Many people with disability have observed and experienced substantial change to cultural approaches towards disability in their lifetimes. People with disability experience serious difficulties of misunderstanding and discrimination. Society attitudes towards disability are emphasized by the accepted terminology used to define people with disability. The people view the person with his or her impairment as a person having the impairment. Due to the exposure of the modern world, it has become so complicated to understand different cultural backgrounds. The couple may belong to different social or racial backgrounds, and the diverse cultures may be represented among the kids and parents. The paper will highlight the difference between American, Chinese and Jamaican cultures based on their perceptions towards disability.Parental suppositions about the cause of the disability have a remarkable result on the parent's behavior of seeking intervention. Different cultures investigate the assumptions of different parents from Chinese, American and Jamaican cultures. Parents from Chinese, American and Jamaican cultures have different suppositions towards the cause of the disabilities. Parents believe that the cause of the disabilities is due to traditional possibilities based on religious, folks, and supernatural beliefs. The Chinese people stress on the cause of the disability whiles the American stress on the possible solution to treat the disability. Many Chinese who live in rural areas assume that mental health shares an association with self-discipline, execution of authority and the eluding of gloomy thoughts. Mental disorders are believed to be sharing an association with punishment from gods or evil spirits. Chinese also believe that the occurrence of disability in infants is caused by poor diet, anguish or bad temper (Marini 2012).
Families that have disabled children experience emotions of shame and guilt. Many parents fear having disabilities for their children because it will to criticism and stigma from the community. The parents also believe that that they are the cause of the disability in their children. The parents are frightened of what they did and hence being blamed. Disabled persons in these families feel a sense of guilt towards their relatives and the community. The parents feel a sense of responsibility to the disabled children and ancestors. These feelings stir the barriers and conflicts for acceptance among the relatives. The Chinese also believe that the fate of every parent is determined by the outcome (Marini 2012). The Jamaicans believe that the cause of the disability was due to natural causes due to natural causes such as accidents and illness. They also believed that it could also be caused by supernatural causes like evil spirits or God's wish. The Americans believe that the family members cause the cause of illness.
Parent's standpoint on the treatment of their child's disability is an essential factor in determining the type of treatment to be adopted. Their opinions will shape their attitudes towards seeking help. When parents see something wrong with their child, they look for all possible solutions to eradicate the problem. Parents look for assistance mainly in hospitals as well as in traditional medicine. Though the parents have been brought up in modern culture, they still believe in traditional remedies. The Chinese prefer the chines traditional medicine to treat the disabled children in the community. Jamaicans prefer first to treat their disabled people with traditional medicine to modern treatment in hospitals. The elders are responsible for finding the appropriate drug to treat the disability (Marini 2011).
Parents' perceptions about the nature of their children's disabilities has been an important subject matter among many cultural groups. Parents' opinions may differ on the nature of the disability to some extent. Common views may comprise seeing their people as developing well, identifying their people's condition temporarily ( Diken, 2006). Both the Chinese and American parents of the people who had developmental and mental disabilities saw the disability as a temporary problem. The Chinese people had sympathy and acceptance on people who had succumbed injuries that stirred disabilities than people who had mental disorders. Both the Chinese and American parents showed mixed reactions because they viewed the disabled children as a disgrace as well as a special gift to their families. Chinese people show more acceptances to persons that have suffered injuries that cause physical disabilities than persons that have a congenital or mental illness. It is essential to educate the Chinese people about the nature and cause of disability in the society (Diken, 2006).The Jamaican view the disabled children as a disgrace to the family. Chinese values embrace peace with nature and society. This peace creates a balance between the yin and yan.Yin and Yan were both the two opposition forces of nature. Chinese believed that disabilities were bought but in disequilibrium of yin and yan.Hence, it was believed to be a disgrace to the family (Marini, 2012). Americans disagree that disabled people are unable to perform household chores.
The Jamaicans and Chinese tend to be very secretive of family issues and hate involving other people from other ethnic groups. Therefore, disability is referred to as a disgrace to the community because it denies the disabled to contribute to the economic flourishing of the country. Chinese males are viewed as the breadwinners and head of the Chinese culture. Generally, because many Chinese families believe that disability is a penalty for having committed sins and the social stigma of disappointment. This is the reason the Chinese, as well as Jamaican parents, try to keep their lives secret and elude the counseling on how to control the situation. In the American there is flexibility of duties in the households, and this will facilitate successful adjustment when the breadwinner becomes disabled. The families depend on each other give the families the strength to adapt to the change. This eases the pressure on the family tell others when the breadwinner becomes disabled (Marini, 2012).
Based on the nature of the of disability, many parents find it difficult to be convinced that their child is disabled because of developing slowly.Fascinating,some other parents defined their children as both healthy and disabled at the same time. Several cultures viewed the child as both a misfortune and a special gift to their family. Some parents from different cultural backgrounds saw disability as a temporary disorder. Some people believed in modern medicine as the primary trigger to disability while others believed in supernatural causes as the cause of disability in their community. There is a strong association between the views concerning the cause and the views about the cure of the disability. Although many parents have been brought up in modern cultural backgrounds, they still have trust in traditional remedies to treat the disabled. Parents from the same cultural backgrounds may have different beliefs depend on the level of their education.
Diken, I. H. (2006). Review of research: An overview of parental perceptions in cross-cultural groups on disability. Childhood Education, 82(4), 236-240.
Marini, I., & Stebnicki, M. A. (Eds.). (2012). The psychological and social impact of illness and disability. Springer Publishing Company.
Marini, I., Glover-Graf, N. M., & Millington, M. J. (2011). Psychosocial aspects of disability: Insider perspectives and counseling strategies. Springer Publishing Company.