World first project to help children with special needs

May 21, 2014
World first project to help children with special needs

In a world first, Monash University researchers will lead a new project that will provide a public health approach, evidence based, parenting support to parents of children with a disability.

The Stepping Stones Triple P Project will see 114 health and education professionals across Victoria trained to provide the parenting support and will be led by Monash University School of Clinical Science (Monash Health) Emeritus Professor Bruce Tonge.

Professor Tonge will head the Victorian research team that will include researchers from the Universities of Sydney and Queensland.

The Stepping Stones Triple P Project is the first population level parenting intervention of its kind for children with special needs that aims to reduce the emotional and in children with a disability.

One of the benefits of the will be to help lower parent stress levels by making parenting support freely available to every parent of a child with a disability in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

In Victoria, parents and caregivers of 60,000 children aged 2-12 years with a disability will receive almost two years of free access to support as part of the project.

Professor Tonge said research showed the Stepping Stones project could reduce child behaviour problems by more than 70 per cent and significantly lower parent stress and depression levels.

Parents who have previously done Stepping Stones also reported a greater success in teaching their children new skills and higher levels of parental competence and satisfaction.

Professor Tonge is optimistic about achieving real change across Victoria through the unique, population-wide parenting intervention.

"Helping parents introduce effective behaviour management strategies while their children are still young can reduce, and in some cases prevent, problem behaviour from becoming entrenched," Professor Tonge said.

"This is important because left untreated, problem behaviour in children with a disability tends to worsen during childhood and adolescence and continue into adulthood."

Professor Tonge said research showed that young people with a disability experienced up to four times the emotional and behavioural problems of typically developing , adding it was a heavy burden and cost on parents, teachers and society.

Explore further: Parents of children with a disability under twice as much stress, survey finds

Related Stories

Parent induces guilt, child shows distress

March 23, 2013

The use of guilt-inducing parenting in daily parent-child interaction causes children distress still evident on the next day, emerges from the study Parents, teachers, and children's learning (LIGHT) carried out by Kaisa ...

How family conflict affects children

May 8, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—New research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) reveals why some children are badly affected by negative family conflicts while other children survive without significant problems.

Recommended for you

Serious research into what makes us laugh

November 24, 2015

More complex jokes tend to be funnier but only up to a point, Oxford researchers have found. Jokes that are too complicated tend to lose the audience.

Psychologists dispute continuum theory of sexual orientation

November 19, 2015

Washington State University researchers have established a categorical distinction between people who are heterosexual and those who are not. By analyzing the reported sexual behavior, identity and attraction of more than ...

Babies have logical reasoning before age one, study finds

November 18, 2015

Human infants are capable of deductive problem solving as early as 10 months of age, a new study by psychologists at Emory University and Bucknell finds. The journal Developmental Science is publishing the research, showing ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.