Families with a mentally retarded member and their needs

Ann Gath Intrpductipn

Assessment of effects, on the. family

Theearly,, .impact on.a. .family,.. of..a„ .retarded.. .child Themixed ..feeNngs.at theJimeof the.. initial. impact Themeitect.Mofnd,ia,gnps,is

Theeffect.of..aM .mentally,. .retarded.. .child..pn,..th,e ..parents

F,amil,y...functipning..with. .children.. with,..mentai.. retardatipn. . . at . . school The.burden ..of.. care


Transition.. tpadult life other..members...of. thefamily Ageing. parents,. .a.n.d, ..ageinfl..!chiid,ren'

Mental . illness

People.. with..mental. retardation..who. .beco.me.parents.themselves Different.cultures

Needs ..and.priorities


Chapter. .References Introduction

Children with mental retardation (learning disability) were among the first patients to emerge from long-stay hospitals, an exodus hastened by a series of scandals and adverse reports, to be looked after by their families at home, as were those born later. At the time that long-stay hospitals were admitting children, it had been assumed that the family would be inevitably damaged by the presence of a child with any sort of handicap. Mothers would be persuaded to part with the disabled children by the argument that not only would that child have the best possible chance of a happy life, but so also would the other children in the family. Thus the early family research concentrated on the adverse effects on parents and on brothers and sisters.

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