Parenting adolescents with an intellectual disability

Parents Plus is developing a parenting programme for those parenting adolescents with intellectual disabilities.
This programme is going to be piloted in Letterkenny by Gina Grant (Donegal Down Syndrome) and Marina Boyle (Child and Adolescent Counsellor). It will run on Wednesday mornings 10:30 – 1 in the offices of Donegal Down Syndrome from Wednesday 9th  October until Wednesday 27th November with a break for half term.
Topics covered will include:
The transition from adolescent to adulthood
● Social skills and friendships
● Challenging behaviour
● Puberty and sexual development
● Parental and family self-care
● Emotional challenges and grief
The goals of the programme for parents are:
● Understanding the journey of parenting a child with special needs
● Advocating for children and preparing for future transitions
● Managing parental stress and self-care
● Supporting siblings (brothers and sisters) and family relationships
● Supporting fathers and mothers and their relationships with each other
● Establishing good family routines
● Managing problem behaviours
The goals of the programme for young people are:
● Supporting children in having good social outlets and appropriate
friendships
● Helping young adults to find meaningful work or participation in society,
according to their ability
● Building self-esteem, independence and the ability to prepare for the
future
● Supporting children’s education and development
● Dealing with relationships and sexuality
Each session will cover three topics:
  • Supporting Families
  • Supporting children/young people
  • Parent self-care
If you are parenting a young person (11 – young adulthood) who has an intellectual disability and you are interested in attending this parenting programme please click the link and register.   https://forms.gle/RghfGcZ3QmD2R7raA 
Places are limited on this programme.

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Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.

 

The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.

 

In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  

 

Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  

 

In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the www.mychild.ie website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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