Mothering and intellectual disability: partnership rhetoric?

Chrissie Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is about mothering an intellectually disabled child identified with special educational needs. It specifically looks at the parent partnership rhetoric that has dominated UK government policy and directives for nearly three decades and yet research suggests parents and more often mothers have to battle to be recognised as legitimate experts. This paper engages with sociological analysis as it highlights via qualitative narratives that mothers are weighed down by the sheer number of professionals involved in their day-to-day life. Moreover, mothers whose children are not identified in the early years are often blamed in the first instance for playing a part in their child’s difficult behaviour. This research ultimately suggests that partnership work is important and necessary for practice within health, education and social work professions, not least of all because the emotional roller-coaster that mothers experience during the assessment and statementing process is disabling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-581
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number4
Early online date13 Jul 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • intellectual disability
  • mothering
  • parenting
  • partnership
  • special educational needs
  • policy


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