Have you had this happen? Someone you know comes to you and starts telling you about either a family member or a close friend, who has a child who they just found out has a special need? Sometimes it is maybe the same special need as you have been dealing with or maybe it is something different. Whatever it is, they have the look. The, I really want to help look that says they care for the person they have told you about, but I have no idea how to help? While I want to tell them many things, if I tell them too many things I will overwhelm them. So I was thinking, what are the best two things I can tell them about helping?
The first is, while this is a critical time for their loved one, it is not going to be over tomorrow. Yes some special needs can be fixed with surgery, and possibly be treated with medication, but even these solutions involve a long process of finding the right physician ect.. It is very similar to disaster. While immediate help is great, a year from now there will still be needs. After the casserole's stop coming and the church stops asking how they can help, they are still going to need you. It typically takes about two years in our town to get all the therapies and services in place. I don't know how long it takes everywhere else but I know it doesn't happen over night. They need you now, but they are also going to need you in the future, don't stop helping, don't forget just because when you ask they say everything is fine.
Second, it is going to be hard for them to tell you exactly how to help. Their mind will be taken up with diagnosis and specialists. When you ask how you can help they may not be able to give you a straight answer. Calling and telling them you are bringing dinner, or watch the kids for them while they go to the grocery store or out to dinner is huge!
I think these two things can make a big difference for their loved one. I don't think they are the most important things you can do. Consistently praying for them and their family will make a big difference. Doing these things will make a difference for you and the ones you care for.