Becoming the parent of a child diagnosed with learning disabilities can have a dramatic impact. Chrissie Rogers, the author of this article, is both a lecturer in education studies at Keele University and the mother of a daughter who has learning disabilities. She argues here that the pressures on mothers to produce ‘perfect’ babies and to meet all their needs are immense. These pressures arise from both internalised norms and societal expectations and, in the face of these pressures, parents may feel shock, loss and disappointment. These feelings may lead, in turn, to denial, anxiety and conflict affecting both the parents and the professionals involved with the family. Drawing on a series of in-depth interviews and personal narratives, Chrissie Rogers makes a powerful case for the importance of support, whether that support is formal or informal. She suggests that, without the right levels of support and understanding, having a child with a diagnosis of learning disability can disable the whole family.
- parents, learning disabilities, support,
- learning disabilities