Teacher Perspectives on Grief Among Children with Intellectual Disabilities
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The death of a parent can have a profound impact on a child. However, little is known about how children with intellectual disabilities demonstrate grief nor how teachers respond to student grief. Constructivist grounded theory methods were used to analyze data collected from five special education teachers of elementary students with intellectual disabilities. Categories related to grieving, loss, support, coping, and emotion were found. Teachers reported a range of grieving behaviors displayed by children with intellectual disabilities in the classroom and used various strategies to provide support. Grief in surviving caregivers and assistance from other school personnel were also described. The need for additional training of teachers and counselors about grief in children with intellectual disabilities is highlighted.