Family Therapy

Family Therapy Helps Children With Behavioural Disorders

The whole family will be touched by the disability. Therapy for the entire family will often be necessary to ensure the child can integrate into the family life. When the diagnosis first comes, the parents are often dealing with shock and disbelief, but as time goes on, they learn to adjust and accept the circumstances. Many of them would benefit from some type of family counselling. This is very important because they are going to play a big part in how the child with the disability will be able to adjust. As the primary caregivers, their role is huge, and special training is often necessary and beneficial.

For the family with a child born with an obvious disability, the realisation will come quickly that they will be walking a different road than they had planned. Therapists, doctors, and special equipment will often be part of their daily norm. The adjustment is often difficult and is an ongoing process. Some families do not realise their child has a disability until they are a little older. Autism, mental retardation, and emotional illnesses do not show up during the first months of life. It is only after frustration and often denial that the parents realise the child has some extra needs they cannot meet.

A child with a disability will often require around-the-clock care. They might need a special diet and help with toileting regularly. It can also affect the family financially, and that is just the beginning. The biggest problem is that the parents are not trained to deal with the child's needs and often tend to overprotect them. They do this out of love, but it is often detrimental to the child. Family therapy should involve not only the parents but the siblings. They should not be forgotten in this equation. Often, they will be asked to do some of the care, and many will be the sole caregivers as adults for the person with the disability because their parents may not always be able to do it.

Family therapy should address feelings that everyone in the family might have and not be able to express. Low self-esteem, a feeling of loss and helplessness are just a few that might be issues that could be addressed and talked through. Although most parents and children do not receive enough or any family therapy, it should be the goal of any good case manager to encourage this and to have it start as soon as possible.