Being a Parent with a Learning Disability: A Qualitative Study
This research portfolio aims to further explore the issues faced by parents with a learning disability. Firstly, a systematic review of qualitative research into the social support of parents with a learning disability is presented. This not only indicated that a range of social support is provided to parents with a learning disability and received with different perceptions, but also highlighted the need for further qualitative research in the area, to gain a better insight into the lived experiences of this group of parents. Secondly, and further to the findings of the systematic review, is the empirical research study. Adopting a qualitative design (Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis- IPA) (Smith, 1996; Smith et al., 2009), the study aimed to explore what parents with a learning disability understood about their learning disability and how they perceived it to impact on them in their parenting role. Analysis revealed five themes which reflect the perceptions and experiences of a sample of eight parents with a learning disability. Finally, to enable efficient and effective dissemination of the findings to the wider audience a journal article is presented. The journal article, as well as attempting to summarise the methodology used, focused on the most salient theme of the findings, which was how participants viewed themselves in relation to having a learning disability and being a parent.