We know from research that parents of children with a learning disability can be twice as likely to experience high stress levels as do other parents. High levels of stress can have a negative impact on your well-being.
We know that the simplest things, like eating healthily, getting enough rest, and exercising regularly can be the most difficult when caring for a child with a learning disability. But it is important to do these things to look after yourself.
You could try to make some small changes that can benefit your own and your child’s well-being. Parents and professionals advised that some examples of small changes are:
- Putting on some music that you enjoy and sing or dance to it
- Thinking about short journeys that you can walk, instead of driving
- Thinking back to the things that you most enjoyed before you had children (e.g., playing sports, going out with friends, reading), and trying to think of a creative way to fit some of them back into your life.
- Trying something new that you’ve wanted to do for a while. The parents we spoke to said that this could be a good way to meet new people as well.
- Find someone who can support you to have short and regular breaks to do something you enjoy (e.g., having a quiet cup of tea, going for a walk.
It might help to talk to other parents who are going through a similar experience to you. You could join a support group for parents of children with disabilities. Some of the parents we spoke to said that they were members of online support groups and parent groups on social media; they said that these were really good to get support from people who are similar to them.