In Italy we do not know much about families with severely disabled children. We know there are, but we do not know how many. We know that they live in precarious conditions and stress, often have financial problems caused by the abandonment of work by one of the two parents to take care of the baby (almost always the mom).

We know that there are brothers whom few think. They become more mature even when they are the youngest. They know what the medical devices as aspirator and the saturimeter are, they often know how to turn off the nutrition pump. They live and breathe the disability every day.

In these situations it’s extremaly difficult to keeping the family togheter and not falling apart.

Many families do not go far. Little is known about them and as a result it seems they don’t need support.

We assure that they are present in our society, in the blog section we will tell their stories and in this section we will publish the studies and research we have found on families with disabled children and some analyzes that we have written to us.

Repport funded by European Union’s Seventh Framework ProgrammeFamilies with disabled children in different European countries“. Authors: Paola Di Giulio, Dimiter Philipov, and Ina Jaschinski.


This report focuses on the effect of the presence of a disabled child in a family and in particular on its demographically relevant consequences in a comparative framework. Couples who rear a disabled child are more frequently unstable, more often forego their fertility intentions, more frequently suffer from economic difficulties, show more traditional gender role arrangements, are more frequently in bad health, and have lower well-being than families without disabilities. The consequences are also different for mothers and fathers: fathers of disabled children have fewer emotional exchanges, while mothers tend to suffer more in terms of social contact. Feelings of emptiness, loneliness and rejection are more typical of mothers with disabled children. This report contributes to the existing literature by showing that comparative large-scale surveys on topics other than disability (such as the Gender and Generation surveys) can be quite a rich source of information on the family life of disabled children.