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Experience of mothers at delivering birth to a child with Down's syndrome

Urša Zupan (2018) Experience of mothers at delivering birth to a child with Down's syndrome. MSc thesis.

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    This master's thesis discusses the way mothers cope with the fact that their newborn baby is diagnosed with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder and people having it are one of the largest groups of people with (mild to moderate) intellectual disabilities. Birth of a child with Down syndrome is a big change for the whole family that affects all family members, but especially the mother of the child. The fact that her child is different than she expected and wished throughout her pregnancy triggers various emotional responses. When the diagnosis is made mother faces different emotions: anger, fear of future, guilt. On top of everything this is a very stressful experience. The process of accepting and dealing with the diagnosis is long, and a mother needs (besides the support of her partner, family and close friends) professional help and support. A lot of support and information can also be gained from other parents that had similar experience – this kind of interaction is extremely important, especially because it has a positive influence on the acceptance of the diagnosis. A part of this master's thesis is our research that focuses on the mother's reaction and her feelings when the diagnosis that the child has Down syndrome is shared with her. Empirical part consists of four interviews with mothers of children with Down syndrome. Each interview is a unit of its own where answers are analyzed and findings supported by theoretical reference points. A conclusion was reached that all four mothers found out about the diagnosis of their children after their birth. They were deeply distressed, and experienced various strong feelings. They reported being in shock, and for all four of them the most helpful in the process of accepting that their child is different was the support of their partners. The relationships among family members and friends have not changed in any of the families. The differences among interviewees immerged in the way the diagnosis was shared with them by pediatrists. Two of them missed more support, empathy and kindness and additional information about the diagnosis. Special and rehabilitation pedagogues often work with parents of children with Down syndrome. It is important to be aware of the types of distress they face, to know how to listen to them, and to give them enough (scientifically accurate) information. Cooperation and good relationships are the stepping stone to achieving child’s optimum progress. Based on the literature and interviewees’ answers guidelines for parents of children with Down syndrome were created.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: Down syndrome, mental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, accepting diagnosis, stress
    Number of Pages: 53
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Erna ŽgurMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=12021833)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5106
    Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2018 15:56
    Last Modified: 12 Jun 2018 15:56
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5106

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