The World Report on Disability reveals that we have approximately one billion people in the world living with a disability, with at least 1 in 10 being children and 80% living in developing countries. More than 6 million with disabilities are enrolled in public schools (National Education Association, n.d.)
Having noted this undeniable fact, there are also approximately twice the number living as parents/ carers of these children. Not only is the range of special needs and disabling conditions vast, but parents and families also vary in their styles, concerns, approaches, values, involvement, and backgrounds.
Parents’ of every unborn child, develop wishes, expectations, and dreams, even before they are born. At a minimum, hoping for a healthy baby. Dreams are dashed when the glaring symptoms of the special child begin to exhibit and display itself in some of the most appalling circumstances.
Some parents bury their heads in shame, some are even compelled to isolate their kids.
However, it is possible to articulate a set of issues and concerns that commonly arise for many parents of children with disabilities. Noting that not all issues apply to every child or family; however, it is useful to for all to be sensitized to some common concerns that are unique to families of children with disabilities.
With the prevailing surge in parents with disabilities most parents are highly vulnerable to the whims and caprices of professionals adopting quick fixes and dangerous therapeutic procedures.
Parents are constantly searching for answers they cannot find. Children are transferred from School to school with parents seeking for solutions to relieve them from the burdens they face continuously.
Parents are aware that their children are more vulnerable to accidents and injuries and may be concerned throughout the day. They also worry about the likelihood for injuries and the list is endless. Furthermore, the school personnel are also not left out as parents are extremely concerned about their children’s vulnerability. They are easy targets for bullies and these concerns are more complicated than anyone can imagine.
Understanding these concerns will help all communities concerned to respond positively to the challenges being faced.