Exploring the experiences of the sibling of a child with an intellectual disability

Jervis, Sarah Jenny (2008-03)

Thesis (MEdPsych)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study is aimed at gaining insight into the experiences of siblings of an individual with an intellectual and physical disability. Attaining greater insight into their lived reality, their feelings and concerns could make it possible to provide appropriate support. The review of selected literature provides information on many aspects of the these siblings' experience. Although many studies are quantitative in their approach, the literature review provides relevant and useful findings and inferences which were used to support and substantiate findings. During this qualitative study, which is situated within an interpretive phenomenological paradigm, four participants between the ages of eight and sixteen years were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. This format of interview allowed participants to use their own words to express their personal experiences. The results showed that siblings have both positive and negative experiences when another sibling has an intellectual disability. Other common difficulties include embarrassment, guilt, and the experience of differential treatment. Positive experiences and competencies include love and acceptance, personal growth, maturity, pride in siblings accomplishments, and appreciation for one's sibling. Several experiences were congruent with those mentioned in the literature. The insights into the experiences this study provides has implications for the development and provision of sibling support programmes and interventions. At present, state group support programmes for siblings are not provided within the Western Cape area. The interventions and assistance that do exist seem to be provided by the private sector only. Support can prove very costly, which means that it is not accessible to many who require it. Sibling workshop groups could provide a valuable support alternative to a currently "unsupported" group, the siblings.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie poog om insig te verkry in die ondervindings van die broers en susters van 'n kind met intellektuele en fisiese gestremdhede. Beter insig in die realiteit van hul leefwyse, hulle gevoelens en bekommernisse kan beter ondersteuning aan hulle moontlik te maak. Die ondersoek van geselekteerde literatuur voorsien inligting rakende vele aspekte van die ondervindings van hierdie kinders. Alhoewel baie van die studies kwantitatief in hul benadering is, het die bestaande literatuur tog relevante en bruikbare bydraes en gevolgtrekkings verskaf wat gebruik kon word om bevindings te bevestig en te staaf. Hierdie kwantitatiewe studie het plaasgevind in 'n verklarende fenomenologiese paradigma en vier semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude is gevoer met deelnemers tussen die ouderomme van 8 jaar en 16 jaar. Hierdie formaat van onderhoudvoering dra by dat deelnemers hulle gevoelens in hul eie woorde uitdruk. Die bevindings het gewys dat broers/susters beide positiewe en negatiewe ondervindings van kinders met 'n intellektuele gestremdheid het. Ander algemene probleme sluit in skaamte, skuldgevoelens en die gevoel van gedifferensieerde behandeling. Positiewe ondervindings en vaardighede van broers en susters sluit liefde en aanvaarding, persoonlike groei, volwassenheid, trots op die broers/suster se bekwaamheid en die waardering van so 'n broer/suster in. Verskeie van die ondervindings het ooreengestem met bevindings wat in die literatuur gevind is. Die insigte in hierdie ondervindings wat deur hierdie studie voorsien word het implikasies vir programme en intervensies wat ondersteuning aan hierdie kinders bied. Tans is daar nie sodanige staatsgefinansierde ondersteuningsprogramme in die Wes-Kaap area nie. Die intervensies en ondersteuning wat wel beskikbaar is word slegs in die privaatsektor aangebied. Ondersteuning kan baie duur wees, wat beteken dat dit vir baie kinders wat dit nodig het, ontoeganklik is. Ondersteuningsgroepwerkswinkels kan 'n waardevolle alternatief bied vir die "nieondersteunde" groep, die kinders.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/21630
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