National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities

Adaptive Parenting Strategies and Equipment

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A mother using a wheelchair cooking with your child

The Disabled Parenting Project (DPP) has hosted two Mother’s Day Twitter Chats. In 2016, 152 people participated and there were 900 tweets. In 2017, 83 people participated and there were 377 tweets. Each Twitter Chat lasted an hour and revealed many key themes. Among the important discussions was a dialogue about adaptive parenting strategies and equipment. The following are key themes and sample quotes.

Adaptive Parenting Strategies

Several of the mothers employ adaptive strategies to facilitate caring for their children. These adaptive parenting strategies range from adaptations to their homes to the implementation of measures to ensure safety. 

  • “I gave up changing tables and change my kids on the floor.”

  • “Bells on shoes when I’m out to hear my children. This way I can follow them.”

  • “Our house is dual adapted (most easy things) to make our kids as independent as possible and us.”

  • “Ditch the crib. Put the mattress on the floor.”

  • “When daughter was a baby, ‘floor time’ was done from the bed-easier 4 me to rise from.”

Adaptive Parenting Equipment

Many of the mothers utilize adaptive parenting equipment to facilitate motherhood. According to several of the mothers, adaptive parenting equipment is especially important during infanthood.

  • “Baby stage stuff for this w/c [wheelchair] using mom: arm’s reach co-sleeper, lotus family zip down travel crib, LapBaby, baby k’tan.”

  • “I bought a specific type of car based on what I could get a baby carrier in and out of.”

  • “With my kid, I looped a ‘Big and Tall’ belt through the car seat handle, used my lap and looped belt around WC [wheelchair] back. Worked!”

  • “I use my wheelchair footrests as a car seat holder/stroller.”

  • “Bells on shoes, talking thermometers, print/Braille books, tactile medicine dispensers, & much more.”

  • “Though one product that helped me persist was @mybreastfriend.”

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