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People with Disabilities (Essay Sample)


The task required one to determine the causes of disability the problems the dis able people encounter in their daily lives


People with Disabilities
Basically, disability can be defined as the physical or mental impairment which hinders someone from fulfilling life ambitions. Disability takes various forms and the following are some of the disabilities people are most likely to suffer from: hearing, visual, chronic mental impairment, AIDS, mental retardation. This paper will examine people with disability, the impact of that disability to the family, friends, siblings, parents, and to the affected person. The paper will also examine some of the ways to care for the people with disabilities. The most affected people with disability challenges are children and this has greatly affected their ambitions and goals in life. This paper will focus on people with disabilities with reference to the film "Educating Peter" directed by Gerardine Wurzburg.
Case study
The case study the film "educating peter" directed by Gerardine Wurzburg is a film about a young boy suffering from Down syndrome. Down syndrome is also referred to as the trisomy (Roizen & Patterson, 2003). It is a disability majorly occurring in children and it is highly transferable from the parent to the child through genetic means. This problem is a problem caused by the genetic disorder in chromosome structure and development.
Individual with disability
The problem is majorly associated with delays in physical growth and intellectual challenges (Roizen & Patterson, 2003). The patient may have difficulties in learning. This is a disability which affects the development of a child intellectually. "Educating peter" is a documentary film about a young boy who suffers from Down’s syndrome. Peter is a special child who requires special care and attention from everyone he interacts with. The film is about how peter attended school and what he encountered during his schooling. It was not easy for the young boy to cope with the new school he was taken to. Peter previously had been going to a special need school but later the school was changed for him following the federal government’s directive that all children with disabilities should be taken to learn with other normal children in traditional schools. This move marked the beginning of the young boy’s problems. It was very challenging for the boy to cope with the new life because this was a new environment and there was no one to give him the special needs he required.
The first half of schooling became just headache to him, his classmates and his teacher. Down’s syndrome is a problem normally associated with the following characteristics; distinctive facial characteristics; for instance, small ears or small mouth: short neck and arms is another feature associated with the problem: below average intelligence level. Some other factors associated with the problem include; difficulty in breathing and heart failure (Roizen & Patterson, 2003). Most of these people later suffer from other complications such as respiratory infections and hearing impairment. The main cause of the problem has not yet been established but it is known to be caused by the disorder in chromosome traits during child’s developmental stages in the womb.
A person is most likely to give birth to a child with this problem when the following risk factors are present; if someone gives birth at the old age, when there was someone with the problem in the family and when one of the previous children have been suffering from the same problem (Roizen & Patterson, 2003). Down’s syndrome may cause discomfort to the affected individual and he might find it so hard to cope with people in his surroundings. Peter is a good case study, during the first months in the new school he went through a lot in trying to create friends with his classmates. He was fond of making noise anyhow and this brought discomfort to his classmates and his teacher, Mrs. Stallings. The person suffering from Down’s syndrome requires a special care through understanding. They have problems in managing their behavior and therefore, the caregivers should be more concerned with trying to understand these children.
The family with individual disability
Down syndrome may have the following impacts on the family of the affected individual;
Parents: every parents hopes and wish of the best when they give birth to a child (Dyson, 1997). However, this dream may be affected when a child is diagnosed with a disorder which might hinder the development if his life such as Down syndrome. Research has shown that about two thirds of families in the U.S cannot live the normal live because they don’t find peace in their families (Heiman, 2002). The affected families find it so hard to provide all the attention to the child especially if the problem happens to more than one child. It will be difficult to divide attention since all of them need special need and care.
Sometimes it might even force the parents to find someone who can provide the care to the child and this may incur additional expense which could have been used on something else on a normal circumstance (King et al, 1999). These children cause additional stress and demand to the parents. How a parent can take are of a normal child is very different with how he/she can take care of a child suffering from Down’s syndrome. These children require much attention and special treatments which might not be available to the family. The situation gets worse when the family is not stable financially. Most of the families with low income experience more difficulty in coping with this challenge because they cannot manage to provide all the needs of this child (Park et al, 2002). For instance, in the film "educating peter" it was more difficult for the family because of the economic status of the family. Parents spend more and extra resources on these children who require special attention.
Everyone has his/her life objectives that need to be achieved. This case is different with the families with a child suffering from Down’s syndrome. Both parents go through a lot of stress, but the case is much more on the mother (Smith et al, 2001). Mothers are the ones to take care of their children and ensure that they are treated well just like any other member of the family. In addition, children often run to their mothers for things, therefore mothers suffer more to this fate than the fathers. However, this does not mean that fathers do not experience the challenge at all (Smith et al, 2001). A father provides for the family and ensures that every child attains his/her dream in terms of attaining the best and higher education. The case becomes disappointing when fees are paid for a child who does not perform in school. Parents may feel that they are wasting resources on someone who has no future.
Siblings and other family close relatives: siblings are the immediate members and friends of the affected individual. A child needs understanding and people to play with and spend that good time with. Someone with Down’s syndrome finds it very difficult creating relationship with the siblings both before him and behind him. It becomes an extra stress for the siblings to understand the person. The case is not different with the close family friends and relatives. Most of them consider it a burden to take care of the person with Down’s syndrome. Family is more effective when there is unity and mutual understanding within the family among all the family members (Hastings & Taunt, 2002). But this disability changes this dream of every family because not every member of the family will understand the affected individual. The family should understand to every member of that family despite the challenges anyone of them is experiencing.
Partnership between family, teachers and the community
People with Down’s syndrome require special and crucial attention. This problem requires understanding of the behaviors and what these people are going through. Teachers should be understanding children who require special needs (Morrison, 1988). The teacher may apply some of the following in attempt to provide special care for these children. First, the teacher should pay much attention to these children because they regularly involve in problems. Most of them are easily distracted by some other things around them. Teachers need to apply the most appropriate teaching methodology which will favor them and ensure that they have also obtained the learning aims (Morrison, 1988). For instance, a teacher may take shorter time in teaching to ensure that by the time they are distracted by something else.
Children normally take short time to pay attention to the teacher and if the teacher wants to take longer time to teach, then they may turn their attention to something else. Teachers can also help families understand their children (Currie, 2001). The teacher is the one who spend more time with the child and they can be able to understand them much better than their families. In addition, the teacher is someone who has undergone training on how to deal with children. The teacher has leant psychology courses which can help him/her understand the child better (Currie, 2001). Therefore, it will be better if they help families which have no experience of these children’s behavior to understand them and not look at them as a burden.
The family-school relationship should be maintained (Mahoney et al, 1998). This will help teachers and parents understand their children better. If the family- teacher contact is maintained, the family will be able to monitor the progress of the child well by consulting from the teacher who has more experience and idea on the child. The teacher can involve the child in the learning like in the case of peter. Peter’s tea...
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