Disability is termed as a result of physical, mental, sensory, cognitive, developmental or emotional impairment or sometimes a combination of two, three or more (Craig .L et al 2010). Cases of disability can either be present when a person is growing, has grown or at birth. The disability degree can range between profound, moderate and severe and causes could be inherited, congenital, acquired or unknown. This essay aims at expounding the main constraints of parents when deciding on the birth of children who are disabled and further explains the influences on the same.
Parents go through constraints when making decisions of giving birth to a disabled child which is a hard task because disability is still viewed as unusual in most societies (Byran W. V 2007). Families that will accommodate the disabled children are at times not in any comfort with the issue of disability. Parents of disabled children belong to families whether larger or smaller and at a point their disabled child will need a wider identity apart from the nuclear one. Families are a major constraint in such situations and sometimes other members may want the parents of a disabled child to discard pregnancies and when they are born they can be killed. Most families up to date still link disability with negative factors like witchcraft and never want to have any disabled member (Oddny Mjo and Quinna 2009).
The disabled at all costs are fragile as compared to other normal people. They then normally require a lot of funds for survival including regular medical checkups and treatment. A parent pregnant of a disabled child will come to think of the management costs of the child and when it is hectic and sometimes next to impossible, the parent will give up and decide not to have that child. Financial issues are a constraint in managing disability and parents with or without money will want a stress free life and better usage of their money rather than spending continuously on an everlasting condition that will never be treated(Bryan V.W 2010). Some parents, however, may strain with the disability issue voluntarily but still, every parent would wish to have a normal child and the thought of spending for disability is not admirable.
Special attention is a requirement by the disabled. Any person with disabilities is not at a position to function equally with the normal people and at all times will need supervision and special attention (Swanson .H.L 2006). Giving of this attention include ensuring their safety, their hygiene irrespective of age, whether they take their meals or feed them and many more. All these attention is too demanding and tiresome in nature thus will require much dedication. The attention required by the disabled limits a person’s freedom especially the caregiver who may be a parent, guardian or a relative and this is limiting and strenuous. The special attention, thus, is a constraint for parents when making a decision to either have or not have a disabled child and in most cases they will not.
Dependence is a character of the disabled though not all may be at this situation and this varies with the different occurrences of disability. It is studied that some of the disabled people may work on their own and become independent, but a greater percentage always depends on their caregivers for almost everything as supervised movements, supervised handling of equipments and many others. The disabled thus may not exist without the help of another person and this is a constraint (Westwood .P.S 2009. Such responsibilities of taking care of a person who is not able to exist on his or her own are quite or at times totally cumbersome and the constraints may not allow parents to have such a child.
Rejection and resistance by the public is a major constraint in handling the disabled individuals especially the mental and physical ones (Mccarthy.M 2009). At times, they can belong to good families who accept them but every human being will need an external surrounding apart from the family and this begins with the neighbors then the public. An environment of rejection is as sad as death or maybe not existing and for parents it becomes traumatic because they feel they have exposed an innocent individual to such difficulties. Early diagnosis of disability may lead parents to abortion to avoid all these future problems bearing in mind that prevention is always better than cure. Social places may be unfit for the disabled since every person will want to associate with the other who looks alike and normal but when such disabilities come by they will have to exist but with resistance. An example is when people are moving in public and the normal people will want to feel comfort in their movement but the disabled, like the crippled, will not have that comfort and so normal people will reject associating with them because they will need help maybe in crossing the roads of moving of their wheelchairs. Such resistance by the public will constrain parents not to have a disabled child.
Low self-esteem, shame and personality issues are common amongst the disabled though not all experience this but a larger percentage .The people with disability feel inferior as compared to the normal ones because they know something is wrong with them and they are not all that complete. It is hectic to live in an environment of inequality where you feel lesser than the rest and even family members and parents of such a person are affected (Taylor .J.L and Novaco .R.W 2005). Personality issues of the disabled become a constraint when parents are to have a child because they feel the child will not live up to what human beings want in life and will always be sad and different from others thus they will not want such a child.
Inadequate freedom characterizes the lives of the disabled greatly because they are not able to fully exercise their rights(Sonnet.H.D and Taylor.A 2009). People with mental disabilities and are taken care of may not be allowed to move around in fear of hurting others, the physical disabilities like the blind will need assistance to move around and many others may not move. They are not only minimized from movement but also other freedoms like speech where a mentally disturbed person cannot be allowed to deliver a speech in public. They thus do not enjoy the sweetness of human rights and freedom which is unfair and will constrain parents when deciding to have a disabled child. Every parent would love to see their child enjoy their full rights, but absence of such will simply discourage presence of such children .
Disability is related to myths, beliefs and unreasonable explanations that at times may be true, but a larger portion has causes that are medically explainable (Alliance for Technology Access 2004).The myths and more have created a huge stigma for disability that has and will still take a long time to erase and change people’s mind. The perceptions that are created and have always existed are very unfair and discriminative of the individuals. It cannot be said to have the disabled being treated differently from the rest of the human species because they are also humans and never chose to be the way they are and this issue of discrimination is a big constraint to parents of disabled children. They may want to move them to special places where they meet their fellow disabled and sometimes their birth can totally be avoided.
