Caregivers of children with special needs often face significant pressure and challenges. These could include not having enough time for themselves, grief over the loss of a healthy baby, grappling with the financial strain from multiple therapy sessions and medical follow-ups as well as difficulty managing societal expectations.
Many times, they focus all their energies on their child with special needs and in the process, neglect their own well-being. Recognising this and the multitude of emotions that caregivers deal with, a Parent Support Group (PSG) has been formed and sessions conducted at all SPD’s Building Bridges EIPIC Centres to help caregivers cope better.
Building Bridges EIPIC Centre at SPD Ability Centre in Tiong Bahru conducted its first Parent Support Group programme in July and August this year for four participating caregivers. Held over five-sessions, the programme was facilitated by senior social worker Junaidah Baharawi and assisted by social worker Ong Xiu Hui included various hands-on activities where caregivers were taught practical strategies and obtained better awareness to their self-care.
The programme covered a wide range of topics such as emotions, challenges, coping strategies, resilience and strengths. It also served as a platform for caregivers to get to know each other and to form an informal network for mutual support to last beyond the PSG programme. The safe environment in which the programme was offered also encouraged the sharing of experiences by the caregivers and the trust subsequently formed seeded open sharing of thoughts and feelings.
The PSG was well received by the participants. “(I am) Thankful and happy to have joined the programme as it helped me gain knowledge and handles and apply it in my daily life,”
shared mother of Tia, who attends EIPIC, in her feedback.