Parents with learning disabilities: The lived experience

Gillian MacIntyre, Ailsa Stewart

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Abstract

    Background: In recent years the number of parents with a learning disability has increased, although exact figures are unknown. Research suggests that parents with learning disabilities are often assumed to be incompetent. (Murphy & Feldman, 2002; Booth & Booth, 1996). The result is that these families become over-represented in child protection figures (Olsen & Clarke, 2003). Research has suggested that advocacy plays an important role in assisting parents to negotiate these systems, allowing their voices to be heard more effectively (e.g. Mencap 2007). This small pilot study aimed to identify the likely demand for advocacy services to support parents with a learning disability living in the Glasgow area. In addition the study aimed to illustrate in depth the lived experiences of parents with a learning disability. Methods: A survey questionnaire was sent to relevant social work, health and voluntary sector organizations. Interviews were conducted with five parents with learning disabilities, their advocates and with key informants in service provision. Results: Parents experienced disadvantage in relation to a number of areas including child protection, poor housing and poverty. Interventions to support parents were often provided during a crisis rather than as prevention and a lack of accessible information disempowered parents in a number of ways. Parents often did not meet eligibility thresholds and found it difficult to access support for themselves. Advocacy performed a number of key functions and provided effective outcomes for parents with learning disabilities. Conclusions: Parents were able to effectively identify successful outcomes as a result of advocacy support. The complexity of their situations meant that long-term advocacy was viewed as the most effective model with volunteer advocates undertaking a complimentary role.

    Conference

    Conference8th Seattle Club Conference on Research and People with Learning Disabilities
    CityNewcastle, UK
    Period1/12/082/12/08

    Fingerprint

    learning disability
    parents
    experience
    child protection
    social work
    housing
    poverty

    Keywords

    • parents
    • learning disability
    • child protection
    • advocacy
    • advocacy services
    • Glasgow
    • parents with a learning disability

    Cite this

    MacIntyre, G., & Stewart, A. (2008). Parents with learning disabilities: The lived experience. Paper presented at 8th Seattle Club Conference on Research and People with Learning Disabilities, Newcastle, UK, .
    MacIntyre, Gillian ; Stewart, Ailsa. / Parents with learning disabilities: The lived experience. Paper presented at 8th Seattle Club Conference on Research and People with Learning Disabilities, Newcastle, UK, .
    @conference{aeffa7dc23de4ddb861242ef3207b6dc,
    title = "Parents with learning disabilities: The lived experience",
    abstract = "Background: In recent years the number of parents with a learning disability has increased, although exact figures are unknown. Research suggests that parents with learning disabilities are often assumed to be incompetent. (Murphy & Feldman, 2002; Booth & Booth, 1996). The result is that these families become over-represented in child protection figures (Olsen & Clarke, 2003). Research has suggested that advocacy plays an important role in assisting parents to negotiate these systems, allowing their voices to be heard more effectively (e.g. Mencap 2007). This small pilot study aimed to identify the likely demand for advocacy services to support parents with a learning disability living in the Glasgow area. In addition the study aimed to illustrate in depth the lived experiences of parents with a learning disability. Methods: A survey questionnaire was sent to relevant social work, health and voluntary sector organizations. Interviews were conducted with five parents with learning disabilities, their advocates and with key informants in service provision. Results: Parents experienced disadvantage in relation to a number of areas including child protection, poor housing and poverty. Interventions to support parents were often provided during a crisis rather than as prevention and a lack of accessible information disempowered parents in a number of ways. Parents often did not meet eligibility thresholds and found it difficult to access support for themselves. Advocacy performed a number of key functions and provided effective outcomes for parents with learning disabilities. Conclusions: Parents were able to effectively identify successful outcomes as a result of advocacy support. The complexity of their situations meant that long-term advocacy was viewed as the most effective model with volunteer advocates undertaking a complimentary role.",
    keywords = "parents, learning disability, child protection, advocacy, advocacy services, Glasgow, parents with a learning disability",
    author = "Gillian MacIntyre and Ailsa Stewart",
    year = "2008",
    month = "12",
    language = "English",
    note = "8th Seattle Club Conference on Research and People with Learning Disabilities ; Conference date: 01-12-2008 Through 02-12-2008",

    }

    MacIntyre, G & Stewart, A 2008, 'Parents with learning disabilities: The lived experience' Paper presented at 8th Seattle Club Conference on Research and People with Learning Disabilities, Newcastle, UK, 1/12/08 - 2/12/08, .

