Supporting parent carers - A paper by Joanna Griffin on emotional wellbeing in parents of disabled children

'...professionals need to avoid making assumptions about parental responses to their child’s diagnosis and remain open to the individual’s experience.'

Extract: "We imagine our children before they are born, yet nothing fully prepares us for the realities of parenthood. Any parent takes time to adapt, and the path may be filled with greater obstacles if our child is disabled. When my son was born I thought that being a psychologist would help me understand not only his complex needs but also the system in which we suddenly became embroiled. Unfortunately, I’m not sure it was necessarily the case. It may have even added to the pressure I placed on myself to manage the many conflicting demands.   

"I was also surprised at how, despite the plethora of professionals who appeared in our life, there was little acknowledgement of the emotional impact on the family as a whole. This is echoed by other parents I’ve spoken to and I’m unsure whether this is due to a lack of awareness, fear of raising a potentially difficult topic or something else...."

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