Some parents also tend to experience a feeling of helplessness, inadequacy, anger, shock and guilt whereas others go through periods of disbelief, depression, and blaming of oneself. The siblings are also affected as they experience feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment. (Frude N. ) Among the discoveries of various research is that, parents of children with disabilities perceive more problems in themselves and their family. The majority of these cases stress the subsequent negative consequences in caring for a child with a mental disability.
Although many researchers have found out those families of children with mental handicap report more stress than those of normal families. Research also shows that there is no apparent evidence that they experience fewer positive feelings. As a matter of fact, data are suggestive of no differences and even reports of a more positive perception in families of children with mental disabilities. Having a child who is in need of special care can affect both the parent and the entire family in complex ways.
While there are cases where it strengthens the family, it also entails extra demands on the parents time and energy and on the familys financial resources as well. Various researches generally point out that: increased levels of stress have been widely reported for mothers of children with mental disabilities. mothers who are caring for children with mental handicap are less likely to participate in the labor force and to respond to training and employment activities designed to encourage participation in the work force.
(Meyers, MK. , Brady, HE. , & Seto) parents have to deal daily with extra care-giving tasks, additional medical expenses, transportation to and from appointments, care for other siblings while participating in the childs treatment, and special clothing, food, and day care for the child that requires special needs. (Meyers, MK. , Brady, HE. , & Seto) Several parents describe a sense of loss and feeling of guilt at having a mentally handicapped child which in turn affects the entire family. It is almost like a bereavement process. Some parents never come to terms with the disability.
Occasionally it can bring out all the innermost bad feelings and misgivings between individuals and all sorts of accusations are banded about within families. Patterns of discipline may be influenced by the childs disability. Having a mental disability in the family slows life down so much more as spontaneity is hampered by the need to be planned and organized in order to take into account the childs special needs. (A Report to Renfrewshire Council) Financial consequences. All the professionals were agreed that families where there is a disability incur greater expenses.
The cause for this includes requirements for specialized equipment and wear and tear of the childs clothing and their toys due to destructive tendencies of a child with mental handicap. (A Report to Renfrewshire Council) Physical Health. If a member of the family takes on physically demanding tasks in taking care of a mentally impaired sibling, this could lead to exhaustion or even long-term physical damage. Whether or not a child has caring responsibilities, tiredness can result when sleep is disturbed by a brother or sister, particularly if they share the same room.
Children with autism may scream for long periods of time and if a child was trying to cope with that it would be unbearable. (A Report to Renfrewshire Council). Effects on Education. Disturbed sleep, or lack of it, has great effect on concentration and learning while at school. Children who share a bedroom with somebody who is up constantly through the night go to school and are reported to fall asleep during the day. School non-attendance may occur, especially when a child is caring for or worried about a disabled brother/sister. (A Report to Renfrewshire Council)