SELF-HELP GROUPS FOR PARENTS WITH MENTALLY RETARDED CHILDREN

Vaska STANCHEVA-POPKOSTADINOVA, Vanya GEORGIEVA

Abstract


This presentation concerns a group for parents of mentally retarded children.

A group of these parents receives professional help and  environmental support. The parents are encouraged to assume responsibility in the everyday life educational process of their children.

As Baker / 1980 / states: “ If parents cope better on  daily basis with the child who has mental retardation, not only the child but also the parents would benefit”.

Taking part in the group gave the parents:

  • the opportunity to meet other parents with the same children;
  • to talk to other parents and feel less isolated;
  • to share information and experiences, skills and ideas;
  • the opportunity to listen to the needs and problems of other parents;
  • to change the ways of working to meet the child’s needs;
  • share information about the possibilities of education and services;
  • parents are encouraged to meet together to support one another;
  • parents need a special approach to many problems existing in their families.
  • the education in the group puts the beginning of the work with the parents.

The idea is to gather the efforts of specialists from different fields and to establish multi-disciplinary group aiming to work with the parents and create a good collaboration and partnership between them in order to improve the living conditions and services to the retarded persons.

This paper reports on the development, evaluation and dissemination of the program for education of parents with mentally retarded children. At the Symposium we will be able to present the results of the effectiveness of the education.


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