Potential for children with intellectual disability to engage in cognitive behaviour therapy: the parent perspective.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 2020, 64, (1), pp. 62-67
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BACKGROUND:This study aimed to obtain the opinions of parents and carers of children with intellectual disability (ID) as to whether cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) could be useful for their children. METHODS:A mixed qualitative and quantitative method was employed. Twenty-one carers of children aged 10 to 17 having borderline to moderate intellectual functioning responded to an online questionnaire. Participants were provided with information about CBT and asked to respond to open-ended questions. Quantitative data pertained to questions about their child's ability to identify and describe thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Thematic analysis of responses was conducted using an inductive method of identifying themes from the qualitative data collected. RESULTS:Five themes emerged from the qualitative analysis: Emotional Attunement (i.e. parent's understanding and recognition of their child's emotions), Role of the Therapist (i.e. ways therapists could facilitate the intervention), Role of the Parent (i.e. ways parents could engage in the therapy process), Anticipated Obstacles (i.e. what may get in the way of the therapy) and Suggested Adaptations for Therapy (i.e. how CBT can be adapted to suit the needs of children with ID). Seventy-six per cent agreed that their child would be able to engage in CBT with assistance. CONCLUSIONS:The majority of parents believed that CBT is an intervention that children with ID could engage in, provided the therapy is adapted, and the therapist accommodates their needs.
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