TheProblem and Its BackgroundIntroduction Any person experiences misery and distress aspire to cope with. It is ahuman instinct to make great effort to struggle from the situation.
People react to varied demands to address the taxingevent of life. The desire to be in control may trigger to develop differentcoping mechanism that requires handling with changes experienced by a person.People who encounter struggles in life look for any possible mechanism tosupport everyday living. Adjustment to any situation is essential to survive acertain burdensome situation.
Thebirth of a child has a crucial effect on the family. The parents and thesiblings of the child experience various changes to adjust to the presence ofthe new member. The birth of a child who has a disability has a severe impacton the parental reactions and interruptions on the family’s daily routines.The news that a child has thepossibility of being at risk from developmental disability is often among themost terrifying information that parents will acquire. It is a distressingsituation to a family. The response of the parents to the diagnosis of thechild may differ widely depending on a range of factor such as: how parentshandle challenging situations, solidity of the marital relationship, theparents’ expectations, social class and so on. Recurrent responses areembarrassment, sorrow, rage and disbelief.
Notifying parents of the child’sdisability requires great sympathy and understanding. Having a child withdisability upset all members of the family but the acceptance of the child’s conditionis in part dependent on the parents’ reaction. If the parents are reasonablyoptimistic about the child’s condition, the family will reflect their reaction.
On the other hand, if the parents are disappointed, the family is more likelyto react negatively to the child with disability. Oftentimes, the family members ofchild with disabilities take the burden of the unsympathetic comments andinsensitive reactions like apprehension, shock, dismay, rejection, shame, andtotal abandonment. The most common routines thatfamilies may require, the adjustments in the housing, family preference, thehousehold maintenance schedule, and even parents’ career goal.In addition, the family encountersdifficult times to overcome the disappointments and anxieties in striving todeal with behavioral and emotional problems. Furthermore, parents struggle witha terrible guilt of feeling that they are in some way accountable for thechild’s condition.In spite of the fact that there isno universal parental reaction to tackle stress of raising a child withdisability, parents have to handle stress. The coping mechanism maybe associatedto factors both in the demographic characteristics of the parents like theirage, income, occupation, educational attainment, number of children in thefamily; and the home environment like the socio-economic status and theirexpectations of the progress and schooling of the child.
One model of stress and copingmechanism is modified by Folkman Lazarus (cited by Dauseco, 1996) which is usedin problem-focused coping and emotion-focused coping which mechanisms arefrequently used by parents to overpower guilt and anxiety.Parents are equally at risk toexperience major psychological disturbances and this may depend on the factors:they may be affected from psychological makeup and marital satisfaction, andfrom the degree and quality of informal support. There are also indicativeevidences that birth order, gender and age differences act reciprocally toinfluence how well one adjust to having a sibling with disability.
Siblings mayhave hard time dealing with their emotions because they are less mature and maynot have a broad base of people with whom to talk and maybe skeptical to talkabout sensitive issues with their parents.At the present time, families’practitioners advocate a family-focused or family-centered approach, in whichthe professionals’ work for the families, helping them obtain access tonon-professional (e.g.
family and friends) as well as formal sources ofsupport. Families are persuaded to be more engaged in decision making. Somealso 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, currentfamily-centered approaches also emphasize the significance of socialsupport-the emotional, informal, or material and provided informally by suchpersons as the extended family, neighbors, friends and even community andchurch group.