Challenges of parenting children with intellectual disabilities: A case of selected parents in Lusaka District Zambia
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The study sought to establish the challenges that parents, guardians and caregivers of children with intellectual challenges go through in the process of raising their children. The researcher used both qualitative and quantitative methods in which a case study research design was employed. A sample of sixty parents was used in Lusaka District. The findings revealed that parents, guardians and caregivers had problems as regards the unacceptable behavior from their children. Some families were reported to have been socially isolated and suffered stigma. Marriages were stressed and some broke down. Intellectually disabled children also created anxiety among siblings. Besides that, parents, guardians and caregivers had economic hardships to meet the daily needs of these children. A number of them were found to be out of formal employment and were finding it hard to meet the needs of the children. It was also found that, the inevitable role by parents, guardians and caregivers to look after the intellectually challenged children in a more of perpetual manner, hindered them from full participation in income generating activities which they under took before the birth and eventual diagnosis of these children with this condition. Furthermore, other parents, guardians and caregivers were reported to have lost formal employment for the sake of taking care of the intellectually challenged children. The study showed that parents, guardians and caregivers had developed some strategies that helped them to cope with the situation of living with intellectually challenged children. Some of the strategies include beliefs in God, comfort from friends and planning for the children in advance. The study also revealed that parents, guardians and caregivers were negatively perceived by the community and members of the public at large. The parents and guardians were held responsible for the conditions of their children and it was in some quarters of society believed that, the parents and guardians due to the love of money caused the conditions of the children. The parents and guardians further received terrible remarks from some sections of society for the perceived failure to control their children emanating from their disruptive behavior in the community. The researcher, therefore makes recommendations as follows; close observation on the children‟ behavior as a source of understanding can be helpful, planning for multi-professional support groups to relieve the pressure on parents, sharing experiences with the parents in a loosely supervised support group is also ideal for the parents and need for a nationwide assessment sensitization health survey to parents on the condition and diagnosis.
SubjectChildren with disabilities-Family relationships
Children with disabilities-Care
- Education