MyTime cares for car­ers

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

PAR­ENT­HOOD is never easy, but hav­ing a child with a dis­abil­ity is some­thing no one on the out­side can ever fully un­der­stand.

Many par­ents strug­gle to come to terms with their child’s di­ag­no­sis; feel­ing they are alone in the world.

MyTime is a free ser­vice that gives th­ese par­ents a place to turn to for sup­port and in­for­ma­tion, but most of all un­der­stand­ing.

“For ex­am­ple, if a child is autis­tic and not so­cially equipped or might hit or what­ever the other par­ents will ac­tu­ally un­der­stand,” MyTime co­or­di­na­tor Danielle Hutchen said.

“It’s more about ac­cep­tance and in­clu­sion and get­ting par­ents en­gaged.”

The group is open to any­one with a child with a dis­abil­ity, whether they just need some ex­tra in­for­ma­tion or are reach­ing break­ing point.

“Some are at their wits end and they are just lost,” Mrs Hutchen said.

“There are dif­fer­ent de­grees on the level of sup­port that they need.”

The meet­ings pro­vide a fo­rum for par­ents to swap sto­ries and share knowl­edge.

“It’s about shar­ing re­sources as in you speak from your own ex­pe­ri­ence and say ‘This pae­di­a­tri­cian works for me, I don’t like that pae­di­a­tri­cian’ and you sort of give peo­ple tips and share ad­vice,” Mrs Hutchen said.

The kids get a chance to have some fun while their par­ents chat too, with play-helpers Kym Cor­ri­gan and Marnie Reif­fel su­per­vis­ing.

Pro­fes­sional help is also on of­fer with guest speak­ers cov­er­ing a wide range of is­sues re­lated to car­ing for a child with a dis­abil­ity.

To get in­volved con­tact Mrs Hutchen at danielle_hutchen@hot­ or on the Can­non­vale MyTime Face­book page.

SUP­PORT­IVE SOUL: MyTime sup­port group co­or­di­na­tor Danielle Hutchen hard at work or­gan­is­ing their next meet­ing.

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