An exploration of fathers’ subjective experiences of parenting a child that presents with dyspraxia
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Confronting the realisation that one’s child may have a developmental disability presents a major challenge for any parent. The body of scholarship in this area however, focused mainly on the role that mothers play highlighting a distinct gap within the literature. In an attempt to address this, the study aimed to highlight the experiences of fathers in parenting a child that presents with dyspraxia. The study adopted an Interpretivist framework using a qualitative approach. Consistent with this approach, 14 semi-structured individual interviews were conducted. Fathers across the Cape Metropole area were purposefully recruited and interviewed regarding their experiences in parenting a child with dyspraxia. These interviews were transcribed verbatim and subjected to Clarke and Braun’s version of thematic analysis. Ethics principles as stipulated by the University of the Western Cape were strictly adhered to throughout the research process. The thematic domain of ‘experiences’ revealed father’s expectations; their initial reactions; the periphery of father’s emotions; guilt and devastation. Based on the findings of the study, alternative understandings of fathering need to be developed to enable new and more equal ways of being both fathers and men and mothers and women. This is necessary to challenge the limiting essential notions of what is possible for men and women.