Do you as an adult have a disability? Are you a parent? Do you care for a child with a disability? In today’s reading I would like to shed light and share my personal experience being a disabled single mother. It can be a juggling act to balance our challenges with our disabilities and raising a family.
There are a few different categories to family and disability. What do I mean, you ask? There are families where the child is disabled and the parent is not. There are families just the opposite, where the parent struggles with a disability but the children are abled bodied.
I would like to explore two types of dynamics. Both situations can be challenging, especially when it comes to balancing family and a disability. a lot of people think that a person who has a disability that they can not work, this is simply not true. There are some disabled adults that are more than capable of working and doing tasks that abled-bodied parents can do.
One must realize that not every disability, especially, in the cerebral palsy world is not equally the same. Not one of us is identically the same. After I raised my children, I attended college and worked in the health care field. Even though I raised two abled bodied boys, they to have struggled with learning disabilities. And I was born with cp as you know.
There is always an impact on the family when a family member is disabled. Example: I not only have cp, but also, a seizure disorder. I felt I had to educate my boys on what to do if I had a seizure at a very young age. so I started them both out in head start and teaching them phone numbers they needed to know to get help. Needless to say they had to grow up way to soon. However I made it a goal, to make their childhood as normal as possible.
How does the disability effect your family dynamics? How does the disability effect siblings? As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise children. ” It takes a very strong support system to parent a disabled or abled-bodied child, and keep in mind everybody needs someone. No one, parents, caregivers, children no one should feel nor be alone. Sad but true there are those out there that feel exactly that way, alone.
Reality is whether you are caring for, parenting a disabled child, it takes a toll mentally, physically and emotionally. Stress has a strange effect on people which can cause anxiety, depression, loneliness, in some cases it can lead to mental health issues. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5559994/
Not only does these issues have a profound impact on adults, but they have a impact on children as well. We all know as parents that raising a child disabled or not can be a challenge, however, it is not impossible. Its especially hard when one does not have a support system and has to go it alone. Such as a single family home. However there is hope and resources out there that one can get support and help from. There are programs that have been created to provide assistance with caregiving, respite, support to help with both children with disabilities as well as adults with disabilities. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4780669/
Do not be afraid to reach out for help. These programs were made to help those who need it. Happy reading everyone!