Homesteading and Special Needs
Something that has been on my heart lately is how grateful I am for the lifestyle we’ve chose and how it’s a perfect fit for our family. While we didn’t always feel like we had a choice in the decisions we had to make that led us here we still feel like this is the best way for our little family to grow up.
Something I rarely talk about on the blog is the fact that our son is special needs and how that effects our day to day lives as modern homesteaders. I’ve mentioned in passing some of his medical issues and allergies but in reality we deal with quite a bit more on a daily basis. Why haven’t we talked about it? Well, other moms of special needs little ones can understand this, it’s not something you talk about all the time because you don’t think of your child that way. I see our son has the sweet, gentle and loving soul that he is. I know the challenges are there and we never pretend that they don’t exist, we just see him for the personality that defines him and not the disabilities that trouble him.
With homesteading I think there are so many qualities that can help special needs children thrive (depending on the needs of course) and today I wanted to share those with you. Here are some things that we are thankful for in this lifestyle and how they benefit our family. Of course I’m not an expert in special needs but I am a mom that knows what’s best for my child and our family.
Homesteading provides a laid back sensory experience.
We struggle daily with simple sensory issues. It’s improved some with therapy but that doesn’t fix everything. With homesteading we are able to have many different sensory experiences (outdoors, animals, nature, cooking, ect) in a calm and quiet environment. We can approach many different things that might otherwise be scary or overwhelming in a peaceful and safe environment.
Our home is a haven.
Now matter what goes on with our day, since we live and believe in the simple life, our home is a relaxing haven at the end of the day. We try and keep it neat and organized so things can be easily found and don’t cause extra stress. Plus with our minimalistic lifestyle we don’t get overwhelmed with tons of material things and toys around the home.
We are set up to teach life skills.
I think most special needs parents will agree with me when I say that one of the hardest but yet most important things for our children to learn is life skills. Everything from cleaning to cooking to getting dressed and washing clothes. Since we practice life skills on a daily basis at our homestead because of our lifestyle, it’s much easier for our children to pick up on those things and learnt to do them themselves. Our little one might be young but he still wants to cook and clean with mama because she’s doing it and he wants to copy her. If I were to grab takeout every night he wouldn’t be watching me and learning those valuable skills that will help him so much later in life.
We save stress by not having to shop at the store as often.
Going to the store is a battle for us. Between harsh lighting and crowds it’s the recipe for a sensory meltdown. With our homesteading lifestyle we make more things that we might buy at the store at home and we try and grow as much food as possible which means less trips to the store! Not that we avoid all people and crowds, but the less trips to the more hectic places like the store, the better.
Of course, these are just the ways that homesteading has benefited our specific special needs but it’s more than enough to convince me that this is the lifestyle we are supposed to be in.
What about you? If you are a modern homesteader and a parent to a special needs child, what are some ways that it has benefited you?