Parents at times contribute to the birth of disabled children as improper use of contraceptives, drug use and abuse and many others including working in risky environments especially polluted ones(Jaeger .P.T and Bowman C. A2005). It has been a constraint for parents because they end up being blamed for their actions.
Parenting of children with disabilities also comes with other factors that influence their decision about the disabled births (Green Baum .J 2007). All parents would want a family that will eventually meet the needs of every of its members equally and some of the influences on this may be positive or negative in nature and action. The disability nature of the child is a great influence on parents’ decision about the child. Each nature of the disability has a different characteristic and the disabled person will possess his or her own behaviors differing with other normal and fellow disabled. Severe disabilities come with more unfair challenges as compared to a less severe one and parents would prefer their child to maybe suffer from less severe disability instead of the most severe one. In such cases of the nature of the child’s disability, less serious one may influence the parents to have their child because it can easily be managed whereas the most severe one can give a negative thought of not having such a child exist.
Cultural backgrounds as an influence of disability may possess different values regarding those disabled depending on the different beliefs, values and attitudes (Henderson. G and Bryan W. V 2011). Culture in the family will involve all aspects about the child’s upbringing and the family life including seeking of help from other members of the society. In some cases, the culture can be more tolerant of disability but at times it can also be intolerant. Some even see disability as shameful and feel it should be put private. The supportive cultures will probably influence parents to have a positive attitude towards disability and hence accept the bearing of disabled children as part of life, but the intolerant cultures will influence parents by discouraging them to have such children.
Economic issues as related with disability are perfectly understood with the spending on the disabled (Jaeger .P.T and Bowman C. A2005). A family with a member who is disabled spends more on that person as compared to other normal members of the family. Such expenses normally result in hardship that is financial even if insurances and other health covers are catered. They still will need frequent transportation to respective health units which have to be accompanied, proper feeding, dressing, toileting and other special programs that are still involving. Often, parents lose much work time caring for their disabled children, who will always need special attention. It raises the financial issues too because the parents are not able to concentrate on their income generation perfectly and the employed parents may have to lose their jobs because of the inconveniences. Families that are financially stable and are not at the threat of being brought down by the disability responsibilities opt to embrace the fact of disability positively and accept to have disabled children whereas those parents who may not be at a position to handle the disability due to financial issues will opt not to have disabled children.
Future considerations and planning for a child is vital in influencing parents to decide whether or not to have disabled children. As mentioned before, disability comes with many challenges that are not pleasing and parents who have one may come to think of the child’s future survival(Byran .W.V2007). Parents of disabled children can be uncertain about the future of these children considering social life, legal needs, employment and issues that might arise when the parents cease to exist maybe through death. Such thoughts can come about negatively or positively both when the parents are able to take risks regarding their child’s future.
Parents may be influenced to have a child and take care of the issues that may come up in advance (Green Baum .J 2007). These include using of organizations to protect the child, having insurance policies and at times having a trusted relative who will come in as a parent to a child in the case of any misfortune .Not all parents will think of securing their child’s future and will have negative thoughts of what will happen to their child thus they may not take any step to secure the child, but just avoid having such a child.
Availability of support groups for the disabled are important and they may be at the local, national and international levels depending with the geographical distribution and interest in the number of groups to be reached (Rourke.B.P2009). These institutions are not equally distributed and it can be possible to have more organizations where they are not needed instead of having them in the places that those who need them are found. The groups and institutions encourage disability a nature and not curses and they try to establish acceptance and equality for the people with disabilities as they encourage the normal ones to view them as other important members of the society. Disability in parents is an issue that influences them to have or not to have disabled children. A parent who has been disabled in life certainly has undergone some challenges even if minimal and their experience, how they handled their challenges and severity of the challenges will influence their thoughts about having more disabilities in the family line (Baum.S and Lynggard .H 2006). Some challenges are painful and no any parent would want their child to go through the same and in most cases, disabled parents who have gone through hardships will not have the pride of giving birth to a disabled child and they will discourage this at all costs. On the other hand, parents who have had a smooth life or if not then a conducive environment and good experience will imagine their children will also go through the same and will have no problem bearing disabled children.
Emotional stability of the family will have a great impact on the personality of having disabled children. A family of violence as an example will be very hostile to a disabled child and may not be a good environment for bringing up the child. This status of violence will be characterized by some injuries whether physical, emotional or psychological and this will further destroy the life of a disabled child. Such families thus will influence the bearing of disabled children and they will be avoided in order to prevent suffering on the children. Not every family can be unstable because there are those that are those that are stable and will give a good environment for the children’s raising and living (Raiter. S 2008). Stable families thus will encourage parents to have their disabled children having in mind that they are safe.
In conclusion, there are many constraints in parenting of disabled children with many other influences on disability but a parent should be wise enough to make a decision. There are many plans that can help the disabled like the Queensland National Disability Scheme to make them useful in the universe (Gates. B and Aratheton. H 2007). Many of the parents sometimes generalize that all birth defects are often severe although it is a fact that a great number can be treated. The treatment period is best before and immediately after birth. The society and parents should then know that disability is not inability and these fellows should be allowed to enjoy their rights and have a smooth run life just as others.
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