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Families’ Experiences of Weight Management and Wellness in Children with Disabilities


We have learnt that children with disabilities and weight management and wellness needs, along with their families often experience challenges and difficulties accessing health and wellness support and/or weight programs. There are a lot of things that can get in the way of having helpful conversations around things like healthy living and weight management during your child’s medical appointments.  As a result, we want to hear about yours and your child’s experiences discussing weight and health with your child’s doctors, nurses, and at their clinic appointments.


Amy McPherson, PhD

Participate in this study

Consider participating in our study to help us understand the experiences of children with disabilities and their parents around weight management and wellness services and support and to shed light on how healthcare professionals can better serve families with children with disabilities who have higher weights.

Who can participate

We are looking for:

  • Parents and their children between the age of 10 and 18 years
  • Children with a diagnosis of either Spina Bifida or ASD
  • Children with a higher weight management needs
  • Communicate verbally in English (can use a communication device)

What's Involved

Parents and their child with Spina Bifida or ASD will participate in a one-time 60 minute interview with a Bloorview research staff at a location convenient for the research participant.

Parent will be asked questions about their lived experiences around weight management services and supports for their child.

Children will be asked similar questions through an art-based interview where children will have the opportunity to use art supplies to tell their story.


January 31, 2019

Interested in participating

If you are interested in participating in this study or have additional questions, please contact Tasha Carter at 416-425-6220 ext. 6505 or with your interest, and they will get back to your shortly. Contacting us does not obligate you or your child to participate in the study.

Funding Agency

This research study is funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Learn more about this study