Little is know about the experience of mothers, who take care of adults children with profound intellectual disability. The aim of this study was to explore this experience from the perspective of mothers- women who take care of adults with profound intellectual disabilities. Motherhood womens raising adult children with profound intellectual disability is a documentation of maternity that varies from the commonly accepted role model of the mother and the role of the woman. I conducted narrative interviews with 32 Polish mothers who care adults with profound intellectual disabilities. The selection of interviewees was deliberate and based on age of adults children (over 25 years old- the moment when the possibility of education ends in Poland for person with profound intellectual disability). Each interviewee signed a written consent confirming her participation in the study. The respondents’ ages varied between 50 and 78 years. The women were from different regions of Poland, were single mothers, after divorce. During the interviews with women I tried to emphasise and understand their motherhood. The choice of a qualitative method required me to abandon the privileged position of a distant observer. The study was conducted in Poland between September 2016 and January 2018. The interviews lasted from 120 to 240 minutes and were recorded on a voice recorder. I used a narrative interview which is similar to in-depth, free conversations. Through follow-up questions, I sought to provoke the interviewees to tell a story of their experiences with motherhood. . I analysed the information shared during the participant interviews using analytical methods that align with grounded theory, because it involves building a theory on the basis of systematically obtained data that directly relate to the observed aspect of social reality. Narrative conversations show that this group of women is struggling with many difficult experiences and emotions related to their own existence. Women- mothers charakterized their motherhood as one of the most important events in their biography.The motherhood experiences was varied, depending in part on the involvement of family, social support, personality traits. Undetstanding and knowing this experience, coming from motherhood and especially meanings which women gave to this experience, helped to learn about the social context which has a huge impact on today's image of mothers of adults children with profound intellectual disabilities.
Diana Aksamit - special educator, therapist of early support for the development of children. Interests: problems of profound intellectual disability.