Preventing Child Neglect: Child-Care Training for Parents with Intellectual Disabilities

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Abstract

Children of parents with intellectual disabilities are at risk for neglect, developmental disabilities, and behavioral and psychiatric disorders. In addition to cognitive impairments, these parents may have numerous risk factors for parenting difficulties including a history of abuse, poverty, stigmatization, extreme stress, a lack of social supports, depression, and limited opportunities to have learned appropriate child-rearing skills. Not surprisingly, parents with intellectual disabilities are over-represented in child custody cases. This article describes an empirically validated assessment and training model. The parent education approach is based on an interactional model of parenting and the view that many parenting problems of parents with intellectual disabilities are due to specific skill deficiencies that are remediable. A case study is used to illustrate various aspects of the assessment and intervention process.

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