Mission Statement

The Special Interest Research Group on Parents and Parenting with Intellectual Disabilities (SIRG/PID) was founded in 1996 at an international conference in Denmark which was organized by the Danish Ministry of Social Affairs and The EU Commission. The SIRG/PID was formally affiliated with IASSIDD in 2002.The mission of the Special Interest Research Group on Parents and Parenting with Intellectual Disabilities is:

  • To create opportunities for international and multidisciplinary networking between individuals and organisations with an interest in the topic of parents and parenting with intellectual disabilities.
  • To foster research and innovation that will advance knowledge and understanding of social
    barriers and effective supports for persons with intellectual disabilities in the parenting role.
  • To expose social and systemic discrimination against—and promote equalisation of opportunity for—parents with intellectual disabilities and their children, around the globe.
  • To facilitate the translation of knowledge from research into policies and practices that support persons with intellectual disabilities in the parenting role and enhance their children’s life chances


The executive of the Parenting SIRG sets objectives at the time of every IASSIDD World congress and follows them every 4 months. To learn more about our ongoing objectives, please see the links below.

Guiding Principles

SIRG/PID activities are guided by the following aspirational principles:

  1. All SIRG/PID members can participate freely and equally in any discourse related to the mission of the SIRG/PID
  2. The active participation of parents with intellectual disabilities in any SIRG/PID discourse about their lives, support needs and so on is not only valued, it is sought-after.
  3. Research and experience—including but not limited to the experience of practitioners, parents and family members—are valued as potentially rich sources of knowledge and understanding.
  4. The distinctive contributions to knowledge made by analytical (quantitative), interpretive (qualitative) and critical (emancipatory) research traditions are recognised and respected.

Document and Publications



Download the 4th IASSIDD Europe Congress Conference Presentations

Download the 2010 Annual Report

For copies of past reports and the minutes of previous SIRG/PID meetings please email the SIRG/PID Chair; ninja.marj@gmail.com.

Position Papers

1. Our last Position Paper was published in 2008. It was suggested that we explore the possibilities to write a new position paper that would include our latest research. We are discussing if this Position Paper should have a particular focus such as Child Welfare or Family or Law. PLEASE, let us know what you think!

2. IASSIDD Special Interest research Group on Parents and parenting with Intellectual Disabilities (2008). Parent labelled with intellectual disability: Position of the IASSIDD SIRG on parents and parenting with Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 21 (4), 296-307.

Download the 2008 Position Paper


For summaries of virtually all articles published on the topic of parents and parenting with intellectual disabilities, and for research-informed· ‘practice-points’ go to www.healthystart.net.au

Australian Family and Disability Studies Research Collaboration

The Family and Disability Studies Initiative

The Association for Successful Parenting

Through the Looking Glass


The IASSIDD World Congress will be held in Glasgow, UK, August 6-9, 2019.

The Parenting SIRG is in the process of organising an academy workshop and professional day. Please stay tuned for more details in regards to content.

The IASSIDD Asia-Pacific conference was held in Bangkok, Thailand, November 13-16, 2017.

The 2014 IASSIDD Europe Regional Congress was held in Vienna, Austria, July 14-17, 2014.


In November all paid members of the Parenting SIRG will be contacted in order to nominate and elect a new SIRG executive that would enter in function at the Glasgow congress. More details to come.


Elections are now held every three years to appoint the SIRG/PID executive committee. Active members nominate and vote for members before every International IASSIDD Congress. The Chair represents the Parenting SIRG on IASSIDD Council.

Chair: Marjorie Aunos, PhDScientist-Practitioner ninja.marj@gmail.com

Past Chair: David McConnell. david4@ualberta.ca

Members for the Americas

  • David McConnell, PhD
    Professor and Director, Family and Disability Studies Initiative, University of Alberta, Canada
    Email: David.McConnell@ualberta.ca
  • Traci LaLiberte, Ph.D.
    Executive Director, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, University of Minnesota, USA
    Email: lali0017@umn.edu

Members for Europe

  • Hanna Björg Sigurjónsdóttir, PhD
    Assistant Professor and Assistant Director,Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Iceland
    Email: hbs@hi.is
  • Mikaela Starke
    Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
    Email: mikaela.starke@socwork.gu.se


Members for Asia and the Pacific

  • Susan Collings, PhD
    Dr Susan Collings, Research Fellow, Institute of Open Adoption Studies, The University of Sydney, Australia
    Email: susan.collings@sydney.edu.au
  • Margaret Spencer, PhD
    Lecturer (Social Work), Sydney School of Education and Social Work, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia
    Email: margaret.spencer@sydney.edu.au
  • Iva Strnadová, PhD
    Associate Professor, School of Education, UNSW Sydney, Australia
    Email: i.strnadova@unsw.edu.au

Members for Africa and the Middle East

  • There is currently no representation for Africa and the Middle East. Expressions of interest are welcome.

Contact Us

Marjorie Aunos, PhD
Email: ninja.marj@gmail.com

International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) 

The International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) is the first and only world-wide group dedicated to the scientific study of intellectual disability.

Founded in 1964 as the International Association for the Scientific Study of Mental Deficiency, IASSIDD is an international, interdisciplinary and scientific non-governmental organization which promotes worldwide research and exchange of information on intellectual disabilities.


Please contact the IASSIDD international office for questions about joining IASSIDD, renewing your membership or general questions.
© 2018 International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD)