NSW parents in world-first project
21 February 2014
The University of Sydney today launched a new project which offers two years of free parenting support to parents and caregivers of children with a disability in New South Wales.
Health and education professionals who work in the child disability field can also complete the survey and apply for free Stepping Stones training and resources.
The University of Sydney's Chair of Mental Health Professor Stewart Einfeld from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Brain and Mind Research Institute launched the project at the Helping Families Change Conference in Sydney today.
Professor Einfeld said the SSTP project aims to reduce high levels of emotional and behavioural problems in children with a disability by providing parents with more support.
"Children with developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorders, Fragile X and Down syndrome experience three to four times the emotional and behavioural problems of typically developing children," Professor Einfeld said.
"This has an enormous impact on parents, and understandably many struggle to cope with the daily demands of raising their child and the extra challenges it involves."
The SSTP Project offers free parenting sessions through Stepping Stones, which is a Triple P - Positive Parenting Program for parents of children with a disability.
A 2007 study¹ found 71 per cent of children with a developmental disability showed substantial behaviour improvement after their parents completed a Stepping Stones program.
The three-state SSTP Project is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia, and is being rolled out in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
¹Plant, K.M. & Sanders, M.R. (2007). Reducing problem behavior during care-giving in families of preschool-aged children with developmental disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 28, 362-385.
Contact: Jessica Hill
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