The presence of disability in the family system affects multiple aspects of family life, including family interaction, functioning, and life span.
Viewing disability from a post-modern perspective, it is evident that research has shifted away from examining the negative impact of disability on family life and now focuses more on the Family Quality Of Life (FQOL). This has also helped to move away from a culture of deficit to one which is more positive. Chiu et al. (2013). In fact, studies indicate that the quality of life of families impacted by disability is an important indicator of the outcome of services. Dunst & Bruder (2002).
Likewise, Summers et al. (2007) suggest that “the quality of relationships with professionals is also a critical component of effective service models”. This was discussed following a study by Summers et al (2005), who examined the relationship between families’ perceptions of needs, adequacy of received services and outcomes for families in early intervention services. Findings suggest that parents’ ratings of early intervention services adequacy may be related to both immediate and broader family outcomes.
With this in mind, Inspire is investing in providing activities and space where parents can increase their good valence and subsequently, the family quality of life, and in addition enhance the professional-parent relationship.
The first activity was held on the 31 May. A group of parents were treated to a SPA day event, to encourage them to invest time in their own quality of life, apart that of their children.
The outcome was really positive. Parents whose children attend on different days of the STEP Intensive Early Intervention programme came together for a day and got to know each other better. This was done by recounting stories of their past, laughing together and most importantly, by making plans for the future.