As adults, it is our privilege and responsibility to teach our children about the world and the way in which it works. Some lessons seem to come more naturally than others. “Don’t touch the hotplate” and “look before you cross the road” balance readily on the tips of our tongues.
“What it’s like to be a parent: it’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but in exchange, it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.” - Nicholas Sparks.
Parenthood is often embraced as one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer, but almost every parent would agree that it is also one of the most challenging. For wheelchair users, raising a family brings an entirely new and unique set of challenges. But, with a little creative thinking and planning, many of these hurdles can be overcome with ease.
Raising a child is a huge and challenging responsibility. When that child has a physical or intellectual disability the challenges can seem even greater. Children with disabilities may have special educational needs, or require specialist equipment or support. Parents or carers of these children may need additional practical and emotional support to help to cope with their child’s demands.
Getting to know families in similar situations can provide an important support network, enabling parents and carers to share help and advice and to lend an understanding ear when discussing the unique challenges of their situation.
The thought of motherhood can leave any first time parent overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety, anticipation, and overwhelming joy. Raising a child is one of the most difficult and rewarding journeys in life, but for women with disabilities maternity can be even more complex.
Playing is a fundamental part of a child’s life. In addition to being enjoyable, it is a necessary element of learning. In the case of children with disabilities, adapted toys are a particularly important resource that helps build self-esteem, fostering the development of the child’s capabilities.