A survey by Firefly has found that 86% of parents feel that their child’s disability limits interaction with brothers and sisters, potentially harming their relationship.

The results reflect a desire amongst parents to find new ways of bridging gaps between siblings, bringing them closer together through participation.

Almost half (47%) of parents felt that more opportunities for participation would benefit their children physically, mentally and improve their relationships.

The survey, carried out online, polled over one hundred parents whose child had a disability, with the aim of gauging how families perceive participation in the home and how they would like to change it.

Family days out, playtime and play dates topped the list of activities in which parents wished their child could be more involved.

A huge majority (91%) of parents felt their child was isolated due to their disability. 

An incredible 48% stating that their child missed out on something every single day.

These concerning figures demonstrate exactly why ‘special needs family participation’ needs to be addressed.

They show us that parents have pressing worries over their child’s isolation, and remind us that participation and quality of life are an immediate need, rather than something to be aspired to in the future.

Many studies have already shown that participation, play and social engagement can all add significantly to benefits for children with disabilities.

These activities often enhance existing therapy programmes.

Let’s hope that this research can help highlight the importance of family participation and lead to more ways of making it possible.

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