Understanding the Emotions of a Special Needs Caregiver

(May 2012 – 60 min)

As you begin to explore the possibility that your client may be a primary caregiver of a family member with special needs, it is important to understand the emotions they are experiencing in order to authentically connect with them. This can be a difficult task, especially if you do not have any personal experience to draw from. Knowing more about the person with a disability is critical in this step of engaging with your client. If your client is caring for a spouse who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease or a similar cognitive or neurological disorder, it is likely your client, the caregiver, is worried about how this new diagnosis has changed their vision of the future. These emotions are very different than a client who is caring for a child who has autism, Down Syndrome, or other developmental disability. In this situation your client is worried about what will happen to their child when the parents are gone.