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Families with handicapped children face a lot of pressure in medical treatments, education, employment, finances and everyday living. Prior research has focused on examining the pressures and adaptation within the families with handicapped children from the perspective of the disadvantaged. It has overlooked the need for strengthening the family. Using family resilience as the starting point, this research had three goals: a. Construct a story and satisfaction diagram of families with handicapped children to understand how family resilience is developed and how satisfaction in family life changes. b. Investigate the contents of family resilience; to understand the characteristics and strengths of the family and its members. c. Investigate the experience of how families with handicapped children handle pressures. This research aimed at discovering resilience within the families with handicapped children. The findings could encourage and help other families to apply these strengths to cope and solve problems. This study defined family residence as the characteristics and strengths in a family and the experience of applying these strengths to remain functional in an adverse environment. Through qualitative research and purposive sampling, the key caretakers of four financially disadvantaged families with handicapped children were interviewed for their feelings and views. The numbers of interviews varied from four to six times, totally twelve to sixteen hours. The entire process was recorded and transcribed for analysis. Pseudonyms were given to the subjects to protect their privacy and anonymity. The key findings of the study were as follow: 1. Families that strove towards their dreams wrestled with challenges and demonstrated resilience to reduce the impact of pressure on family satisfaction. As a result, these families were able to continue to function with stability. 2. The families of optimistic and patient family members, coupled with a sense of responsibility, had three characteristics: marital relationship of mutual trust and assistance, stable financial situation, and a shared vision for the family. 3. Families with handicapped children all had experienced changes in their belief systems in the process of facing the realities of being certified as disabled, receiving social support, taking care of disabled children, and planning for the children’s future. 4. Areas of changes in the mode of organization of families with handicapped children included: adjustments of daily schedules and caretaking responsibilities, cohesion and common awareness within the family, establishment of family rituals, appropriate management of family resources, and effective use of social financial resources. 5. Changes in the process of solving problems in families with handicapped children included: mode of communication within the family, emotive interactions among family members, and mode of decision making within the family. Based on the findings of the results, this thesis provided recommendations for families with handicapped children and social welfare organizations. It also proposed topics for future research.
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