Welcome to the Resource Toolkit!
This Resource Toolkit includes lived experience stories, expert information, tips and services to empower, enable and facilitate the inclusion of people with a hand difference and their families.
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Whether you’re an expecting or new parent, it is normal for you to feel a range of emotions from joy to anxiety. When you first find out that your baby has a hand difference, you may feel shocked, sad, guilty, grief-stricken, angry or embarrassed. Feeling this way is normal.
As you prepare to welcome your child into your family and community, it’s a good time to reach out. Connecting with parents in similar situations, support groups and health professionals can help you gain knowledge and tools to make informed decisions and be confident in raising your baby.
You are probably wondering what is the best way and when is the right time to share the news of your baby’s hand difference with your family, friends and acquaintances. You might like to tell close family and friends first, people you know who will support you unconditionally.
This is an entirely personal decision. Many parents find that they need time to process their own feelings before they tell others. Take your time and do not feel the pressure to stick to a specific timeline.
Getting Connected is about finding the right support network to help provide you with confidence, peace of mind and ideas about caring for your little one.
After Finding Out about your child’s hand difference, it is possible that you were given many referrals. Many parents find this overwhelming, especially parents having their first baby.
Here is a list of health professionals and support that other parents have found useful when making decisions.
Whether transitioning to childcare, kindergarten, school or high school you may have many questions about how to prepare your child, what you can do to help them adapt and prepare their teachers.
Starting primary school is a significant milestone in your child’s life. For children with hand a difference and their parents, it can be a time full of questions and uncertainty.
As your child enters school you may be thinking about what skills you can equip them with to build their confidence and in turn make friends and participate in extracurricular activities.
As children get older, they may develop new feelings about their hand difference so having access to role models and connections with other Aussie Hands families may help build their self-confidence.
Your child will naturally want to become more independent as they reach kindergarten and school. They will want to show that they can do everyday tasks like tying shoelaces, managing buttons and zips, tying hair, brushing teeth and eating independently.
Many parents say their child is adaptable and resilient, they find their own way of doing things. Some parents have found that occupational therapy, a prosthesis or assistive devices have helped their child gain independence.
Being a teenager and starting high school is an exciting time. You will experience new things, make new friends and probably want to learn new skills and hobbies.
But it is normal to have days when you may not feel 100% positive about yourself. When that happens, it can be helpful to know that you have the capability to achieve your goals and there are strategies to boost your confidence. It can also be super helpful to see other people achieving their goals – if they can do it, so can you!
‘You need to see it to be it.’ Seeing others succeed in study and their careers can help you start to set goals and create your future.
As you’re heading towards becoming a young adult, it’s good to think about what you would like to achieve and then surround yourself with people who can support or positively influence you.
Role models enable you to see what others are doing, especially when you think you couldn’t do certain study or work. They also show that everyone defines success differently and encourage you to go for it!
As a teenager, you have exciting times with new opportunities ahead, like going for your first job, planning further study, and even learning to drive.
As you prepare for these great moments in life, you may feel concerned about being judged and how others may perceive your abilities.
So, it’s also a good time to develop your job interview and career discussions skills, giving you more confidence to reach your goals.
About our Sponsor
The Aussie Hands Resource Toolkit was funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services – ILC Individual Capacity Building Program – an Australian Government Initiative’.