Mental Retardation in Children Unit

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Mentally Retarded Children

MentalRetardation in Children



Homerehabilitation problems for children who have mental retardation fromtheir parents` perspective


The diagnostic term, `mental retardation`, was introduced in 1961 bythe American Psychiatric Association (APA) but the fifth edition ofthe Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)replaced &quotmental retardation&quot with &quotintellectualdisability&quot (Corcoran &amp Walsh 2010). The US government andmental health professionals have argued for the full participation ofmental health patients in normal lives under the normalizationprinciple (McGrail &amp Rieger 2013). As such, home rehabilitationmay be more beneficial than other hospital-based therapeuticapproaches (Poston et al 2008).


Parents ofintellectually challenged children sometimes experience added stresscaused by their child`s physical, emotional, and financial demands.These parents also have to play multiple roles, especially where theyare required to offer home rehabilitation to these children. Parentsof intellectually challenged children may have a differentperspective to that of healthcare professionals and psychiatrists onthe management of such conditions. Although parents and therapistsmay be united in purpose and goals, they may differ based on theunique challenges that parents face in taking of the children.


The study adoptedan exploratory qualitative framework to investigate the issuefurther. The study is designed to provide a better understanding ofproblems facing families and parents living with intellectuallydisabled children through home rehabilitation. By focusing on thequalitative aspects of the community and family structures,processes, and programs that promote or inhibit home-basedrehabilitation of intellectually disabled children, the study willpinpoint the details of such problems (Holloway &amp Galvin 2016).


What are thebiggest challenges facing home rehabilitation of intellectuallychallenged children from the perspective of parents?


  • The research question shall be guided by the following objectives.

  • Assess the attitudes of parents towards home based care of intellectually challenged children

  • Examine the relationship between attitude towards the home-based care of mental health patients and the quality care offered.

  • Investigate the level of government support to families offering home-based care to mentally challenged children

  • Find out the knowledge and skill level of parents and family members in caring for intellectually challenged children.


Blacher and Baker(2013) indicated the attitudes and perceptions towards ID in thehousehold mostly vary along cultural lines with Latinos havinggreater positive attitudes compared to non-Latino whites. Govender(2002) says that some African cultures associate mental retardationwith witchcraft or with the supernatural as a form of punishment orin some cases family lineage. Such cultural beliefs drive parents andfamilies attitudes towards children with ID. In traditional Nigeriantribes, children with any form of disability including physical andintellectual were considered to be &quotsocietal defaults&quot andwere usually perceived negatively and mistreated by society (Eskay,Onu, Igbo, Obiyo Ungwunyi 2012, p. 476).

Family andparental training and preparedness in offering home-basedrehabilitation care affect the types of problems these families faceand their attitude and ability to address such issues (Hassall &ampMcDonald 2005). Such training is necessary as they play multipleroles in the education and rehabilitation of such children (Mohsin etal. 2011).


H0 Familiesassociate children with AD with increases in socioeconomic problemsfor the family

H1 Families donot associate children with AD with increases in socioeconomicchallenges for the family

H0 Many parentsare poorly equipped in providing homes-based rehabilitation withoutconstant social and financial support from the government.

H2 Many parentsare well equipped in providing homes-based rehabilitation withoutconstant social and financial support from the government


The study willalso employ an ethnographic research orientation. As a qualitativestudy, the data collected will be filtered through the researcher`simpressions and subjective interpretation and make inferences. Assuch, the study seeks to apply one on interviews and focus groups togive the researcher to pose open-ended questions to understand thephenomena better and answer research questions.

Research design

The researchmethodology to be used is qualitative in nature. An exploratoryapproach will also be examined to understand better how the issue ofcaring for mentally retarded children affects parents and theirfamilies. The study`s scope will also address the manner in which thecurrent problems facing these parents in taking care of theirchildren affect the therapeutic outcomes for the youngsters.


The research willtarget parents and families taking care of mentally retarded childrenat home. Although the attention of the study is the problems thatparents face in caring for mentally retarded children, theinvolvement or lack of other family members can exacerbate oralleviate potential problems. The research will target ten familiescaring for an intellectually challenged child. One or both parentswill be considered for participation depending on their availability.


The study willuse one-on-one interviews, as well as focus groups interviews. Theone-on-one interviews will be arranged with parents of the mentallychallenged children at their homes. Holding the interviews at theirhomes will allow the researcher to make additional observations oncaring for mentally challenged children. Focus groups discussionswill be held talking two to three families together. The groups willseek to include the parents and other family members.


As qualitativedata, the thematic analysis approach will be used to interpretinformation collected (Holloway &amp Galvin 2016). The approachwill help identify recurring themes and patterns in the types ofproblems facing parents taking are intellectually challenged childrenat home.


The researcher will seek to maintain the privacy and confidentialityof patients. Confidential information such medical history will notbe shared. Informed consent from participants will be sought. Again,the researcher shall obtain approval to conduct the study fromrelevant authorities before commencing.


The researcherwill present implications of the study`s findings and makerecommendations.


Steps in the research plan


Estimated time required



Step 2

Planning of topic

Step 3

Preliminary research and topic familiarization

Step 4

Draft proposal

Step 5

Final proposal preparation and submission

Step 6

Review of proposal feedback

Step 7

Constructing a detailed plan of the research

Step 8

Collection of necessary research material

Step 9

Preview interviews

Step 10

Collection of data

Step 11

1st draft preparation

Step 12

2nd draft preparation


Blacher, J. &ampBaker, B. L. (2007). Positiveimpact of intellectual disability on families.

AmericanJournal on Mental Retardation, 112(5), 330-348.

Corcoran, J. &ampWalsh, J. (2010). Clinical assessment and diagnosis in social workpractice.

London: OxfordUniversity Press.

Eskay, M., Onu,V., Igbo, N., Obiyo, N &amp Ugwuanyi, L. (2012). Disability withinthe African

culture.US-China Education Review B 4 (2012) 473-484

Govender, N.(2002). Attitudes of parents towards their mentally retardedchildren: a rural area

examination.University of Zululand Institutional Repository

Hassall, R.,Rose, J. &amp McDonald, J. (2005). Parenting stress in mothers ofchildren with an

intellectual disability: the effects of parental cognitions inrelation to child characteristics and family support. Journal ofintellectual disability research 49(6): 405-418.

Holloway, J. &ampGalvin, K. (2016). Qualitative research in nursing and healthcare.New York:

John Wiley.

McGrail, J.P., &ampRieger, A.&nbsp (2013).&nbspCopinghumor and family functioning in parents of children

withdisabilities. Rehabilitation Psychology, 58(1),89-97.

McIntyre, L.(2008). Parent training for young children with developmentaldisabilities:

randomizedcontrolled trial. Am J Ment Retard., 113(5): 356–368.

Mohsin, M., Khan,T., Doger, A., &amp Awan, A. (2011). Role of parents in training ofchildren

with intellectual disability. International Journal of Humanitiesand Social Science 1(9): (78-88).

Poston, D.,Summers, J.A., Turnbull, A.P., &amp Turnbull, H.R.&nbsp (2008).Partnering with families of

children with developmentaldisabilities to enhance family quality of life.&nbspInH. P. Parette and G. Peterson-Karlan (eds.), Research-based practicesin developmental disabilities.&nbspAustin, TX: Pro-Ed, 481-499.

Sharma, Sheetal(2014). Understanding role of parents in rehabilitation of childrenwith mental

retardation.Journal of Education and Research for Sustainable Development,3(1): 1-9.

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