Parenting is difficult enough, and even more so if you’re a parent with a disability.

Whether you have a physical disability, an intellectual disability, or a mental health condition, the complexities of raising and caring for your children are made even more challenging when you’re also trying to find care for yourself.

Parenting with physical disability

Depending on your type of disability, it might be difficult for you to hold your child, to feed or pick them up, or to chase them around.

You may also face financial and social challenges due to your disability, which can impact your parenting. It may be harder to find and keep a job and therefore financially provide for your child.

Despite these challenges, many parents who have physical disability find innovative and creative ways to overcome their physical limitations. The NDIS provides funding for assistive technology, among other supports, that can help you to accomplish daily tasks that are otherwise too difficult.

As well as this, children are highly adaptive and will find various ways to make your job easier. Being flexible also has a positive impact on the child themselves, as this is likely to result in a child who is more caring and compassionate, less stressed and rigid, and has a strong sense of self.  

Parenting with intellectual disability

If you’re a parent with an intellectual disability, raising children can come with additional pressures. Many parents take for granted being able to teach their child to read, or to do simple math. However, if you have an intellectual or a learning disability, these tasks might be beyond your abilities.

Your capacity to earn money and provide for your family may also be a challenge, as it could be difficult for you to find a job that pays well.

It is likely that you will need additional support from family, friends, or your community.

The NDIS provides funding and support for people with intellectual disability and can be a great help to you on your parenting journey.

Parenting with mental illness

It is not uncommon for new parents to experience mental health issues, such as antenatal or postnatal depression and anxiety. Mostly, these types of mental illness are short-term and can be managed and overcome successfully.

For severe mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and personality disorders, parenting can become a little more complicated. These disorders are generally long-term and have a major impact on that person’s life, and that of their family and friends.

Mental illness can make it very difficult to be the type of parent you wish to be. You might often feel like you are failing as a parent and this, in turn, can exacerbate your mental illness.

Having a mental illness doesn’t make you a bad parent! It just means that you might need a little extra support to help you.

There is a lot of help out there! Organisations like Beyond Blue and COPMI can help to connect you with the information and resources you need to raise and care for yourself and your child.

If your mental illness is considered to be a psychosocial disability, you may qualify for funding through the NDIS.

Apply for the NDIS!

If you haven’t already, you should highly consider applying for the NDIS. If your disability is affecting your ability to raise a family and care for the needs of yourself and your child, NDIS funding can help give you the extra support you need.