Adapt to having a child with a disability

Having a child with a disability often involves an adjustment period. Parents might need time to come to terms with their child’s condition, to find a balance between the demands of parenting and the resources they have to cope, and to put energy into staying optimistic about the future.


Acknowledge feelings of grief or loss if you need to. It’s a natural reaction. Some parents find it helpful to talk about their grief with others.


Decrease demands and things that cause stress. Set up daily routines and say no to things that are going to make you feel more stressed.


Look after yourself. Stay physically healthy, share the workload by getting the whole family to help out. If you can, get support from disability or volunteer agencies. And spend quality time with your family. It’s important to go on special outings together and keep communication open and honest.


Focus on what makes your child unique and special, rather than focusing on what they cannot do – or on their disability.


Take pleasure in your child’s (and your own) achievements – however small.

Stepping Stones Triple P’s Seven Steps to Positive Parenting

“Adapt to having a child with a disability” is one of Stepping Stones Triple P’s seven steps to positive parenting. Find out about the others and how they can make parenting easier. Here are some hot parenting topics to get you thinking about how to adapt to having a child with a disability:

You may expect too much of yourself

Positive parenting’s fifth step is to be realistic

Want to meet other parents like you?

Sign up for a Seminar or Group Stepping Stones course