How does disability affect children’s mental health?

In this article, we look at how a disability affects children’s mental health. We also provide some simple steps that anyone can take to make life a bit better for these children and yourself as a parent. We had some professional input from the most prominent online psychologist service in Norway, onlinepsykologene.no, to give the right information in trying times.

Children with disabilities

A child with a disability is often perceived as being an “other” by “normal” children. This reality will usually make it more difficult for the disabled child to be included in friendships and play and will make it more likely that the child feels a sense of being isolated from the rest of the world. These struggles with being included can also have a big impact on children’s mental health.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to continue to be the reality that disabled children experience. By being in positive and uplifting surroundings where people are happy to give their care and help, children with impairments can grow and flourish. It’s not just disabled children who need to have friendships and togetherness; this is something every child needs in order to have good mental health. But it’s safe to say that these factors are extra critical for disabled children.

Certain studies have shown that children with physical or mental impairments are more likely to experience poor mental health than children who don’t have these impairments. These findings are also true for children and teenagers who have a loss of hearing, epilepsy, or some other form of ailment, which doesn’t go away completely.

Mental health factors for children

The factors that will most strongly decide what kind of mental health the child will experience include the degree of the disability and the care and opinions other people communicate. If family, friends, and acquaintances take the initiative to bring disabled children into their activities and do their best to give them some love and a sense of belonging, they help them become happier. Often, it’s the little things that count, such as asking if they want to come and play, or if they can’t play, to ask if they’re going to go for a walk, or just sit and talk. But when “normal” people don’t take such steps, disabled children are more likely to experience loneliness and isolation. And who wouldn’t, if they were to be on their own all day, wanting to join others in their fun and play, but not daring to because they don’t know if they will be accepted?

Many impaired children will experience trouble with getting and keeping good friends, since the disability may make it impossible for them to join the activities that other children are attending. Another sad reality is that disabled children are bullied more than other children, precisely because they have an impairment. For people who have never been bullied, it’s hard to imagine the kind of anguish, helplessness, and frustration the victim feels through years of being bullied for something they can’t do anything about.

Normal day activities for disabled children

Another factor that makes it harder for disabled children to join everyday activities such as making food, playing football, or only having conversations, is that they might not interpret the social clues that other people use to collaborate. An example might be that they just run with the ball all by themselves, not because of their ego, but because they don’t “get” that they should pass the ball to their teammates to play better. For some children, it can also be hard to ask their classmates and other children to do something fun together. Because of this, disabled children may come to lose the skill of making friends or joining games that their classmates like to spend their time on.

When it gets tough for parents

Inform your child(ren) when you’re concerned

Remember that your children understand more than you think, explain when you’re feeling concerned, and you’ve noticed that things aren’t’ as they usually are. This way children ca,n open up when you are showing genuine feelings.

Empathize and understand

Empathy can be a confusing feeling for children, but for the parents, it’s essential to acknowledge what you and your parent may be feeling. Understand what could be done differently and give helping advice, but empathy usefully is more than this and should revolve around you listening to your children or spouse.

Have hope

When we put together all these factors of how disabilities can affect children’s mental health, it’s easy to see that they can experience feelings like shyness and loneliness, and disorders like depression. In order to make life a little bit better for disabled children, it’s the responsibility of families, peers, and everyday people to learn more about how they can help these children meet their needs. A big part of this will be to make surroundings that are caring, patient, and helpful so that these children get just as good a chance at enjoying life as all the other “normal” children.

Welcome to the FAST Project!

PACER’s National FAST (Family Advocacy and Support Training) Project will provide family support leadership training to families of children with disabilities in fifty states and territories. A primary emphasis will be reaching underserved families from all geographic regions.

Leadership that promotes the achievement of students with special educational needs and disabilities

Providing special education to students though different norms and leadership is rather a necessity than a luxury. In this article, we’re going to put across a few points that were tabulated based on a case study.

Objective

The aim of the literature is to throw light on the intricacy, uncertainty and policies that are practiced in today’s world to promote the achievement of students.

  • Population changes: The drastic increase in the human population has also increased the percentage of students that require special attention, and the ones with heavier impairments and autism.

