Sunday, August 20, 2017
Frontline Issue 104

In an Ireland that twelve months ago voted for marriage equality, there is still a category of persons for whom having a relationship is not legally clear. For people with intellectual disabilities, beside the usual challenges of meeting a significant other, there is an onerous legal shadow hanging over them in the shape of an archaic system and a more recent law that is nonetheless just as restrictive and prohibitive.

Parents and parenting with intellectual disabilities

In the early part of the 20th century, persons with intellectual disabilities found themselves treated as social pariahs. By some accounts, the ‘feeble-minded’ were moral degenerates and the root cause of society’s ills. Allowing them to reproduce was for many, at that time, unthinkable.

From a Service perspective what would make a difference?

When people ask us as what we do as workers in services for people with Intellectual disability, in general we explain our role as ‘supporting’. That’s what we do; we support people in every area of their lives, ‘from cradle to grave’. We want people to do normal things, to attend school, to socialise, to work, and overall to participate fully in their communities.

Gunnel Janeslätt, Lydia Springer and Sandra Melander bring an insight into how this complex issue is approached by services in Uppsala, Sweden...

swedish authors

Vulnerable children with vulnerable parents Studies show that families where parents have cognitive difficulties, including intellectual disabilities (ID), are one of the most vulnerable groups in society. Both parents and their children often live under poor economic conditions, are socially isolated, have little or no access ...

Hanna Björg Sigurjónsdóttir and James Gordon Rice give the view from Iceland of the challenges for parents with an intellectual disability, following their research project, sponsored by a University of Iceland Research Grant…

It is well known that disabled parents, especially parents with ID, are having their children removed from them at a much higher rate than other parents. The evidence used to support custody deprivation (in the absence of any solid evidence of neglect or abuse, which of course does happen) will often draw upon mundane events and observations from everyday life that become distorted, exaggerated, misinterpreted or given an unwarranted significance. This type of practice initiated the study we want to tell you about.