Caring for a child with special needs: Strategies for newcomer families

Learning that your child is born with a chronic illness or has special needs can be devastating for all families. But it can be isolating and extremely challenging for newcomer families as they navigate an unfamiliar healthcare system, without their traditional sources of community support. The terminology, diagnosis, treatment options, hospital visits and assessment or therapy appointments can be overwhelming in a new country. Language and cultural barriers may also lead to limited involvement and contribution to decision making leading to helplessness and sometimes a lack of trust in health professionals. Remember, you are not alone and can find the support you need. To help navigate this situation in a new country and manage the family‚Äôs well-being, here are a few strategies that can be shared with families.