Problem and Its Background
Any person experiences misery and distress aspire to cope with. It is a
human instinct to make great effort to struggle
from the situation. People react to varied demands to address the taxing
event of life. The desire to be in control may trigger to develop different
coping mechanism that requires handling with changes experienced by a person.
People who encounter struggles in life look for any possible mechanism to
support everyday living. Adjustment to any situation is essential to survive a
certain burdensome situation.
birth of a child has a crucial effect on the family. The parents and the
siblings of the child experience various changes to adjust to the presence of
the new member. The birth of a child who has a disability has a severe impact
on the parental reactions and interruptions on the family’s daily routines.
The news that a child has the
possibility of being at risk from developmental disability is often among the
most terrifying information that parents will acquire. It is a distressing
situation to a family. The response of the parents to the diagnosis of the
child may differ widely depending on a range of factor such as: how parents
handle challenging situations, solidity of the marital relationship, the
parents’ expectations, social class and so on. Recurrent responses are
embarrassment, sorrow, rage and disbelief.
Notifying parents of the child’s
disability requires great sympathy and understanding. Having a child with
disability upset all members of the family but the acceptance of the child’s condition
is in part dependent on the parents’ reaction. If the parents are reasonably
optimistic about the child’s condition, the family will reflect their reaction.
On the other hand, if the parents are disappointed, the family is more likely
to react negatively to the child with disability.
Oftentimes, the family members of
child with disabilities take the burden of the unsympathetic comments and
insensitive reactions like apprehension, shock, dismay, rejection, shame, and
The most common routines that
families may require, the adjustments in the housing, family preference, the
household maintenance schedule, and even parents’ career goal.
In addition, the family encounters
difficult times to overcome the disappointments and anxieties in striving to
deal with behavioral and emotional problems. Furthermore, parents struggle with
a terrible guilt of feeling that they are in some way accountable for the
In spite of the fact that there is
no universal parental reaction to tackle stress of raising a child with
disability, parents have to handle stress. The coping mechanism maybe associated
to factors both in the demographic characteristics of the parents like their
age, income, occupation, educational attainment, number of children in the
family; and the home environment like the socio-economic status and their
expectations of the progress and schooling of the child.
One model of stress and coping
mechanism is modified by Folkman Lazarus (cited by Dauseco, 1996) which is used
in problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping which mechanisms are
frequently used by parents to overpower guilt and anxiety.
Parents are equally at risk to
experience major psychological disturbances and this may depend on the factors:
they may be affected from psychological makeup and marital satisfaction, and
from the degree and quality of informal support. There are also indicative
evidences that birth order, gender and age differences act reciprocally to
influence how well one adjust to having a sibling with disability. Siblings may
have hard time dealing with their emotions because they are less mature and may
not have a broad base of people with whom to talk and maybe skeptical to talk
about sensitive issues with their parents.
At the present time, families’
practitioners advocate a family-focused or family-centered approach, in which
the professionals’ work for the families, helping them obtain access to
non-professional (e.g. family and friends) as well as formal sources of
support. Families are persuaded to be more engaged in decision making. Some
also emphasize the influence of the social environment on a child development.
They note that family as a whole,
influences individual family members and that society influences the family.
In the same manner, current
family-centered approaches also emphasize the significance of social
support-the emotional, informal, or material and provided informally by such
persons as the extended family, neighbors, friends and even community and