Natalija Jegorova-Marčenkienė, Armyda Jasonaitė, Laima Mikulėnaitė, Sigita Lesinskienė, Jovita Petrulytė


Introduction. Parents raising a handicapped child go through stress and strong emotions, which are described as grief or sorrow. It is noticed, that stages of coping with handicap are similar to coping with loss stages and they cause a family crisis.
Early rehabilitation (ER) is an aid to family with a child with developmental disorders or with a risk for a disorder to emerge. It includes early identification of developmental disorders, help to a child and his family. Parents’ emotional state plays a big role in the rehabilitation process. Mother’s emotional state will influence mother-child relationships, affects child’s development and the processes of early rehabilitation including their outcomes.
Goals: to examine mothers’ emotional state and their expectations, as well as difficulties, faced by parents bringing up children with developmental disorders.
Methodology: retrospective analysis of case histories carried out in Early Rehabilitation department of Child Development Center. Mothers of children treated in the department filled in Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and special parents questionnaires, which included general questions about child and family, parents’ education, family’s social and economic situation, current child’s state and problems, history of development and illness, parents’ expectations and goals they want to achieve by coming to CDC. All the data gathered by this examination was processed using variation statistical method by computer program SPSS.
Results: results of 104 mothers EPDS were evaluated. As much as 33 (31,7%) of them had increased risk of depression. Statistically, these mothers were more likely to blame themselves when the affairs were turning bad and they had the idea of self-harming more often than the mothers who didn’t have signs of depression (p<0,05).
Mixed specific developmental disorders– 14 (42,4%), pervasive developmental disorders– 12 (36,4%), Expressive language disorder– 5 (15,2%) and others prevailed among the disorders of all the 33 children, whose mothers had increased risk of depression. Children were diagnosed with contiguous diseases with domination of emotional and behavioral disorders 14 (42,4%) and a part of them had sleep and eating disorders.
Psychosocial factors observed in 13 (39,4%) mothers included lack of mother’s competence, poor living conditions, unemployment, lack of external aid and etc. It became clear that parents of children with developmental disorders receive limited help. Only 1 of 104 mothers mentioned she has links with non-government organizations.
1. 32% of mothers of children with the developmental disorders, had increased risk of depression.
2. Emotional state of the mothers was influenced by the social economical factors, such as education, employment, material conditios of the family.
3. It is important in the course of early rehabilitation (intervention) to assess the emotional state of parents and to actively involve them in the interdisciplinary team.

Article in Lithuanian

Keyword(s): child developmental disorders; family crisis; depression;early rehabilitation
DOI: 10.5200/378
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