Director of the University of Queensland’s Parenting and Family Support Centre and founder of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, Professor Matt Sanders said today the emotional toll of parenting children with disabilities should be recognised during this week’s National Carers Week (October 14 to 20).
Professor Sanders said children with disabilities are three to four times more likely to experience emotional and behavioural problems compared to typically developing children, which significantly impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of parents and caregivers.
“While an estimated 20 per cent of adults experience depression at some point in their lives, a recent Swedish study found this figure climbs to 50 per cent in parents who have children with autism and an intellectual disability,” Professor Sanders said.
“This is a clear sign people caring for children with disabilities need more support.”
Professor Sanders has urged parents, caregivers and professionals to take part in an important survey released last week as part of a pioneering five-year research project.
The survey can be accessed at www.mysay.org.au
The Triple P Stepping Stones project will see thousands of parents and caregivers of children with disabilities (aged 2 to 12) in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales provided with free parenting support.
Professionals can also apply to receive free Stepping Stones training.
Media Contact: Rachel Stewart, Communications Coordinator, 0408 130767, 07 3226 8517 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Interviews and/or photographic opportunities available with:
• Professor Matt Sanders, Founder, Triple P – Positive Parenting Program; Director of UQ Parent & Family Support Centre, lead UQ researcher on Stepping Stones Triple P project
• Parents of children with a disability
• Professionals working with children with disabilities