Exceeding the Usual: Struggles and Coping Mechanisms of Parents with Differently-abled Children
It is unplanned for parents to have children with disabilities and this certain phenomenon has been studied across the globe for years. Studies reported that parents with differently-abled children went through bigger challenges, and they experienced rough terrains in their situation.The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to discover the struggles and coping mechanisms of parents having differently-abled children. We employed a qualitative design using phenomenological approach. Through purposive sampling, fifteen (15) participants willingly responded to questions regarding the struggles they encountered as parents of differently-abled children and their coping mechanisms through a key informant interview technique. Results revealed six themes as regards their struggles. Participants were challenged communicating with the child, stressed of child’s frequent sickness, troubled about child’s misdemeanor, wounded with the slur of bullying and rejection, burdened financially, and strained emotionally. Furthermore, eight themes emerged as their coping mechanisms. A range of struggles experienced by the parents impacted them and their family. Furthermore, coping mechanisms applied by parents were geared towards children’s well-being. And, they served as their weapons in overcoming their day-to-day struggles.
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