The impact of the mentally retarded child on the family living in the rural areas of the Transkei

Sipambo, Sindiswa (1995) The impact of the mentally retarded child on the family living in the rural areas of the Transkei. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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This research was designed to do four things: first to discover what problems face caregivers who bring up handicapped children in their own homes; second, what community resources are available or which should be available to assist the mentally retarded and his family to cope with the problem; third, social policy measures available through the Transkei government, e.g. single care grant and disability grant and under what conditions are they available and whether other resources/services are available, and fourth, to find out from caregivers themselves how well the social services, although limited which are intended to help them and their children work in practice, more specifically in rural areas especially when community and public sector measures are highly circumscribed. The lack of resources for mentally retarded children and their families in Transkei and particularly the Sterkspruit district raised some questions in the researcher's mind on how to rear a mentally retarded child in this area. Data was gathered from a sample of all mentally retarded children who are single care grant recipients. The subjects were the mothers of these children or the present custodian about the time of the study. Information was also gathered from the social workers in the district mainly from their case files in the office. The sample was sufficient for the study to be meaningful and well represented and to eliminate guesses and assumptions about the lives of mentally handicapped children and their families. Findings reveal that caring for a mentally retarded child is a demanding task with varying levels of stress. Families of the retarded, in general, tend to have more problems in individual and marital adjustment, child-rearing practices, and sibling relationship. They are significantly affected - socially, economically and emotionally - by mental retardation. Support systems both formal and informal, were a great single source of help for these families for them to cope with these children. Recommendations for better quality of life for both the handicapped child and his family are given in the last chapter, and they are most suitable for undertaking by the Welfare and Education Departments. It is not the purpose of this study to give advice to parents on how to bring up their handicapped children. Often using the mothers' own words, the researcher only presents the picture given by the parents themselves of how they actually learn to live with a handicapped child

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Retarded, Families, Children, Rural, Black, South Africa, Transkei
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities
Supervisors:Mitchell, W. A.
ID Code:4111
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:21 Nov 2012 08:17
Last Modified:21 Nov 2012 08:17
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