"We Just Want to Be Parents": Occupations in Parenting Children with Developmental Disabilities

Hanna, Karen Janelle (2007). "We Just Want to Be Parents": Occupations in Parenting Children with Developmental Disabilities MPhil Thesis, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Queensland.

       
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Author Hanna, Karen Janelle
Thesis Title "We Just Want to Be Parents": Occupations in Parenting Children with Developmental Disabilities
School, Centre or Institute School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2007
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Associate Professor Sylvia Rodger
Subjects 321024 Rehabilitation and Therapy - Occupational and Physical
Abstract/Summary This qualitative study investigated the experiences of parents of children with developmental disabilities living in a regional community on the New South Wales coast. The study aimed to understand the occupations engaged in by parents, to understand activities and occupations that contributed to parents’ sense of competency and self worth and to explore the participants’ experiences in dealing with services. Eighteen parents (eight parent couples and two mothers), whose children had a range of disabilities including cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and autistic spectrum disorders, were interviewed. The interviews were transcribed and the data analysed to identify common themes, using a phenomenological methodology. Themes that emerged from the data were categorised into contextual dimensions and observable dimensions of parents’ occupations. Themes that reflected contextual dimensions of occupations were: knowing our child, finding acceptance and belonging, and an ongoing journey. Those themes that involved observable dimensions of occupations were: “doing” for our child, parenting and managing family life and dealing with services. Additionally, the data were explored and interpreted using a framework for occupation involving concepts of doing, being, becoming and belonging. Implications for occupational therapists working in clinical practice were also identified, highlighting the importance of collaborating with families and supporting and encouraging parents in their parenting occupations.

 
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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 16:00:48 EST