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This module has stressed the importance of children's views. However, children also
live in families, so it is important to understand the impact that children with complex
disabilities can have on the quality of family life.
Listen to Ruth, Emma's mother, talking about the impact on family life of having
a child with complex needs.
Beresford's (1995) research in Britain shows that children with complex difficulties
require much greater access to resources in terms of:
These resources are much greater than those required by an ordinary child. Beresford
found that it is the chronic and long-term aspect of care and dependency that many
parents find wearing.
a family safety net
In 2004, the same pattern emerged from 'No time for us', a survey
of 2,000 parents by Contact a Family. The report highlighted a range of
issues including problems in relationships, stress, depression (with a majority
of 76%) and financial difficulties. As a result of this survey, the charity
decided to focus on:
Doing more to support parents in work.
Tackling family poverty.
Tackling housing problems.
Addressing the emotional needs of parents and the wider family
For a greater understanding of the emotional impact on the family, see
the module Talking to Families; Listening to Families.
Watch the video of Emma's mother talking about the impact of Emma being diagnosed
and the first few years post-diagnosis.
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