“The only constant in life is change” – Heraclitus.

Change is usually experienced with a combination of excitement (“What’s new and different?”) and dread (“What does this new way of thinking/talking/doing mean for me?”). These mixed reactions are no less common in the ever-changing field of ‘childhood disability’. Professionals working in childhood disability – whether providing service and education, or exploring issues with health services research – are in a rapidly evolving field. This era of expansion and change can be threatening, and lead people to become entrenched, skeptical, perhaps even cynical, and resistant to evolution in our spheres of interest.

With my CanChild colleagues I have been privileged to be part of a 30-year journey of inquiry, discovery, knowledge translation and promotion of the uptake of new ideas. In this talk I would like to share some of the lessons we have learned – and continue to learn every day as we teach and present our ideas. I believe that we have an ever-improving understanding of how to promote and support change while respecting the tensions that accompany it.

It is my hope that this talk, and the discussion it encourages, will help people think positively about change and accept it in a new (changed) way!

Margaret Mayston