24 October 2012

Queensland is currently hosting the world’s first ever population-wide survey of what it’s like to parent or work with a child with a disability.

The survey is available to parents, caregivers and professionals at http://www.mysay.org.au

The My Say survey is part of a pioneering three-state project funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and involves a research team from The University of Queensland (UQ), The University of Sydney and Monash University.

The $5 million Stepping Stones Triple P (SSTP) project will assess the effectiveness of Triple P’s Stepping Stones parenting program in reducing behavioural and emotional problems in children with a disability across Queensland.

The project will be rolled out in Queensland first, followed by Victoria and New South Wales. A project of this scale – involving thousands of people who care for or work with children with disabilities across three states – has never been done before in the world.

Triple P founder and head of the SSTP project team for UQ, Professor Matt Sanders, said research showed Stepping Stones helped reduce children’s problem behaviour and improved parenting confidence, competence and resilience.

“Parenting is already a challenging job, but parenting a child with a disability can significantly impact on the health and wellbeing of all family members,” Professor Sanders said.

“This project allows us to provide extra support to many thousands of families and professionals across three states and we anticipate will make an enormous difference to people’s day-to-day lives.”

Professor Sanders said young people with disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome experienced three to four times the rate of emotional and behavioural problems compared to typically developing children.

From 2013 almost 20,000 Queensland families with children aged from 2 to 12 with a disability will have free access to Stepping Stones.

Professionals such as psychologists, counsellors, teachers, child health nurses and family support workers who work with children with disabilities can also apply for free Stepping Stones training.

Media: Rachel Stewart, Triple P International, 07 3226 8517