Society of African Journal Editors

African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

Challenges experienced by women in raising children with intellectual disabilities

Authors: K.S. Malatji, C. Ndebele

Journal: African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

This study investigated the challenges experienced by women raising children with intellectual disabilities. The study followed the interpretive paradigm in order to capture parents’ subjective experiences of raising children who are intellectually challenged. The research approach adopted was qualitative, based on a case study design. Purposive sampling was used to select 6 female parents from a rural area in the Capricorn district of Limpopo province, South Africa, who had raised children with intellectual disabilities in the past decade. Data were collected through individual interviews and thematically analysed. The results showed that women experience several emotional challenges such as shock, anger and frustration and social problems such as community rejection and discrimination, in raising intellectually challenged children. The study concludes that due to the absence of support structures in communities, parents are unable to cope with raising children with intellectual disabilities. It is recommended that the government intervenes by introducing more institutional community support structures. Keywords : Community mental health, intellectual disability, women and children.