Perceptions of parents and caregivers regarding the special needs of children at Sunshine Day Care Centre in Walvis Bay select="/dri:document/dri:meta/dri:pageMeta/dri:metadata[@element='title']/node()"/>

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Show simple item record Van Rooyen, Barbara 2018-05-26T16:20:10Z 2018-05-26T16:20:10Z 2018
dc.description A research thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Social Work en_US
dc.description.abstract There are many challenges in raising and caring for a child with special needs. Each barrier experienced, is challenging in, and of itself for parents and caregivers. When a parent or caregiver learns that a child has a disability or chronic illness, it takes them on an unexpected journey that requires constant empathy and sensitivity, towards the child. These feelings are often filled with strong emotion and difficult choices. Children with special needs are framed within the discourse of stigma constructed by the society in which the child is raised. Such families and their children are affected by the beliefs, values, and attitudes situated in the narratives of the community. This thesis set out to examine some of the difficulties and the perceptions of parents and caregivers with regards to the special needs of children at Sunshine Day Care Centre in Walvis Bay. Furthermore, it aimed to gain insight and a better understanding as to whether parents and caregivers know how to care for, and protect children with special needs. This qualitative study was framed within, a phenomenological paradigm, employing a purposive sampling method. Fifteen parents and family caregivers were selected, a further five employed caregivers of the Day Care Centre were also included in the sample. Guided by the theoretical underpinnings, the researcher conducted one-on-one in-depth interviews to understand the meaning that parents or caregivers gave to the everyday life of their children with special needs. The empirical findings revealed that the process of acceptance with regards to the special needs of child is unique for each parent or caregiver. A lack of medical diagnoses in some instances also hindered and influenced the process to manage them. It was further revealed that not all parents and caregivers grasped the severity of the special needs requirement of their children at the Centre and that therapeutic interventions were seldom sought to deal with emotional stressors. Parents and caregivers often have unrealistic expectations for their children. Parental or caregiver satisfaction with the services and assistance from the Centre was overwhelming. All the parents and caregivers and employed caregivers received their training and guidance on how to care for children with special needs from the Centre. Based on the findings it were concluded that the working partners responsible for the Day Care Centre, the responsible government ministries and other stakeholders become more involved in raising awareness and offering and fostering support services to the community on disability issues. This should start from the antenatal stage with the prospective mothers, to educate them about, and create awareness around potential birth defects, to identify help and treatment for their children as early as possible. A troubling finding of this study revealed that parents and caregivers were unaware and ill-informed about resources to assist them in their tasks of care. The need for a support group for parents or caregivers of children with special needs emerged as an imperative, and would be greatly valued to strengthen them emotionally and provide the opportunities to draw on and cement best practices amongst parents. These best practices encompass skills in decision-making, planning and influencing policymaking in their community. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Namibia en_US
dc.subject Special needs en_US
dc.title Perceptions of parents and caregivers regarding the special needs of children at Sunshine Day Care Centre in Walvis Bay en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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