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BEYOND ABILITIES: UNDERSTANDING the LIVED – EXPERIENCES of PARENTS of LEARNERS with INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY

Queenie Elyza G. Salinas, Bernardita I. Tiamzon

Abstract: Parents’ love is unconditional, truly selfless, and unending. It always protects, always hopes, and is always proud. Parenting life seems to be challenging, but despite all this, having children to nurture and a family to lean on is somehow fulfilling. This study explored the lived experiences of parents of learners with intellectual disabilities. The researcher conducted a virtual face–to–face interview to describe their parenting day–to–day experiences, challenges, and coping mechanisms as parents of learners with intellectual disability. Limitations to examining the phenomenon are observed in this study. Six (6) parents of learners with intellectual disabilities were interviewed virtually, and the data gathered was transcribed using thematic analysis. The themes derived from this study were: Journey to Acceptance, The Art of Being Selfless, and The Key to Successful Co-Parenting. The exploration of themes described meaningfully and inspirationally the parents' journey when raising a child with an intellectual disability. Data gathered was supported by related literature and studies and the theoretical perspectives involving Parent Development Theory (PDT) and Lazarus and Folkman's stress and coping theory. The insights gained in this study will contribute to further parenting studies and special education and general education research. The findings of this study may enlighten parents of learners with intellectual disabilities, special education teachers, general education teachers, social workers, and others in support of awareness advocacy on the wonderful journey of parenting experiences, challenges, and coping mechanisms when raising a child with intellectual disability.
Keywords: intellectual disabilities / children / parents of learners / learners with intellectual / gathered / virtual / special

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