Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MSW/MA Social Work and Child Development


Child Development Graduate Program


In the existing literature, there seems to be a lack of attention focused on the needs of parents of children with developmental disabilities. For this thesis, I analyzed survey data and examined case material to try to identify parents’ needs after their child receives a diagnosis of developmental disability. Through my work I identified three major themes: parents’ yearning for more information, the degree to which every family’s needs are individualized and unique, and the significant degree of psychosocial stressors this population experiences. At the end of the thesis, I provide recommendations for an agency such as the one I interned at during my advanced year of social work placement to help ensure that there are proper services in place to address the needs of this under served population.