25% of American adults have a disability that affects how they live and function. Raising children while managing a disability can be challenging, but there are resources and strategies that you can use to care for yourself and your family.
Use Medical Devices
Medical devices can restore functions affected by your disability or help mitigate the impact of your disability. Standard medical devices for eyesight impairments include eyeglasses and contact lenses. According to a 2013 CBS article, over 60% of the population uses these devices to compensate for visual impairments.
If you suffer from hearing loss, you can see an audiologist to determine whether devices such as Starkey hearing aids can restore your hearing. These hearing aids come in a range of designs, so you can opt for hearing aids that fit over your ear or sit inside your ear or ear canal. If you only have hearing loss in one ear, you can get a customized hearing aid for that specific ear. Starkey also offers hearing aids for patients with tinnitus. These hearing aids can interact with technology, stream music and phone calls, and restore hearing for some individuals with severe hearing loss.
Enroll in community habilitation programs or other services designed to help people with your disability learn skills and coping strategies. Stephen Hawking became a theoretical physicist and did not let ALS prevent him from authoring books and conducting lectures. Franklin D. Roosevelt lived with polio and was forced to use a wheelchair but went on to be elected President of the United States. Identify and develop your strengths. Focus on using your talents to build a career, adapt to your personal needs, and raise your family.
If you have a disability and are raising young children, it’s essential to understand that all parents face challenges. You may go through periods where sleep loss affects your ability to function. There may also be times when your children are frustrating you. Accept assistance from friends and family who can care for your children while you take a break. You can also hire a regular babysitter or use a childcare program to ensure you have time to work, attend medical appointments, and complete household chores.
As you age, you may develop disabilities and need to be cared for by your adult child. Work with your child to determine the best way to provide for your needs. Please encourage them to allow you to perform tasks you’re capable of, but wait for assistance when you need assistance. You can prevent injuries to yourself and your child by using assistive devices and getting help from your child or staff.
Explore Treatment Options
Medical professionals can effectively treat some disabilities just like it’s possible to restore vision with ocular surgery. In some cases, cochlear implants or surgery can reverse hearing loss. These medical treatments can improve your ability to perform regular tasks and increase your safety. If you’re raising children, you will be able to use your senses to keep them safe. If you’re older, you may be able to continue living independently and be able to delay moving to live with your adult child.
Treatment from other medical professionals may help you restore functions. Speech-language pathologists work with individuals who have speech impediments and teach them how to communicate clearly. You may benefit from working with a speech-language pathologist if you have suffered from a stroke. Speech-language pathologists can work with you to restore your language skills and teach you how to safely eat and drink if you have been affected by partial paralysis. Physical therapists are trained to work with individuals who have mobility issues by developing exercise plans to relieve pain and increase movement.
In some cases, people can restore their range of motion after suffering from an accident or illness. Occupational therapists help individuals with disabilities learn to complete routine tasks, such as buttoning shirts or tying shoelaces. They also use exercises to help patients strengthen their muscles and sharpen their motor skills. Occupational therapists and physical therapists may also teach you how to use assistive devices to make it easier when performing certain tasks.