Supporting parents of children with Disability
Being a parent can be challenging and rewarding in equal measure. However, when there are concerns about your child’s development, this can cause additional anxiety and for some, a feeling of being overwhelmed. Families of children with additional needs often experience a range of emotions including grief, guilt, coping with the reactions of family, friends and the wider community and battling prejudice and misunderstandings. Being part of a community that really ‘gets you’ can help in navigating these emotions and provide the support you need.
You are not on your own
Meeting with others who are on a similar journey can help you to alleviate those feelings, come to terms with your child’s diagnosis and move forward in supporting your child. Having a safe place to share your experience can be a great support, both emotional and practical, while also providing a way to find solutions to problems and share information on local resources and support services. Parent support groups like MyTime are facilitated by educators or therapists who have experience working with children with disabilities or developmental delays and their families and who understand the various emotions that a diagnosis can bring. By looking after yourself and talking about your thoughts, feelings and concerns, this can help you to feel better equipped to support your child and family.
A supportive environment for your child
A supported playgroup also provides a safe space for your child where everyone understands the additional challenges your child may face in learning and getting along with others. While you get the support that you need, experienced educators and therapists help your child learn how to play and develop friendships by supporting their social-emotional development, communication skills and physical development.
EarlyEd runs MyTime groups at Forestville (Wednesday mornings) and have recently introduced MyTime in Kellyville (Tuesday mornings) in partnership with Hills Community Aid. MyTime supports parents and carers of children with a disability or chronic medical condition. It’s a place where you can have some YOU time, where qualified staff and volunteers play with your child while you relax, meet other parents, share your experiences, and learn from one another. The emphasis of the group is on parents and carers and the issues that impact them, especially self-care. By taking charge of your wellbeing you are investing in the welfare of your child. There are also opportunities to chat with professionals from EarlyEd about your child, and they can help you work out how to best support your child in his or her development.
The families who attend MyTime include some wonderful grandparents, and it is a very friendly and welcoming group. They have formed a very supportive community where the progress of every child is celebrated and every parent, grandparent or carer is valued.
Find out more and contact us a join a group today.