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What Are the Challenges of Parents with Mental Retardation?

Christina Edwards
Christina Edwards

Parents with mental retardation will often face many of the same challenges that other parents do. Mentally retarded parents, however, may have a harder time learning how to adjust. They must learn how to properly take care of their children, and they must also be able to have a steady source of income and a stable home. Parents with mental retardation may also find themselves and their parenting skills under scrutiny more often, and they may even be at risk of losing their children to authorities such as social service agencies.

To some extent, every new parent must learn how to take care of her child. A child must be fed, held, and bathed properly, for instance. Teaching parents with mental retardation to perform these tasks is imperative.

Individuals with mental retardation may possess distinguishable facial features.
Individuals with mental retardation may possess distinguishable facial features.

If parents with mental retardation do not learn basic childcare techniques, the negative outcomes could range from mild to disastrous. For instance, when an infant misses his scheduled feeding, he will typically become very hungry, and repeated missed feedings will often result in malnutrition. Holding a child improperly could lead to that child being dropped, resulting in a mild to severe injury. Regular bathing is also important to help keep a child clean and free from harmful bacteria that can cause skin irritations. If an infant is left unattended in a bathtub, however, there is a possibility that he could drown.

As most people already know, with children comes great responsibility. All parents, including parents with mental retardation, must have some way to support their children. This generally means that they should be able to provide any food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities for their children, as well as for themselves.

Working for a wage is typically considered to be the best way to get money for these types of necessities. Unfortunately, while many mentally retarded people are fully capable of working and holding a job, some companies may be reluctant to hire them. Local agencies that provide mental retardation resources, however, will usually be able to help parents with mental retardation find a job, as well as housing.

While many parents with mental retardation are typically very capable parents, others may not always think so. These types of parents are often more at risk of losing their children, since some people may believe that it is not in the best interest of a child to be raised by mentally retarded people. They may also find it necessary to defend or prove their parenting skills.

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    • Individuals with mental retardation may possess distinguishable facial features.
      By: muro
      Individuals with mental retardation may possess distinguishable facial features.