Parent voices: Supporting children with disability – part 1
Children are shaped and influenced by a range of individual, social and environmental factors, all of which go into making the ‘whole child’. Children living with disability experience the same range of emotions as every other child; and their mental health and wellbeing are influenced by the same factors as other children’s.
Parents and professionals might see a child’s social and emotional wellbeing, communication, and behaviour as just an outcome of their disability. But children living with disability can experience positive mental health too. It is important to support children living with disability to express their hopes, preferences, and concerns, just like all children.
We would like to acknowledge and thank our child and family partners, Chris, Lisa and Jacqui for taking the time to share their wisdom and expertise with us.
In this episode you will learn:
- how deeply parents who have children with disability understand their children’s unique needs, how fiercely they love them, and how by listening to and reflecting on their stories, we can learn a great deal about supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children with disability
- how a child-focused approach encourages professionals to focus on the ‘whole child’, including their strengths, hopes and abilities, rather than just their physical and medical needs
- how children’s social and emotional wellbeing can be supported by creating space for them to explore and express aspects of their lives other than disability; and
- how living with disability can provide children with the opportunity to nurture a range of strengths and abilities. These can include positive qualities such as being loving and affectionate, being persistent, and being adaptable, resilient and determined.
Further information and resources:
Understanding child mental health and disability (e-learning course)