Parents of children with a disability in New South Wales are being offered two years of free evidence-based parenting support, under a world-first research project led by the University of Sydney.
Free seminars and one-on-one parenting sessions are available through the Stepping Stones Triple P project which aims to reduce childhood behavioural problems, and improve the wellbeing of parents of children with special needs across the state.
Chair of Mental Health at the University of Sydney, Professor Stewart Einfeld said parents of children with a disability face daily challenges as their children have three to four times the behavioural problems of typically developing kids.
“It’s essentially important that we offer families targeted support as children with developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorders, Fragile X and Down syndrome are much more prone to emotional and behavioural problems,” Professor Einfeld said.
“Research has also shown that as a result, parents of children with a disability experience higher levels of stress and mental health problems.”
“The Stepping Stones program can have a huge impact on families’ lives, with seventy one percent of children with a disability showing substantial improvements in their behaviour after their parents complete the program.”
Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the program is also offered in Victoria and Queensland under a research partnership with Monash University and the University of Queensland.
Information for parents
Parents of children with a disability can visit www.triplep-steppingstones.net to register their interest in receiving free support under the Stepping Stones Triple P Project. The program will be progressively rolled out across the state over the next few months. Parents in northern New South Wales will be the first to benefit.
Sessions will be advertised on the website as they become available.
(Source: The University of Sydney)