Real Families: Real Suggestions for Everyday Living

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Parents share ideas and strategies for managing their child's special health care needs in daily life.

Raising a child with special health care needs can be a complex and demanding job. Parents manage their child's health and developmental needs while juggling the rest of their family's life. Many parents say there is little information about how to manage their child's ongoing health care needs in the context of their daily life. Parents who participated in the Building on Family Strengths (BFS) project were asked to share their concerns and discuss what helps them deal with everyday challenges.

For each challenge listed below, you will find strategies that helped these parents manage their situations. Each of these categories also has a ‘Reflect and Act’ worksheet to help focus on a specific challenge you are facing. Remember that working on a strategy to meet a challenge is an individual process -- take your time, think about small steps, and choose what feels right for you. The worksheet can be used alone, with your family or with a support group to facilitate discussions.

Please choose a challenge category that best fits your needs:

Funding for the Building on Family Strengths (BFS) project which ended September 2008, was awarded by the Agency for Health Research and Quality, US Department of Health and Human Services grant #R01 HSO13384.