All parents and carers have times when they long for some peace, but when your child has additional needs it can be particularly hard to find time for yourself.
The extra physical and emotional demands of caring for your child might include frequent hospital or therapy appointments, coping with difficult behaviour, disturbed sleep or anxieties about the future.
Putting yourself first can be hard but, if you don't step back and take a breather from time to time, your health could suffer.
It's really important to take positive steps to keep some balance in your life. After all, a relaxed and happy parent is in a better position to cope - and to have fun and enjoy their child too.
Making sure you don't become isolated will help you maintain your identity outside your role as the parent of a child with special needs.
It's all too easy to lose contact with friends, especially if you feel they are keeping their distance. But often friends want to offer support - they're just not sure how to do it or worried they will say the wrong thing. You may need to make the first move to re-establish contact with them.
Giving yourself something to look forward to - whether it's a weekend away or just a coffee with a friend - will also help you get through tough times.
Short periods of time spent away from your caring role will help you to recharge your batteries and give you some perspective on your situation.
How to make a magic moment
Magic moments can come even when you're feeling tired and stressed. You may be cuddling up together on the sofa reading a book or watching a favourite programme when your child responds in a way they haven't before - perhaps saying a new word or drawing your attention to something.
Really special moments happen when your child reaches a milestone they have struggled hard to achieve. Then you will experience the extra rewards which come with bringing up a child with additional needs.
How CBeebies can help
Programmes like Big City Park, Mr Bloom's Nursery and Green Balloon Club encourage your child to take an interest in the outdoors. Getting out, even if it's just to the local park, helps you both stay healthy and is a great way to relax together. Your child will experience a little more freedom outside the home and by being outdoors you can both make the most of a rich learning environment.
Help your child to enjoy sensory pleasures like the sound of birdsong or the feel and smell of crisp autumn leaves. Or go on an adventure, collecting treasures along the way. Tactile objects like fir cones, feathers and leaves will remind your child of the trip once you get back home.