Parents of Children with Disabilities: Resilience, Coping, and Future Expectations

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Abstract

On the basis of characteristics of family resilience, the study examined the perspectives of parents of children with an intellectual, physical, or learning disability. Thirty-two parents were interviewed as to past, present, and the modes of coping. The questions examined various aspects of family ecology domains: parents' responses to the child's diagnosis; patterns of adjustment; family support and services used by parents; and parents' feelings and future expectations. Although, it was found that most parents had to make changes in their social life and expressed high levels of frustration and dissatisfaction, many try to maintain their routine life. The majority expressed the need for a strong belief in the child and in the child's future, an optimistic outlook, and a realistic view and acceptance of the disability. The study highlighted the importance of social resources and support, and the need for effective programs of intervention.