In some cases, fathers may react differently to their partners when they find out their child has a learning disability. Some men may find it hard to deal with their emotions, and may struggle to support other family members while coming to terms with how they are feeling.
Traditionally fathers have been seen as the main breadwinners, and they may feel under extra pressure to provide for their family, especially if they are facing extra costs as the result of a diagnosis. Some fathers may also have to reduce their hours at work or even give up their job to support their partner in the caring role, which can have a considerable impact on the family income.
If they do work, fathers are less likely to attend meetings involving their child, which can make them feel excluded from decisions being made and can alienate them from the professionals working with their family. Getting in touch with other fathers in a similar situation, or finding contact details for a fathers' group, can be valuable sources of support.
- Read the Contact a Family factsheet for fathers and get in touch with other families on the Contact a Family website.
- Find out about ‘Recognising Fathers', a project by The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities which hopes to change policies and increase awareness of the needs of fathers.