Getting kids to do what parents want them to do can be particularly problematic when the child is disabled. However, expectations of developmentally appropriate contributions in the home/society and developmentally appropriate self care are key to preparing for successful transition to adulthood.
Clinicians can facilitate this process by:
  • explaining the importance of children having appropriate levels of independence;
  • reviewing appropriate expectations given the child's level of development/function; and
  • teaching parents behavioral techniques to motivate their child.

The clinician may want to involve a psychologist for family therapy or child counseling when any of the following are observed:
  • parents' expectations remain impoverished (e.g., vulnerable child syndrome, lack of resolution with the child''s diagnosis);
  • excessive conflict persists between the child and parent; and
  • the child has persistent refusal to attain ability-appropriate goals despite intervention by the Medical Home.
For a useful tool for helping parents with motivation, click out and print: Getting Kids Motivated.

Authors & Reviewers

Initial publication: October 2008; last update/revision: May 2011
Current Authors and Reviewers:
Author: Lisa Samson-Fang, MD