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The role of competency-enhancing helpgiving practices in parental adaptation for families of children with special needs.


Approximately 20 million children in this country suffer from some type of chronic illness or disability. Care for most of these children has shifted from acute care facilities and residential programs to the home. This shift has created enormous burdens for the families, often impacting every aspect of their lives. Health professionals are challenged to develop modes of helping that minimize threats to family integrity and facilitate healthy adaptation to caring for a child with special needs.