We held focus groups with parents and families of disabled children and young people who spoke about feeling isolated and alone. Parents have also shared their advice on how they've faced this, have a look at their thoughts below:
Tips from parents on facing isolation:
- Be proactive and take the plunge
Take the initiative to contact others and reach out to them, whether they are friends, family, colleagues or even on the Whizz-Kidz Forum on Mumsnet, connecting with others will diminish those lonely feelings and help you establish your own support networks.
- Re-visit your interests
Participating in fun activities will help take your mind off feeling lonely and will focus your attention on something you like. It might even be something that you and your family could do together. If you're feeling adventurous, take the opportunity to try a new hobby or sport!
- Short breaks
If you feel you could benefit, short breaks for carers are available for those who feel they would need a break. There are different types of breaks depending on the carers' needs and circumstances, as well as the person being looked after. A short break or holiday may not always mean going away: some carers may enjoy taking a break at home while the person they look after goes away. Whizz-Kidz also offers short residential camps for young people. Each camp lasts three days and two nights, and brings together key elements of all Whizz-Kidz training programmes.
What helps? Read below to see how other parents cope with isolation.
'Take every opportunity offered, take a job if you can, don't use your child as an excuse for not having your own life (no matter how restricted that life may be) and keep positive.'
'I just muddle through and keep busy.'