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Doctor’s appointments, therapies, school, work, treatments at home, taking care of the house, and so on, all take up large amounts of the parent’s time.
So remember when you’re on a date that he or she has taken time away from all of that to spend it with you. Your partner may need to cancel at the last minute or alter your plans to deal with a babysitter that didn’t show, a sick child, or any number of other situations that might arise.
Typical children and children with disabilities are often very different and require different methods of discipline.
If you are not comfortable with this or if you are bothered by the thought of dealing with this or dealing with the attention it may bring, consider that perhaps dating someone with a special needs child is not for you. Sometimes to prove that the idea of a special needs child doesn’t bother them, people will push to meet the child. As parents, we understand our children’s conditions and limitations better than you do, and we know our children best.Wanting to find a partner to share that with, to find someone who will love you and be there and make you laugh, isn’t unreasonable. According to National Center For Education Statistics, there were over 6.6 million students between the ages of 3–21 receiving special education services in 2014–15.Add in children who aren’t yet of school age, homeschooled, undiagnosed, or otherwise are not included in that number, and it’s easy to see that meeting someone who has a special needs child is a real possibility. There are a few things to keep in mind if you are dating someone that has a child with special needs.Appreciate the time they give you, even if it’s not when or as much as you’d like. Be understanding if he or she calls you, whether a few days or a few minutes before your date, to cancel. If you are a single person with no children and have never dated a person with children before, you may be used to calling up your partner at 8 pm on a Friday night to go out to dinner. But when you have children, you can’t go out at the last minute — in fact, by 8 pm on Friday, a single parent has probably already eaten and is looking forward to bed soon.Plan dates in advance — give a parent with a special needs child at least 3–4 days notice.
It’s hard enough for the parent, but what if you’re interested in dating someone who happens to have a disabled child? It’s also essential that you not ignore or try to avoid their child or the topic of their child. For most single parents, time is a limited commodity.