Children may be born with disabilities, develop them as they grow, or acquire them through injury or illness. In addition to the everyday challenges and joys of raising a child, parents of children with disabilities may need additional support, such as service providers or assistive technology, to help their children with disabilities to grow, learn, play, and participate in their communities. Parents of children with disabilities may experience barriers in raising their children, including a lack of assistive technology for their children, societal views about children with disabilities, physical and programmatic barriers to their participation in the community, among others. Just like parents of children without disabilities, parents of children with disabilities may advocate for their children in educational, medical, recreational, and community settings.
NARIC’s information specialists are often asked for information and resources from parents of children with disabilities and their families to help them raise and advocate for their children, including assistive technology, service providers, and community programs. This month, we are highlighting evidence-based consumer products from the NIDILRR community for parents of children with disabilities, their families, and service providers, which may include guides, calendars, factsheets, and more.
Below, you will find just a few examples of evidence-based consumer products produced by the NIDILRR community:
- The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (The RERC on AAC) conducts rigorous evidence-based research for designing effective augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies and interventions, develops and evaluates innovative AAC engineering solutions driven by consumer needs, and provides comprehensive training and dissemination to ensure that all people, including children with developmental, acquired, and severe disabilities have access to enhance their communication. The goal of this project is to enhance communication and increase their participation in education, healthcare, and community living, among others. Parents of children with complex communication needs may find resources and learn more about AAC through this Center’s webcasts and training modules, such as AAC interventions to maximize language development for young children (learning module) or AAC and College Life: Just Do It! (webcast). The RERC on AAC has made free ePrints of their journal articles available that parents may use to learn more about AAC and how it may help their children. Parents of children with disabilities, their families, and service professionals may also sign up for the Center’s newsletter, eBlast, to keep up to date with the Center’s research and consumer products.
- Recent research has shown that obesity is a growing problem for all children in the US according to reports. Additionally, there are racial and ethnic disparities within the Latinx community with children and adolescents experiencing higher rates of obesity than their white peers, and those disparities are likely to be heightened among children and adolescents with IDD. The project Promoting Obesity Prevention Among Latinx Children with Developmental Disabilities and Families Through Engaged Research addresses the research gap on children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and obesity. The project provides infographics for parents and families of children with disabilities that look at the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois and Texas. For parents interested in participating in research studies, this project is currently seeking participants for their PODER Research Study where researchers want to learn more about eating, physical activity, and health behaviors in families who have a child with disabilities.
- NARIC’s Research In Focus series includes several articles on parenting a child with disabilities. These articles include:
- A Brief Internet-based Parent Training Program May Build Parenting Skills and Reduce Behavior Challenges in Children with Traumatic Brain Injury.
- Latina Family Caregivers in Rural Areas Turn to Their Community to Support Young Adults with Disabilities in Transition.
- NARIC’s COVID-19 Special Collection includes research-based items from the NIDILRR community for parents of children with disabilities, including:
- Parents Chime In: Our Self-Care Strategies While Supporting Loved Ones with Mental Health Conditions During a Pandemic.
To learn more about these and other products from the NIDILRR community, contact NARIC’s information specialists.