The United Nations has established December 3rd as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This international observance was established to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being within this population. Disabilities recognized as part of this observance include, but are not limited to: physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment, mental illness, and various types of chronic disease.
As we enter December, we look to celebrate those who are differently abled and the ones who support them. Caring for loved ones comes with a slew of everyday challenges, which has been exacerbated by obstacles imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges can be especially hard to navigate as a parent or caregiver to children with disabilities.
UNESCO has put together a guide that breaks down the different aspects of taking care of children with disabilities. Some of the topics discussed include:
- Stress associated with physical distancing
- Hygiene and cleanliness
- Eating habits and exercise routines
- Responsibilities and duties
- Emotional and behavioral problems
- Psychological, physiological and emotional well-being of caregivers
This guide can serve as a helping hand during these tough times. This month, take the time to reflect on the ways we can all recognize, support, and integrate those who are differently abled in our everyday lives. Abilities lie on a spectrum, with everyone having their own unique strengths, challenges, and growth edges.