The Importance of Affection in Children with Disabilities

Children with disabilities need care and affection in order to grow up happy. Therefore, parents need to be sure to provide them with unconditional love. 
The Importance of Affection in Children with Disabilities
Ana Couñago

Written and verified by the psychologist Ana Couñago.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

When it comes to children with disabilities, affection is a fundamental part of their upbringing. It allows them to develop their abilities and grow up in a happy and healthy way.

Therefore, in these cases, it’s especially important for parents to develop a healthy attachment with their children. In other words, families need to know how to cater to the special needs of their children, providing them with love, trust, and security.

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

–Scott Hamilton–

The difficult situation of having a child with a disability

Disability, according to the World Health Organization, is a concept that encompasses:

  • Deficiencies or alterations in the functioning of one’s body.
  • Limitations when it comes to performing activities, actions, and everyday tasks. 
  • Restrictions in one’s social participation.
The Importance of Affection in Children with Disabilities

When children with disabilities are born, their parents must go through a stage of mourningThis later allows them to accept the situation and face their worries, doubts, stress, difficulties, negative feeling, etc.

With that in mind, the experience of these families, especially at first, becomes complicated and complex. This is due to the fact that, besides having to take responsibility for their child’s basic needs, they must also learn to:

  • Understand the behavior of their disabled child.
  • Respond properly to the signs and demands of their child.

So, parents who have children with disabilities must possess the sensitivity required to adapt and establish a strongly bonded relationship.

In order to achieve this, Early Intervention programs are key. These services fulfill the function of intervening therapeutically in children who have, or may have, developmental delays. The programs work especially with children between the ages of 0 and 6.

At the same time, these services aim to tend to and cover the needs of these children’s family and environment. That way, children with disabilities can grow in a healthy environment that’s full of love.  

“Having a special child turns you into a teacher to educate him, a doctor to care for him, a lawyer to respect him, and a lion to defend him.”

–Flavia Pascual–

The importance of affection in children with disabilities

Establishing a caring and safe foundation is important for the development of any child. However, it’s especially important for children with disabilities. This is because, given their disabilities, they’re more vulnerable and need more help and attention throughout their lives.

The Importance of Affection in Children with Disabilities

In contrast, the effects are positive if one or both parents manage to establish a relationship of trust and respect. This relationship helps the child grow up harmoniously on a cognitive, emotional and social level .

In fact, it’s fundamental to provide little ones with the trust they need to overcome limitations, barriers, and problems that arise over the years. In this sense, strong attachment relationships can be a protective factor when it comes to the difficulties that children with disabilities face.

Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind that establishing this bond requires taking the time to know, understand, and accept children with disabilities.  

“Understanding disability is understanding the peculiarity of your children’s situation, being aware of their abilities and limitations, and treating them according to their possibilities, but always keep in mind that their condition does not exclude them from responsibilities and behaviors .”

–Silvia Afanador–

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Sanz-Andrés, M. J. (2012). La discapacidad, factor de vulnerabilidad para una crianza saludable. Boletín del Real Patronato sobre Discapacidad (71), pp. 12-17.
  • Urrego, Y., Aragón, A., Combita, J. y Mora, M. (2012). Descripción de las estrategias de afrontamiento para padres con hijos con discapacidad cognitiva. Proyecto de investigación formativa llevado a cabo en el Programa de Psicología de la Universidad Piloto de Colombia. Línea de investigación en Desarrollo Humano.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.