Transitions are critical points of major upheaval for all families. Living internationally can add an extra element of stress beyond the typical pressures families face during life changes.
Families raising a child with special needs while living internationally face an incredible challenge. Not only are they navigating another culture, and all of the transitions and adjustments associated with that, they also are caring for a child that requires extra support.
If it’s the first time your family has lived in another culture, you likely have much to look forward to as you step into this new adventure. But that adventure will also be a challenging time of adjustment. Your family will face a lot of changes — in culture, housing, relationships, school, language, food, currency, and more.
Families moving to a new country will encounter new cultures. Some of those cultures are indigenous to the new country, and some are foreign to the new country, especially those within the international community. Some of the cultures will be localized to a community such as an international school or workplace.
If your child struggles with the learning process, you’ve probably wanted to know more about how your child learns and how to help them. Perhaps it’s difficult to communicate your concerns with teachers or to advocate for your child. The information you are looking for, which summarizes your child’s skills and behavior, is found in a learning profile.
For families living internationally, short-lived stressors such as moving or changing schools are a familiar challenge. But when temporary difficulties turn into long-term hardships, families have to contend with a much greater level of stress.
If your child seems to have physical, social, or emotional barriers to normal play or learning, you may need the help of an occupational therapist (OT).
If you are experiencing a major transition as an internationally mobile family, a seminar or coaching session may be helpful.
Sometimes families need to reach out for help. Whether you’re dealing with a crisis or facing the challenging aspects of living in another culture, counseling or coaching is a good option to support your family.
Sometimes asking for professional help is the best way to determine your child’s needs and how to meet them in your setting.
Finding the best academic environment, among the numerous options around the world, is vital for a child with special needs. A successful transition for your child is often the foundation for a successful move internationally.
What do you do when the educational options available to you do not have structured or intentional support for kids with special needs?