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Journal article

Parents with intellectual disability pilot project

Author:
ALEXANDER Angela
Journal article citation:
Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International, 75, Spring 2012, pp.12-20.
Publisher:
National Centre for Disabled Parents

This paper describes a peer support group set up to support parents with intellectual disability in Victoria, Australia. The group, called Totally Awesome Parents (TAP), was established as part of the 2011 Parenting with Intellectual Disability (PWID) pilot project. The project was set up amid concerns over the overrepresentation of families of parents with an intellectual disability in areas such as child protection and out of home care. The key initial aim of the group was to address social isolation and facilitate healthy positive friendships. The weekly sessions are informal, relaxed and fun. Families enjoy sharing morning tea during activities and discussion. The group has become a significant learning environment for parent participants, as well as a community supported project benefiting from enthusiastic volunteer involvement and extensive networking at both a local and global level.  Participant parents report and demonstrate increased confidence and self-esteem, evident by their growing willingness to actively share skills, tell their stories, and take on co-facilitator roles.

Journal article

Spinal injuries parenting master class

Author:
BAILEY Jackie
Journal article citation:
Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International, 75, Spring 2012, pp.21-27.
Publisher:
National Centre for Disabled Parents

Participants at self-advocacy courses run by the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) at spinal injury centres have been requesting further information about parenting. In response, SIA have developed parenting sessions which have been delivered at 6 different spinal injury centres since June 2011. The course helps to explore all of the options available to help with conception and any pre-planning that may be required, coping with pregnancy and childbirth, and the support, aids and equipment that are available to assist parents with a disability. Participants have included couples who have managed to conceive through artificial insemination carried out at home, couples who have started the process of in vitro fertilisation treatment, and staff who work with spinal cord injured clients. Peer support has been an important aspect of the class; participants have been sharing their experiences of fertility, conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and looking after babies and toddlers. Other important components of the course include personal care during pregnancy and making sure that maternity centre staff are informed of issues pertinent to the mother. Over 80% of course participants have felt the course has been of help in increasing their understanding of the issues around becoming a parent following a spinal cord injury.

Journal article

Speaking up for families

Author:
EVANS Reiz
Journal article citation:
Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International, 71, Winter 2010, pp.8-9.
Publisher:
National Centre for Disabled Parents

The advocacy services provided by Advocacy Partners Speaking Up to parents with learning disabilities and mental health needs are discussed. A short case study describes how the service helped a mother with learning disabilities and mental health needs whose child had been placed on a child protection plan.

Journal article

Inclusion and accessibility

Author:
BOX Leandra
Journal article citation:
Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International, 71, Winter 2010, pp.10-11.
Publisher:
National Centre for Disabled Parents

As part of the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities parent programme, resources were developed to meet the needs of parents with learning disabilities. An overview of the project is provided, with information on developing the accessible manual, recommendations to consider when working with parents with learning disabilities and feedback from the parents themselves. The project was developed by the Race Equality Foundation in partnership with learning disability organisation CHANGE.

Journal article

Upholding family rights

Author:
HOPKINS Andrea
Journal article citation:
Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International, 71, Winter 2010, pp.6-7.
Publisher:
National Centre for Disabled Parents

The Family Rights Group provide advice and advocacy services to disabled parents whose children are involved with social services due to child protection concerns. A brief overview of services are provided.

Journal article

Why should my children care?

Author:
DENTON Jay
Journal article citation:
Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International, 72, Spring 2011, pp.8-9.
Publisher:
National Centre for Disabled Parents

A single parent with multiple sclerosis discusses the experiences that led to her two children, Josh and Rebekah, receiving Colchester Youth Awards as Young Carers of the Year.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Working with deaf women

Author:
THOMAS Kim
Journal article citation:
Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International, 70, Autumn 2010, pp.8-9.
Publisher:
National Centre for Disabled Parents

This article discusses the difficulties faced by deaf parents in accessing antenatal support and information. It also examines the experience of National Childbirth Trust (NCT) teachers in adapting their classes for deaf women. It describes how deaf parents often find it more difficult than other parents to join support networks and get the information they need regarding pregnancy, birth and parenting. The article outlines practices that can be employed within a classroom setting to best serve those with hearing impairments, such as providing a British Sign Language interpreter, or making the educator easily visible for those that lip-read. It also highlights how the provision of visual aids and hand-outs can be successful strategy, as can be speaking more clearly for those with less pronounced hearing problems.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Jointly funded care package

Author:
EVERINGTON Shanta
Journal article citation:
Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International, 68, Spring 2010, pp.6-7.
Publisher:
National Centre for Disabled Parents

Charlotte Foulkes, a single parent with arthritis living in London, talks about her experience of social services needs assessments from both adult, and children and families teams. As a disabled parent with a one-year old daughter she has been assessed by both these teams but with mixed results. She describes the consultation process, the delays, the stress, manner and accuracy of some assessments and the way in which she was bounced between services. After being turned down for support by adult services, she contacted Disabled Parents Network and complained. Eventually, the adult team got the children and families team involved which provided a much better experience of assessment with the outcome of a jointly funded direct payment package. Charlotte’s advice to other disabled parents seeking support from social services is not to be afraid of making a complaint; in her case she believes it was the only way that things moved forward.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Concepts of ‘normal’ and ‘natural’

Author:
TOPP Jackie
Journal article citation:
Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International, 65, Spring 2010, pp.14-15.
Publisher:
National Centre for Disabled Parents

Current focus in midwifery examines the concepts of normal and natural pregnancy and childbirth. This article compares two case studies from research with disabled women becoming mothers, exploring the concepts highlighted above. It explores what is normal and natural, and suggests that have a normal or natural experience isn’t just about how much clinical intervention may be experienced. It suggests that for disabled women, normal and natural experiences are reflected in attitudes and understandings about disability, and whether adequate and appropriate maternity support is made available. This includes having their impairments and disabilities acknowledged and managed without prejudice or ignorance.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Joined up family protocol

Author:
GLAZER Sue
Journal article citation:
Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International, 70, Autumn 2010, pp.10-11.
Publisher:
National Centre for Disabled Parents

This article discusses the Adult and Children’s Services Co-ordination (ACCORD) policy, facilitating joint working with families by children and adult social services departments. It describes how, currently, the policy is becoming embedded in practice. The ACCORD protocol is a statement of policy and best practice for joint working to achieve the best outcomes for families affected by parental disability or additional support need. This includes physical disability, long-term illness, learning disability, mental health problems and sensory impairment. In creating ACCORD, the following areas for development in practice were identified: create awareness amongst staff; develop mutual understanding among professionals and their roles and responsibilities; and to develop systems to identify which families fall under ACCORD. The article also gives examples of where ACCORD has been used to work together to promote good outcomes.

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