Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1981

Volume 6 Issue 2

Parents of Intellectually Handicapped Children — How they are Told

Toni E. Meek

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Toni E. Meek


1 Broadmeadows Family Services

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Parents invariably experience great emotional distress when they are informed that their child is intellectually handicapped. From working with parents of intellectually handicapped children, it appears that they experience more anxiety with their child than do parents of normal children, and often have special needs. These needs may vary from requiring assistance to adjust to their child’s condition, to advice and guidance about how to manage their child. It is apparent from talking with parents about their experiences with their intellectually handicapped child, that often their needs have not or have only superficially been met by professionals. Some cases have been adequately dealt with, however, in general there appear to be discrepancies in the availability of assistance for parents of intellectually handicapped children. There is a need to bring into focus the situation as it now exists for parents when they are told of their child’s handicap. The time when parents are told of their child’s handicap is a crucial one for parents, and perhaps not enough is being done to help parents at this time.

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