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Spotlight on Parenting Children with Disabilities

17 October 2012 (UQ News) - Parents and caregivers of children with disabilities experience more stress, worry and depression than parents of typically developing children.

Director of the University of Queensland's Parenting and Family Support Centre and founder of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, Professor Matt Sanders said today the emotional toll of parenting children with disabilities should be recognised during this week's National Carers Week (October 14 to 20).

Professor Sanders said children with disabilities are three to four times more likely to experience emotional and behavioural problems compared to typically developing children, which significantly impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of parents and caregivers.

“While an estimated 20 per cent of adults experience depression at some point in their lives, a recent Swedish study found this figure climbs to 50 per cent in parents who have children with autism and an intellectual disability,” Professor Sanders said.

“This is a clear sign people caring for children with disabilities need more support.”

Professor Sanders has urged parents, caregivers and professionals to take part in an important survey released last week as part of a pioneering five-year research project.

The survey can be accessed at

The Triple P Stepping Stones project will see thousands of parents and caregivers of children with disabilities (aged 2 to 12) in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales provided with free parenting support.

Professionals can also apply to receive free Stepping Stones training.


Read the article on the UQ News website.