Breaking through barriers for workers
who have children with special needs

Welcome to Special Needs and Moving On Projects!

Special Needs & Moving On projectsThe Special Needs and Moving On Projects provide resources and support for workers at the post office whose children have disabilities. The projects are available to members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the Union of Postal Communications Employees (Public Service Alliance of Canada). The Special Needs Project is geared to families with young children; the Moving On Project is for adult sons and daughters with special needs. Life is more demanding when you work and have a child with special needs. Learn more about our Special Needs and Moving On projects.

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STRATEGIES FOR SUPPORTING CHILDREN DURING COVID-19

 ACKNOWLEDGE FEARS & BE REAL

  • Be honest and give age-appropriate information
  • Occasionally be open about your own emotions
  • Help children see it is okay to have feelings AND show them that you can manage them

HELP MANAGE NEWS INTAKE

  • Children look to the adults around them to learn how frightened they should be
  • It’s helpful if adults take in the news and then convey it to children, rather than children viewing news on their own
  • Discuss news in the context of a supportive relationship and in manageable bits
  • Help children learn about credible news sources

BE CURIOUS WITH THEM

  • Ask about what they are hearing and thinking
  • Respond to their questions with facts
  • Use developmentally appropriate language and relatable examples
  • Follow their lead of where their thoughts are going, and help them limit
  • the amount of time spent focusing on them.

YOUR PRESENCE AND ATTENTION ARE KEY

  • Be available for questions or expressions of emotion
  • It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers; your presence can help them tolerate not knowing
  • Find simple activities to keep busy and shift attention when they’re ready

ROUTINE!

  • Participate in regular activities as much as possible
  • Eat, sleep, bathe, and play at regular times that children are used to
  • Help children know what they can do – this builds self-efficacy (this may include chores around the house, creating new things, continuing to play, etc.)

MANAGING ANXIETY AND FEAR DURING COVID-19

Here are some helpful tips for positive coping, using three antidotes to fear and anxiety:
creativity, humour, and curiosity.

CREATIVITY

Activities that draw on our creativity allow our emotions and actions to come together in order to help our emotions move and shift. This can be anything that has a beginning and an end, and allows us to use our senses to create something we enjoy.

                                       EXAMPLES:

  •  crafts
  • cooking
  • baking
  • puzzles
  • building
  • sewing
  • organizing
  • drawing
  • making music
  • scribbling
  • dancing
  • woodworking

 HUMOUR

Spending time with anything that brings you joy – whether it’s through your own activities or enjoying other people’s expressions of joy – relaxes our minds and bodies.

Tell a joke, read a funny book, get silly with your family, or watch a comedy. Finding humour and engaging in joy is a healing activity!

CURIOUSITY

When we are under a lot of stress, it is easy to catastrophize and have fearful thoughts take over. This is part of our mind’s way of trying to protect us by getting ready for anything that might happen. This is when it is important to remember:

DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK!


Some strategies to help us stay curious:

  • Catch the “what-ifs” and worries in your thoughts and label them. They are just thoughts – label them as “anxiety,” “fear,” or “worry.”
  • Use reality checking to sort out which thoughts to listen to, and which ones to let go.

Reality checking steps:

  • Notice and name it: “anxiety,” “fear,” “worry.”
  • Is this true? Even though something is possible, is it probable?
  • What parts do I know are true, and what parts of it might not be true?
  • What steps can I take? What is in my control?

COVID-19 and Special Leave for Child and Elder Care at Canada Post

cupw sttp logoThursday April 9 2020
Canada Post takes its cue from the Federal Government to extend leave provisions for workers beyond the April 10, 2020 deadline. Responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Canada Post is directing supervisors to approve paid Special Leave for postal workers needing to be home with children because of school and child care closures. This also applies to members who have to step in to provide care for elderly parents.

Learn more at cupw/sttp website...

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