The benefits system recognises that both disabled adults and children incur extra
costs because of their disability. Yet little is known about the nature and extent of
these costs, particularly for children. This thesis discusses the financial, social and
emotional costs to parents of bringing up a child with a severe disability.
A total of thirty-six focus group discussions were held with approximately 300 parents of
severely disabled children. During these group discussions parents negotiated and
agreed the minimum essential costs of bringing up a child with a severe disability.
These data were used to construct budget standards, which were used to compare
parents actual spending on disabled children and to investigate whether parents were
able to afford to meet the budget standard. All the figures in this report have been
up-rated by the Retail Price Index to year 2000 figures. [Continues.]
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.