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Balancing Special Needs and other kids ?


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I've got a child with special needs--autism spectrum, ADHD, OCD (new...looks here to stay), and very likely some learning disabilities along with some serious health issues/medical needs. I've got another child who is neurotypical. They are fraternal twins.


I'm struggling with balancing needs. If I spend time addressing or trying to remediate as best we can the struggler's special needs I have to limit what I can do with with the neurotypical child educationally. It doesn't seem fair/balanced yet I've got serious concerns about special needs child's ability to function in the world as he ages. He's about half way to 18 now and as he ages the differences just seem bigger and bigger. I'm feeling really stressed by that. I'm starting to feel I need to really prioritize time for working on the weak stuff for him.


How do you balance special needs and other kids?

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I have fraternal twins also, turning 4 in November. I also have a 7-year-old son.


My little son has got some issues, right now it is very unclear what they are. Something along the lines of autism or a speech delay. We have only just started getting him screened etc. but it looks like he is going to qualify for special needs pre-school. My little daughter is going to church pre-school.


So, I am splitting them up. I do not even really think of them as twins anymore. For all intents and purposes my daughter is older.


So far I have not had too much trouble with dividing up my time and attention, but I think that is because they are young. My older son is in public school, so the times right after school, and his bedtime, are his special times. He also does one activity (currently soccer). He does not need more than one activity on top of school. (There is also a chunk of time set aside to work on his reading, which I am afterschooling, but that is going pretty well lately .)


I am at a point right now where I am seeing I need to do more (seek services etc) for my little son, and so that is where I think I need to focus. My other two kids are doing very well.


I was raised very closely with my first cousin who has Aspergers. He is not able to live independently at this time -- and it is okay. I like him, my husband likes him, my kids like him. If he needed to live with us it would be okay with me. But my older sister is going to be his guardian.


My cousin can do a lot of things, just a few things keep him from being able to live independently (money, knowing how to keep up with things, some judgment things). He does not need full-time supervision.


So for the future I have hope my son can do that well or close to that well. It is not what I would make as a goal or dream, but my cousin is doing pretty well. He has ups and downs at times, but he is a good person and attends church, and that is no small thing.


It is still very early in this for my kids, though.

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This is a tough one. I recently started a thread about deciding who to homeschool and who to send to public school because I was that overwhelmed. (Currently all neuro-typical children, even the one I HSed last year, are at PS by their choice and my youngest who has serious issues is at home.)


In regular life dh and I often split up so that the NT kids can have some time away from their brother and get to do fun things he can't handle right now. We also try to do individual times away with each of the NT children because my youngest takes up 80-90% of the attention due to medical and behavioral issues.


I wish you well on finding your balance.

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This is a really tough thing to do. When they were both in martial arts for a few months my NT kid quickly surpassed my older SN child and it was so frustrating for the older child. There was already a shortage of time and energy and money and then having it seem always like a battle caused me to just give up on the activities for a while (about 2 years). During that time I focused on getting my SN child into a social skills group and getting him a formal dx. I also spent alot of time getting both children up to par academically.


Now that we've moved I'm struggling to right the balance. I have my oldest seeing a therapist and we are looking for an activity that would be appropriate for him. We are all in a co-op and getting out of the house more and, in addition, I have put my younger two boys into karate. They are getting out alot more. The social is a bit hard on me and is very challenging balancing the time needs vs the level of academics I was getting before.

I've decided for this period we will get the basics in school and allow alot more time to get into social and activities especially for the younger boys.


I feel like this is one of those areas that will constantly be fluctuating to meet the needs of the family.

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