Support for parents
Being a parent is a challenging role, and finding out your child has a disability can be a difficult adjustment. As a parent, you need support to help you as well.
Be sure to link with disability support groups. They can be a great place to gather information and tips from other families and to make friends with others in similar situations.
- Some support groups are made up of families with children with particular conditions (e.g. Down syndrome, cerebral palsy).
- MyTime groups provide local support for anyone caring for a child under school age with a disability or chronic medical condition. Each group has a facilitator to support parents and carers and a play assistant to be with children attending the group.
Internet forums and discussion groups help you make contact with other parents in similar situations. Even if you are ‘chatting' with someone on the other side of the world—where services, community and support may be very different—sharing personal experiences can still be helpful.
If you have other children, check if there is a sibling support group in your area—or online forums for brothers and sisters of children with a disability. The Raising Children Network and Association for Children with a Disability are good places to start.
Also consider extending your social network beyond disability support groups. Use your local resources to widen your circle of friends and people who may care and support you and your family in the community.