Volume 12, Issue 5 (May 2021)

ISSN Print: 2152-7180   ISSN Online: 2152-7199

Google-based Impact Factor: 1.56  Citations  

Parents’ Voice: Parents’ Emotional and Practical Coping with a Child with Special Needs

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DOI: 10.4236/psych.2021.125042    138 Downloads   546 Views  


Raising a child with special needs is challenging for most parents. The current study sought to focus on the emotional feelings of parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or with learning disabilities. This qualitative study examined 41 parental retrospective perceptions and feeling regarding six aspects: 1) Emotional feelings toward the child referring to different period of his/her life. 2) Emotional feelings in the marital relationships. 3) Personal feelings of the parent. 4) Emotional feelings toward the educational systems. 5) Support and coping. 6) Needs and thoughts regarding the future. Findings revealed that parents from all groups, were experiencing a difficult period following diagnosis and in their daily routines. They described a lot of stress, anxiety, and anger. Some parents described their relationships as unstable and as involving conflicts and disagreements, others adopted a more positive mindset and with the challenges they were facing. Many parents referred to the emotional support and guidance they were receiving either as part of a support group or by visiting a therapist. The present findings contribute to our knowledge regarding the emotional experience of parents raising a child with disability, and highlight the vulnerability of parents with a child with special needs.

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Heiman, T. (2021) Parents’ Voice: Parents’ Emotional and Practical Coping with a Child with Special Needs. Psychology, 12, 675-691. doi: 10.4236/psych.2021.125042.

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