It comes as no surprise that parents are feeling stressed, and when you have a child with a disability you can multiply that stress by 10! It is hard to find the time you need to take care of your family, never mind carving out time for yourself. So how do we cope?
On July 21, The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published a study that looked at ways to reduce the stress for mothers of children with disabilities. Elisabeth M. Dykens of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development and her colleagues took a total of 243 mothers of children with disabilities and invited them to six weeks of group treatments in an hour of a half weekly sessions. These group treatments were lead by trained peer mentors.
The mothers were assessed before, during and up to six months after. The baseline showed that 85% of the mothers had significantly elevated stress, 48% were clinically depressed, and 41% had anxiety disorders. After attending the peer-lead groups the mothers experienced less stress, anxiety and depression while reporting better sleep and life satisfaction.
Although more research needs to be conducted, it is showing that peer support can make a big difference in the stress level and overall lifestyle for mothers of children with disabilities.
Family Connection of South Carolina is proud to offer our families, mothers and fathers, an opportunity to come together during our Parent Groups. At a Parent Group, you often find dynamic presenters talking about the most relevant and critical concerns of parents who have children with disabilities. Parents learn from each other, support each other and share information
If you would like more information about what is going on in your area check out our event page or call us at 800-578-8750.