Sometimes parents are given the heartbreaking news that their unborn baby has a disability, or is sick and may die before or soon after birth. Some parents facing the prospect of having a child with a disability consider termination and abortion, while others may choose to continue to have their baby, even if they will be here for only a short time. At the Gianna Centre we can help you work through your decision as you consider your options and how they will affect you, both now and in the future.
There is so much assistance and help available these days for individuals and families who have a child with a disability. Did you know that in 2009 there were nearly 300,000 children in Australia with a disability? 3.4% of Australian children aged 0–4, and 8.8% of children aged 5–14, were living with disability, including chronic illness, intellectual or physical disability.1
Parents of children with a disability often say that the rewards outweigh the hard stuff, and that their children have brought unexpected joy and love into their lives. They are often surprised at how they successfully learn to adapt to parenting a child with a disability.
That doesn't mean it is easy. One of the most common first reactions to finding out your baby has a disability is grief. Parents have to let go of the idea of how they imagined their child. They may feel anger and resentment, as well as fear about whether they can cope if they continue the pregnancy. But many individuals and families discover that at critical times like these they unite, coming together to ensure their child is nurtured with love and care. Often neighbours and friends rally in support too.
The extra physical and emotional care involved in raising a child with a disability is challenging. It is important to have the support of your partner, other family members, friends and the community. The adage 'it takes a village to raise a child can become especially relevant in the case of a child with a disability. At the Gianna Centre we can help you access the extensive range of resources that are available to help you manage. We can refer to NDIS.
You might like to check out Be Not Afraid, a non-profit organisation that provides comprehensive, practical and peer-based support to parents experiencing a prenatal diagnosis and carrying to term.