Parents with children with disabilities spend an extra £111 a month on meals and an extra £31 a month on energy bills – and usually only get to go on holiday once a year
Image: Phil Fisk / McCain)
Challenges faced by parents of severely disabled or ill children include higher food and energy bills, concerns about the limited interactions their child has with friends outside of school, and anxiety about them. will always be at a disadvantage.
A study of 1,000 parents of four to 11-year-olds without disabilities and 1,000 parents with at least one child with a disability found that the latter also spend £111 more a month on food than those with a disability. non-disabled people. kids.
Parents without a disabled or seriously ill child spend £239 a month on food for the family – compared with £350 for those with a child with a disability.
An extra £181 is spent on energy bills for a household without children with a disability, while this increases to £212 for the latter group.
It also appears that three in ten parents of children with disabilities never feel able to invite friends around for a meal – compared with other parents who do once a month.
Eating out can also be a challenge, with families with children without disabilities doing so twice a month, compared with families with children with disabilities eating only once a month.
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Research commissioned by McCain and the Charity Family Foundationto launch a new six-part podcast with Paddy and Christine McGuinness.
Table Talk, with Paddy and Christine, aims to raise awareness about life for families raising children with disabilities or serious illnesses.
It also found that half of parents raising children with disabilities want to eat more meals together as a family because they believe it helps with communication – with nearly two-thirds seeing mealtimes together as “important”.
But 43% of parents of children with disabilities or serious illnesses find it “very difficult” to feed their child a variety of foods.
Paddy McGuinness said: “I’m excited to launch my first podcast.
“As many have seen, Christine and I are on a journey to learn about autism and other disabilities.
“Listening to other families and hearing their important stories made me realize how important it is to highlight the real issues facing families across the UK like how.”
Christine McGuinness said: “The Table Talk podcast is very special to me.
“I wish there was a podcast like it when I grow up, so I can feel more like myself and maybe even start my journey to diagnosis early.”
The study also found that nearly half (46%) of parents without children with disabilities are unfamiliar with the challenges faced by families raising children with disabilities.
As a result, 78% of those with a child with a disability or serious illness would like to see more families with a child with a disability represented in mainstream culture.
But 76% believe their child with a disability will always be at a disadvantage.
And while 77% of parents of children with disabilities believe it is important to have days off and time off as a family, they are at risk of feeling “overwhelmed”, “stressed” and “overwhelmed”. “emotional” to have to go further than parents without disabilities. kids.
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In a typical year, they go on family holidays in the UK – half the amount that parents of children without disabilities are entitled to.
And families with children with disabilities travel three days a year, compared with families with children without disabilities, they take five trips.
Among those with children with disabilities, 68% also have children without disabilities – and three-quarters (74%) of these families worry that these siblings have less quality time with their parents and caregivers.
Nearly half (47%) of the parents also said their children without disabilities took on the responsibility of looking after their siblings.
“As part of this ongoing partnership, we hope to raise awareness and give voice to families,” said Mark Hodge, a spokesman for McCain, who has been with the Family Fund since 2021. families with children with serious illnesses or disabilities, and introduce the importance of talking – whether it’s around the table at mealtime with the family or elsewhere. “
Cheryl Ward, Group Executive Director at Family Fund, adds: “Changing public perception of the realities of life for low-income families raising children with disabilities or serious illnesses. is essential, which is why this podcast series is so important.
“Shared personal stories of families will really help to increase understanding and hopefully encourage more families to donate everyday essentials.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/family/parents-disabled-ill-children-challenges-26309094 Parents of disabled or seriously ill children worry that their children will always be disadvantaged