So in the new March issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, there's an article about a study that was conducted at the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin regarding parents who have a child with a disability, such as ADHD, bipolar disorder and Down syndrome. Apparently, the study's researchers needed to take the time and effort to evaluate saliva samples from these parents "to measure the changing patterns of their cortisol expression" during a given day to see how stressed they were and if they were stressed more than parents of kids without disabilities.
OMG. Who pays for studies like this?? All that these "researchers" needed to do was spend an hour with the participating parents -- by the end of an hour they'd be pulling their hair out along with the parents. Who wouldn't be stressed while raising a child with a disability? It seems like we're constantly battling it out with insurance companies, doctors, specialists, therapists, school administrators, legislators, neighborhood bullies, well-meaning family members, other moms at the park or at the grocery store who are oblivious to invisible disabilities and say something hurtful because they don't understand our children's behavior, ... you name the battle and we've got it going on. Big-time. All the time. And it doesn't stop, no matter what age our children are. The battles just change and we have to adapt to try to stay one step ahead, but we never can.
Marsha Mailick Seltzer, the lead author of the study, concluded that "parents of children with disabilities would benefit from stress-reduction strategies."
The sentiment is great, but I think that the time and $$ would have been better spent on helping us pinpoint and pursue such strategies rather than taking our saliva.
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