Tips for parents who have a child with a learning disability

10 February 2017

Research shows that many parents of a child with a learning disability go on a night out only once a year. So ideas on how to cope in your relationship and stay in touch with others may be of some help.

  • Check in regularly with one another. Find a quiet time, maybe just before bed or first thing in the morning, when you can check how the other person is feeling. Is there anything in your relationship that isn’t working? Are you feeling listened to? Is there something your partner needs help with? You are one another’s biggest source of support and keeping those channels of communication open is vital to a successful relationship.
  • Make a list of one another’s strengths. Explore what you can do to support your child and divide up tasks based on your strengths. Not only will this help your child but it will reduce stress and increase co-operation, in turn strengthening your partnership as a couple.
  • Date nights don’t have to cost the earth. The term ‘date night’ can be misleading because it implies you have to go out and splash the cash. It’s important to make time for one another but when you’re short on finances and have caring duties, a date in a fancy restaurant or trip to the theatre may be tricky. Playing a board game together, or watching a film together on TV could be just as beneficial to your relationship and save time and money.
  • Work together on finding savings and support. Be proactive in deciding together where you can make savings to your finances and free up time. This may mean asking for support from family and friends and finding out from your local authority what services are available locally to help with childcare.
  • Join Mencap’s FamilyHub. Mencap has launched a new online community that connects parents who have a child/children with a learning disability, to share experiences, triumphs and challenges, and to offer support and guidance to others whose family situation is similar to their own. Visit www.mencap.org.uk/familyhub to find out more.

Struggling to cope? We offer relationship support for couples and families. Call our friendly appointments team on 01234 356350.

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