    Parents with learning disabilities: The lived experience. / MacIntyre, Gillian; Stewart, Ailsa.

    2008. Paper presented at 8th Seattle Club Conference on Research and People with Learning Disabilities, Newcastle, UK, .

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    TY - CONF

    T1 - Parents with learning disabilities: The lived experience

    AU - MacIntyre, Gillian

    AU - Stewart, Ailsa

    PY - 2008/12

    Y1 - 2008/12

    N2 - Background: In recent years the number of parents with a learning disability has increased, although exact figures are unknown. Research suggests that parents with learning disabilities are often assumed to be incompetent. (Murphy & Feldman, 2002; Booth & Booth, 1996). The result is that these families become over-represented in child protection figures (Olsen & Clarke, 2003). Research has suggested that advocacy plays an important role in assisting parents to negotiate these systems, allowing their voices to be heard more effectively (e.g. Mencap 2007). This small pilot study aimed to identify the likely demand for advocacy services to support parents with a learning disability living in the Glasgow area. In addition the study aimed to illustrate in depth the lived experiences of parents with a learning disability. Methods: A survey questionnaire was sent to relevant social work, health and voluntary sector organizations. Interviews were conducted with five parents with learning disabilities, their advocates and with key informants in service provision. Results: Parents experienced disadvantage in relation to a number of areas including child protection, poor housing and poverty. Interventions to support parents were often provided during a crisis rather than as prevention and a lack of accessible information disempowered parents in a number of ways. Parents often did not meet eligibility thresholds and found it difficult to access support for themselves. Advocacy performed a number of key functions and provided effective outcomes for parents with learning disabilities. Conclusions: Parents were able to effectively identify successful outcomes as a result of advocacy support. The complexity of their situations meant that long-term advocacy was viewed as the most effective model with volunteer advocates undertaking a complimentary role.

    AB - Background: In recent years the number of parents with a learning disability has increased, although exact figures are unknown. Research suggests that parents with learning disabilities are often assumed to be incompetent. (Murphy & Feldman, 2002; Booth & Booth, 1996). The result is that these families become over-represented in child protection figures (Olsen & Clarke, 2003). Research has suggested that advocacy plays an important role in assisting parents to negotiate these systems, allowing their voices to be heard more effectively (e.g. Mencap 2007). This small pilot study aimed to identify the likely demand for advocacy services to support parents with a learning disability living in the Glasgow area. In addition the study aimed to illustrate in depth the lived experiences of parents with a learning disability. Methods: A survey questionnaire was sent to relevant social work, health and voluntary sector organizations. Interviews were conducted with five parents with learning disabilities, their advocates and with key informants in service provision. Results: Parents experienced disadvantage in relation to a number of areas including child protection, poor housing and poverty. Interventions to support parents were often provided during a crisis rather than as prevention and a lack of accessible information disempowered parents in a number of ways. Parents often did not meet eligibility thresholds and found it difficult to access support for themselves. Advocacy performed a number of key functions and provided effective outcomes for parents with learning disabilities. Conclusions: Parents were able to effectively identify successful outcomes as a result of advocacy support. The complexity of their situations meant that long-term advocacy was viewed as the most effective model with volunteer advocates undertaking a complimentary role.

    KW - parents

    KW - learning disability

    KW - child protection

    KW - advocacy

    KW - advocacy services

    KW - Glasgow

    KW - parents with a learning disability

    UR - http://www.seattleclub.org.uk/pdfs/Seattle%20Club%20abstracts%20book%202008.pdf

    M3 - Paper

    ER -

    MacIntyre G, Stewart A. Parents with learning disabilities: The lived experience. 2008. Paper presented at 8th Seattle Club Conference on Research and People with Learning Disabilities, Newcastle, UK, .