By Lynne Adkins

By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Raising a child with disabilities is stressful and parents need to be reminded not to forget they’re important too.

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When caring for a needy child, or adult, it’s easy to put that person’s needs ahead of your own, but Dr. Rondalyn Whitney, assistant professor of occupational therapy at the University of the Sciences, says research shows the disabled child and the family suffer when the caregiver fails to take time to refresh.

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“Reaching out into the community and having time with a friend that restores your own sense of well being so it robs your own capacity to have more tolerance, more patience, more time to attend to some of the subtle pieces of family.”

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She says an adult caring for a disabled child spends more than three extra hours a day parenting than other moms and dads, time that is often taken from a parent’s personal time.