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Time to Care: Parents' Week- October 25-31
Time for families
Parents of children who have severe and profound learning disabilities and complex health needs often spend a huge amount of time just caring for and supporting their children to do everyday things. Activities - like eating and getting dressed - take longer and learning takes longer too. Medical procedures and therapies are very time consuming so that there is only a small amount of time left for play.
As part of Parents' Week, Mencap asked parents who have a child with a learning disability to keep a time diary for a day to illustrate just how busy they are and the fantastic job these parents do.
Rachel, who lives in the South East, has kept a time diary which gives us an insight into a typical day. Her son, Sam, who is four years old, has multiple learning disabilities and complex health needs. Sam's disability means that he needs assistance to feed and dress himself. He also wears a catheter which needs changing regularly. Sam is mobile, and normally walks around unaided at home but has problems with his visual awareness so if he's outside he usually uses a walking aid or his buggy.
Rachel says, ‘As a parent of a disabled child, I'm in a continuous state of anxiety, just some days are more anxious than others.'
Jo Williams, Mencap chief executive says, ‘There are around 65,000 children and young people with severe and profound learning disabilities in England. Most parents of children like Sam would love to receive extra support but this is always hard to find and it is even harder to ensure that the support is provided throughout the child's development and into adult life. Unfortunately the level of service provided by social services is often not enough.
Parents' Week is a great opportunity to highlight the amazing job parents of children with profound and multiple learning disabilities do, giving their children the support, care and love they need to develop to their full potential and get the most out of life.'
- Further information can be found at: www.mencap.org.uk