16 Ways to Help the Caregiver of a Child with Special Needs 

Written with insight from ChildServe’s Family Advisory Council

Have you ever wondered how to support your family member or friend who is a caregiver of a child with special needs?

Sometimes being there for someone is the hardest thing to do. Caregivers often find it hard to ask for help or simply don’t have time to during the hustle and bustle of caring for their child and/or the rest of their family. Whether parents have just received a new diagnosis for their child, or their child is recovering after a traumatic accident or major surgery, emotions and stress can run high, and these day-to-day mental and physical battles do not stop after the first year.

Members of ChildServe’s Family Advisory Council know what it’s like to navigate each day as a caregiver of a child with special needs. They know how the fast pace of life can often drain caregivers from knowing what kind of help to ask for and finding the time to ask. Everyone could use help, and even the smallest gift of time or support can go a long way. Check out the 16 ways ChildServe’s Family Advisory Council suggests to help a parent or caregiver of a child with special needs.

16 Ways to Help the Caregiver of a Child with Special Needs 

Having trouble knowing where to start? Every family’s needs are unique and can change day by day. Start with offering a few of these ideas and let the caregiver choose what would support them best.

1. Sending a gift card (Gas, Groceries, Ice Cream).

2. Cleaning the house.

3. Dropping off a coffee to start the day. 

4. Providing a meal.

5. Walking the dog or caring for a pet.

6. Mowing the lawn or moving snow.

7. Running to the grocery store.

8. Helping with a house project.

9. Taking other siblings to school or activities.

10. Tackling the laundry.

11. Receive training to be a Respite Providerview a list of our respite roles.

12. Sending a text or giving a call.

13. Dropping off a care package.

14. Asking about their child’s interests in school or goals in therapy.

15. Taking the time to sit and listen to how they are doing.

16. Creating activities that would work best for their child to participate.

Sometimes a break from the day-to-day care involved in raising a child with special needs can make all the difference. In order to be the best versions of ourselves, oftentimes a little break can do just the trick!

ChildServe’s respite service allows caregivers to attend events for their other children, schedule appointments for themselves, or simply take time to recharge. Meanwhile, our caretakers help kids safely do the things they love in individual or group settings. We offer many types of respite care that can take place in the comfort of the family’s home, in the community, or even in a group setting. All options provide children with safe, quality care while families recharge.

Learn more about ChildServe’s respite services.

Looking for support for the sibling of a child with special healthcare needs? View our 7 Ways to Support Siblings of Children with Special Healthcare Needs blog post.


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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