Die pastorale versorging van 'n gesin met 'n erg gestremde kind
De Kock, Daniël Jacobus
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It is a terrible shock to parents when they hear from a medical specialist that their child is not normal like other children, but retarded. Such parents are traumatized to the same extent as other parents may be when they lose a child to death. They go through the same phases of shock, denial, anger and mourning. A complicating factor is that these parents cannot recover from this loss as they are reminded of this sorrowful fact on a daily basis and to an increasingly difficult level. The aim of this investigation is firstly to determine the effect that severely retarded child has on the functioning of the family. Secondly, to determine what the needs of such a family are in respect of pastoral care; and finally, to provide guidelines for the care of a family with a severely retarded child. This research is based on the practical-theological model of Zerfass and comprises: • A basis-theory that reveals Biblical perspectives that have been researched about the topic; • A meta-theoretical assessment based on the literature survey (also in related fields), as well as empirical research. The empirical study is based on a number of interviews that were undertaken with families who have severely retarded children; • Theory for application that proposes guidelines for the pastoral care of the family with a severely retarded child in their care. The research results reveal lacunas that exist in available literature in respect of pastoral care for families with a severely retarded child. It is also clear from the results of the empirical research that ignorance about this type of pastoral care is common. The conclusion of this research is that these families who have severely retarded children do not enjoy the benefit of proper pastoral care. This happens because both pastoral care-givers as well as members of the parish underestimate the influence that such a child has on the family. The research results could assist in educating people who are, to a large extent, ignorant in this regard; as well as equipping pastoral care-givers with guidelines to care for families with severely retarded children.
- Theology