Parenting a child with a disability: Essential ingredients for well-being in the early years – highlighting the experiences of parents of children with disabilities
A report compiled by Dr Anne Emerson, School of Education, University of Nottingham was launched at the University of Nottingham on Wednesday 12 October 2016. The event reported on recent research with mothers who attend School for Parents regarding the support they received from statutory services and why they chose to attend an alternative provision.
Dr Emerson’s research concluded that parents found that having a child with a disability is life changing. The impact, particularly when the child has health complications, can be akin to trauma, triggering feelings of intense fear or helplessness. Whilst every family’s circumstances are different, there is a common journey – tackling health issues, trying to get a diagnosis, dealing with an exhausting and isolating number of appointments, finding time for family, and only then beginning to think about education and development.
“I think prior to coming to School for Parents the only contact I ever had with the outside world was going to appointments.” Parent
The setting provided an opportunity to discuss the findings and ways in which support for children and families can be improved in the future. The model of service delivery offered by School for Parents is suggested for consideration by statutory service providers and a plea is made for professionals to routinely inform parents about what they could gain by attending the service.
With grateful thanks to the Heart of Experian Charity Fund for supporting research costs.
For more information email School for Parents Manager, Nathalie Bailey-Flitter [email protected] or call 0115 958 6641
Or contact Dr Anne Emerson, Associate Professor Special and Inclusive Education [email protected]