Module 4

My child is different, we help her grow up

Family is one of the most important growing environments for any individual, since it is the first context of reference and socialization. Getting of a child always requires a lot of effort from the whole family to adapt to the new situation, which is even more difficult if the child suffers from a disability. When the family finds out about a child´s disability, they experience different responses which make it easier or harder to adapt to the new situation. The objective of this module is to promote considering and analysing our family situation to promote approaches that stimulate the development and the education of our child with disability.

The module consists of four sessions that deal with the following topics:

Session 1: “The parents´ grief”. Nobody is prepared to find out that our soon-to-be born child is suffering from a disability. This session is dedicated to "the grieving process" that includes all kinds of emotional reactions that parents experience when confronted with the fact that their child suffers from a disability. Reactions and emotional needs that contribute to the urgent accepting and the adaptation process to the disability are described in this session.

Session 2: “Family engagement”. We reflect upon and explore the need to reach a high level of engagement and involvement of the family from the very early age on, for the parents to be able to cater to the needs of the child with a disability in a satisfactory way.

Session 3: "The Communications skills of the parents". The family environment is the only place to receive intensive stimulation 365 days of the year and is directly related to our everyday behaviour at home. We analyse the characteristics of the communication between parents and their disabled child, with the aim to develop and to implement efficient communication skills.

Session 4: "The integration of the disabled child". The aim is to achieve a high level of commitment to include the disabled child into family life or into the society with the utmost possible level of stimulation and development of her abilities with the help and support of the parents, or, so to say a high level of normalization.


Did you know...

  • 10% of the world´s population (600 million people) suffers permanent disability (physical, sensory, mental or other type of disability). 1
In Spain:
  • 3.85 million people declare to have some kind of disability or limitation, which represents 8.5% of the population. We also know that: 2
  • 91% of the disabled younger than 65 years live with their families. 3
  • 75% of children are at risk to suffer moderate or slight disability, whereas one in four is at high or very high risk. 6 in every 10 disabled children younger than 6 years suffer from mental (41%) or mixed (17%) disability. Whereas sensory and physical disabilities are not so frequent in this age group. 3
  • There is a traumatic change in the family life as far as dedication, economical needs and family dynamics are concerned. More than half of the affected rated the consequences for the family in general as negative.
  • Various scientific studies have shown that a high level of family engagement in stimulating and caring for the disabled child:
    • prevents the isolation of the disabled child
    • improves its verbal and communication skills
    • improves its behaviour: tantrums, self-mutilation…
    • improves its abilities: attention, sight, hearing, physical abilities…
    • reduces everyone´s anxiety
    • improves personal relationships
    • relaxes and calms family atmosphere

According to the data provided by the WHO

According to the survey done on disabilities, personal autonomy and dependency situations, by the Spanish National Institute for Statistics in 2008

According to the data extract from Spanish National Institute for Statistics.


To identify the situations that produce stress if we have a disabled child

To describe reactions and emotional needs of families with disabled children

To become aware of the importance of early intervention in disabled children

To analyse the importance to strive to normalize and include disabled children into society

User's profile

This module is mostly designed for parents with a small disabled child or for those who have experienced difficulties during pregnancy or birth, like a premature birth, and hold some evidence that their child might be at risk to suffer a disability.