Unlike the progression of most traditional-aged, college or university students, my non-traditional, academic trajectory as a parent-caregiver to an intellectually disabled (ID) adult has been fraught with barriers, disruption, and discouragement. Motivation to complete my doctorate rests on a commitment to disability issues, caregiver activism, and intellectual capacity-building of my self. Guided by the “evocative” autoethnographic methodology of Bochner and Ellis (2016), this “insider’s” narrative retrospective autoethnography will attempt to shed light on and evoke an understanding of a doctoral student caregiver’s context and experience in the academy. It encompasses embodiment, a geographically constrained sense of place, marginalization, and neoliberal abandonment—elements that have contributed to my sense of burden, inferiority, and non-competitiveness in the academy. An analysis of my autobiographical experience would suggest that increased institutional awareness of a caregiving student’s complex obligations, recognition of their non-traditional contributions to society, and offerings of flexible modes of participation could improve equity and inclusion for caregivers who are challenged in extraordinary ways.
autoethnography, ID adult “child, ” non-traditional doctoral student, parent caregiver, resilience
Financial support provided by Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Aging, Health and Development, and professor of Health Geography at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
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Recommended APA Citation
Hutton, L. M. (2022). Finding Resilience Through Research: Completing a Ph.D. While Parenting an Intellectually Disabled Adult “Child”. The Qualitative Report, 27(5), 1243-1260. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2022.5078