Friday, September 21, 2012

Parenting the Disabled -- Research (Friday Favorites)

I graduated with a degree in Family Science (four days before my oldest was born, so I put that degree to use right away).  I love to see studies that back up what I already know and believe. 

In this case, the topic was parenting severely disabled children.  A large number of parents -- 338 -- were interviewed about their experience after having a child with either Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18.  While nearly a quarter of them had been advised that having such a child would ruin their lives as a family or couple, not one of the parents interviewed regretted going forward with the pregnancy.  Most found life with their child joyful and fulfilling. 

I'm saddened by the assumptions and stereotypes that people have towards those who are mentally or physically impaired.  In our body-worshiping, competitive culture, it's all too easy to believe the myths about how difficult and burdensome life is with a disabled person in the family.

1 comment:

Tristan said...

It's a topic near and dear to my heart! Having a child with a serious disability has enriched our family's life. Mason is a joy and he loves life. Yes, his physical body has major challenges, but with the gospel perspective we know that is a temporary condition that will be healed in the resurrection.

It shocks and saddens me to know that for every 100 women who hear their child will be born with Spina Bifida more than 60 will choose abortion. A child who can already suck their thumb and hear mommy's voice from in the womb will be killed by choice. I hate it. I hate that people care so little for a precious child.

Is it easy to care for a child with a disability? No. But it's not easy to care for a child without a disability either. Parenting is hard work with immeasurable, eternal rewards.

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