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Parents of disabled lack support

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas, June 26 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers are calling for more environmental and social supports to help families caring for children with physical and mental challenges.

Researchers at Texas A&M University Center on Disability and Development in College Station say parents with children with disabilities say their needs are not matched to the resources available.

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The study, part of a statewide needs assessment published in Rehabilitation Psychology, found the parents, as part of a focus group, identified four significant barriers to well-being -- access to information and services, finances, school and community inclusion and family support.

"The parents in this study did not identify child-specific variables, such as disability severity and child behavior problems, as the most significant challenges associated with raising a child with a disability," study lead author Aaron Resch said in a statement.

"They also did not describe their experience of raising a child with a disability as one of burden and pathology. Rather, our findings suggest that many parents perceive a fundamental lack of match between their needs and the resources and supports available to meet those needs.

"It is this lack of a match that seems to be one of the greatest impediments to optimal well-being for these parents."

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