Population changes

  • Problems of definition: Making sense of the uncertainties and the definition, “special educational needs” have created more complexities in the sector of learning and education.
  • Emphasis on inclusion: The complexity is further expanded due to the emphasis laid on inclusive education.
  • Difficulties in analyzing progress: The main disadvantage which adds to the complexity of the process is determining the progress of specially impaired students and their growth.

Considering the above mentioned points, there is no impugn on the use of special methods of education, and attention to the students with disabilities. The researchers have conducted, and reviewed the study emphasized on using special methods that are required for these students. However, the problem lies in the contribution of the special schools to these children.

Aspect on educational difficulties

By now, the human population, is aware of the need for education qualifications and how it is essential for every child to undergo a standard educational pattern, irrespective of their background, medical history or their personal characteristics. However concern is based on the placement of these children in mainstream educational institutions and whether they’re compatible with the “efficient education with other children.”

The problem enhances when the local authorities are clearly unaware of the steps or means that ought to be taken lest to provide formal, “special” education to students.

Considerable Debate

 
The steps appropriated by the government or the local leaders are based on the policies that are laid for the inclusion of children with special disabilities to mainstream schools. This is done to ensure the best outcomes from students, and the idea of fair education system. However, this step can be visualized as a debate that addresses the orientation of the educational difficulties.

  • Firstly, this system is referred to as the medical model that explains the difficulties regarding the students or the learner themselves. These results in a controlled focus to the characteristics of the young people which may also include impairments.
  • The second orientation is called the social model which explains the difficulties in the educational model that hinders the growth of these young, special minds. It also suggests the reconstruction of schools and classrooms to support the diversity in learning and education sector. This perspective also suggests the improvement of schools, and the attitude of the leader, teachers, students, and everyone involved in the education sector, to improvise the condition of the students that require special attention.

Types of special education programs

Special education is a term that is used to define the mode of education for the students suffering from individual differences and that demand special needs to understand basic concepts. Ideally, it involves a methodically planned teaching procedure, special equipment and materials to impart the best knowledge to students suffering from disabilities — either mentally or physically.

They’re also designed to help the students increase their attitude of self-sufficiently and success to the ones that cannot receive a formal education in a typical classroom. Special education and education systems are designed for the students suffering from conditions like

  • Dyslexia
  • ADH – Emotional and Behavioral disorder
  • Communication Disorder
  • Developmental disabilities

Students suffering from one or more of these disabilities often perform better when provided with a special attention like separate classrooms, resource room, the use of technology and also different approaches to the teaching methods. Read more to find out about the different types of teaching methods or special education programs employed to achieve the goals.

achieve the goals.

Push-in services

These are the first step of services in the special education programs that require nominal intervention between the teachers and the students. It typically includes a specialist — generally a nominal therapist who accompanies the teacher during sessions and classes.

Push-out services

These services are for those people that require a little more special attention when compared to the ones provided in push-in services. They typically include a speech language therapist, occupational therapists or other therapists who generally pull out the students to work in one-on-one group sessions.

Inclusive classrooms

Inclusive classrooms involve those students that are comfortable in a classroom environment. These types of classrooms include students that are suffering from same, or similar disabilities and co-teachers that help them overcome difficulties. Often, some students are also eligible for the pull-out services that provide additional attention to them, using the pull-out services.

Exclusive classrooms

These classrooms are designed for the ones with students suffering from similar disabilities and educational needs. Though, they’re in a traditional classroom environment, the ratio of student to teacher is minimal, hence prevents them from being hesitant while learning.

Specialty schools

Specialty schools

These schools are designed for the ones that are suffering from physical disabilities or facing cognitive challenges. These types of students require a lesser student to teacher ratio and will have the advantage of receiving cognitive, occupational and speech services. They also undergo classes to improve the quality of life which could include therapy session, job training, life lessons, etc.

Residential schools

These schools are specially designed for those students that require care around the clock. They have medical needs that need attention and cannot be managed at a home environment. Students in these programs often undergo various types of services, treatments, therapy sessions, and also formal education depending on their learning ability. Since, they’re residency schools, the student to teacher ratio is quiet high, and however, this does not prevent the students from receiving individual and special attention.