Sometimes when life doesn't follow an expected, mainstream, non-disabled path it can make you feel isolated and like you're the only one going through certain emotions and experiences
A report into the emotional impact of parenting a disabled child
By Joanna GriffinChartered Counselling Psychologist
Extract from Findings:
Mostparents reported some negative emotions with regards to having a disabled child. These included: Anxiety, stress or worry;feeling depressedor down;helplessness& frustration;anger;guilt; grief and loss;chronic sorrow and trauma. There was also jealousy of ‘typicalfamilies’, confusion, fear of the futureand concerns about the impact on the wider family.The reasons for this were multifaceted and included: isolation, inaccessibility of services and activities as well as lack of support and understanding fromsociety. The practical and the emotional factors overlapped and were bi-directional. Many parents also reported a positive impact, stating that they had:grown as a person;put life into perspective andappreciatedwhatwas really important;greater expertise, mastery, knowledge &awareness;madenew friends who truly understoodthem; moredetermination, fight &strength as well asenjoymentand pridein theirchild.Somereported that it had made them ‘a better person’ with greater understanding and empathy.Around half the respondents referred to hope and having a sense of purpose.A recurrent theme was that there were positive and negative responses, often within the same day, dependent on external factors; ‘it’s a rollercoaster’
From the website’s home page:
This website signposts to emotional support for parents and carers of children with special needs. Many parents of disabled children or children with special needs face additional associated challenges in practical, physical and emotional terms. Sometimes when life doesn't follow an expected, mainstream, non-disabled path it can make you feel isolated and like you're the only one going through certain emotions and experiences.
The aim of these pages is to provide a virtual home for parents and carers to realise you are not alone. There are many other families also going through similar experiences and feeling similar complex emotions. Some of the thoughts and experiences of other families are included under words of wisdom.