Parents with intellectual disabilities talk about their experiences – ETR

May 15th is the International Day of Families. For this day we have made 2 interviews with parents with intellectual disabilities. In the interviews, they talk about their lives and relationships.

Parents with intellectual disabilities talk about their experiences

Click on a word which is in bold to read what it means.

Easy-to-read logo

May 15th is the International Day of Families.

For this day we have made 2 interviews
with parents with intellectual disabilities.

In the interviews,
they talk about their lives and relationships.

Thank you to Inclusion asbl
and  Service d’accompagnement Edelweiss
for helping us
in contacting these people.

Happy International Day of Families!

Family
Michel and Vanessa with Laura

Michel and Vanessa, Belgium

Tell us about your daughter.
How old is she?

Michel: Our daughter Laura is 14 years old.

Have you always wanted
to have children?

Michel: No, I wasn’t thinking about it.
Laura came by surprise.
It was the first time that I was living with a partner.

How did you raise Laura?

Michel: My partner and I split up
and I took care of Laura by myself.

I cannot read or write.

But I still did it.

For one year I lived with Laura
in a community centre.

I was the only man there.

After that I met Vanessa.

Now we take care of Laura together.

What do you do
when you spend time with Laura?

Michel and Vanessa: Laura goes to a boarding school.
A boarding school is a school with other buildings.
Children live at the boarding school during the week.
They go back home during the weekend.

When she comes home,
we go to the market together.

Or we visit her grandparents.

We take the bike or we go for walks.

We go to local events
and we make food together.

Laura also does many activities, like:

  • dancing,
  • cooking,
  • roller blading

And the 3 of us go to the seaside.

The support services help us
do these things.

Vanessa: I play games with Laura
and we talk about girls’ stuff.

These are things
that she would not ask her dad.

When it is time for bed, we cuddle.

When she doesn’t behave well,
I take care of it.

What kind of support do you receive?

Michel and Vanessa: We live in a flat
that we received from the support service Edelweiss.
They help us if we need something.

We also receive support from our family.

Do you talk to Laura
about your disability?

Michel: Yes, I tell her that I cannot read or write.
She does not understand
why I have a disability.

She goes to a special school.

There they also talk about disabilities.

Have you ever been
discriminated against?

Vanessa: I do many activities in the community, like:

  • dance classes
  • gym
  • volunteering

And I have never had problems.

Ludvic and Alexis with Sabrina, Alexis' mom

Ludovic, Belgium

Tell us about you child.
How old is he?

Ludovic: I have a son, Alexis.

He is 9 years old.

Have you always wanted
to have children?

Yes, but Alexis arrived by surprise.

I wasn’t ready.

But I took care of him.

He is my little soldier.

He listens to me.

What do you do
when you spend time
with Alexis?

During the week
Alexis goes to boarding school.

When he is at home
we play games.

Sometimes he cheats!

When he behaves well
I let him play with the play station.

We visit our family
and we talk about
how his body will change.

What kind of support do you get?

We are supported
by the Edelweiss centre
and by my mother.

Do you talk to Alexis
about your disability?

No, because he is still too young.

He doesn’t realise
that I have a disability.

In future
if he will ask questions
I will do some internet research
to be able to answer.

Have you ever been
discriminated against?

Yes.
When I look for a job,
people always say no to me.

Search
Archives
back-to-top