The authors of this review set out to take a comprehensive look at the literature relating to the outcomes for Children of parents with learning disability to test assumptions that such children are at risk of poor outcomes.
The authors identified 26 studies from a database and reference search published in one year from March 2010 to March 2011.
They identified two groups of studies. The first looked at the association between parental learning disability and child outcomes where there was significant disadvantage. Some findings suggested that where there was low parental intellectual capacity this could negatively impact child outcomes. Others however suggested that child development in these situations approached the expected norms for the general population.
They also found a second, small group of studies which explored narrative accounts of childhood. These studies found social exclusion, bullying, and stigma were commonplace for the children involved. The studies also suggested that removal from parental care was a significant risk for this group of children.
They conclude that there is little consensus in the literature about likely developmental or behavioural outcomes. The studies they looked at usually involved children from clinical populations or other high-risk groups. The studies also typically focused on young children rather than following them through the whole of childhood and young adulthood.
Children of parents with intellectual disability: Facing poor outcomes or faring okay? Collings S & Llewellyn G, in Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 37, 1 , 65-82