Effects of Disability on the family system paper

Effects of Disability on the family system.

Presence of a child with a disability has a wide range of effects to the entire family system. A child with a disability may require a lot of family time, attention, resources, and psychological assistance. Such children with disability are required of the other-abled members of the family to get adjusted to the disabled member of the family. Such action is fundamental as the behavior of abled children will affect the self- esteem development. Siblings influence each other and take a unique and essential role in each other’s lives. They play together and learn things from one another. When there is a child with a disability in the family, the long term benefits of their relationship get changed. The personality of each member of the family plays a vital role in their response towards each other inclusive of those with disability.

Living with a disabled member of the family

Living with a disabled member of the family can be rewarding, confusing, instructive, and stressful. Different members of such families express a range of emotions and responses to that particular child. Siblings may empathize, love, take pride, feel guilt, anger, and at sometimes support.  The perception of each child’s reaction towards a member with a disability will vary depending on their age and developmental level. The attitudes and feelings of children towards a disabled sibling keep on changing with time as they adapt to the sibling’s situation and facing daily realities.

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Parents and siblings of children with disability at some time feel embarrassed over the physical appearance of the family member. At other times siblings feel jealous over the disabled child because of the attention they get from their parents. Because of the mixed feelings from such family members, it is crucial that they get some support on how to cope with the situation. For a sense of embarrassment, they need to receive some guidance and counseling on how to live with disabled family members. The jealous children should be made to understand and empathize with the child’s situation, which deserves more attention.

Disability and socio-economic status

Socio-economic status involves educational qualification, financial stability, and the perceptions of social class. Poverty is a factor characterized by numerous multiple physical and psycho-social stressors. Socio-economic status is a consistent predictor an extensive collection of results across the individual’s life. Socio-economic status affects the general functioning of human beings. Disparities in health distribution, resource distribution, and quality of life are increasing in the United States. The move to narrow the gap of inequalities along socio-economic status is greatly benefiting society.


People with a disability appear overrepresented in the segments of uneducated and the poor in the American population. This overrepresentation is contrary to the Americans with Disability Act, which champion for equal opportunities for these persons. Having a disabled member of the family may ruin the socio-economic status of the entire family. Children with disability have been sidelined in the provision of education, thus worsening their socio-economic status. The socio-economic status relationship with a disability is useful to me as a teacher as it will guide me in making sure that I give the best to my learners to make them competent for job placement.


As a teacher of learners with a disability, I can accommodate the learners to the class environment for them to cope with the situation easier to continue learning to ensure they do not get left out of the educational system. Like in Jonathan’s case, who was born with Down syndrome, the teacher and the school made his stay at school easy by helping him adapt to the new environment. Like Mrs. Tudy, Jonathan’s teacher I would stand in the gap of a parent and protect my learners during school time as well as providing guidance on how to cope and learn new things through touch and feel.


Family-centered approach.


Family-centered is a philosophical approach that includes three key elements: emphasis on strengths, promoting family choice and control over desired resources, and the development of collaborative contact between parents and professionals. From Overton’s case study of climbing the mountain, the approach of family-centered has helped the family and the school a big deal. The parents of Jonathan did not see the weaknesses of their boy but saw all he was capable of doing but not what he could not. The teacher at school knew that although the child had some disability was not unable to do other things as like learning through touch and feel.


The father to Jonathan when he took the boy to school was worried about the things he found in the classroom, which to him were not necessary for the boy. He thought the corn pool would dirt the boy by getting into his pants pocket suppose he sat on them; he would put them on his head they would harm him may. Little did he know that I would be an excellent experience for the child to be in that environment as the parent-centered approach had been examined and approved before having those materials present in the class!

Although during the staffing the language is spoken by professionals handling Jonathan, his father remained composed through the meeting until he decided to ask for his son’s results through his native language. This action triggered a new move towards collaboration between the professionals and the parent of the disabled child. Both parties supported one another in the learning of the wounded boy. The teacher gave a conducive environment to the learner as well as the parents in collaborating towards achieving the best for the child.


Lesson from the course.

Throughout the course, I have learned the importance of collaborating with families of children with disability. This knowledge is quite beneficial to the teacher as well as the learner. I have realized that I should get to know the parents of my learners and create a conducive environment for them to feel free to tell me anything about their children which could be helpful in the child’s learning process. Parents are the first people who children interact with, and they know about them as much as their strengths and weaknesses. From this course, I have learned that I should only focus on the advantages of children with a disability but not the weaknesses. When reporting about the progress of the children, I should only tell them what good they have done and not the shortcomings

The course teachings have also made me understand how I should work with parents of children with disability by making them feel free to contribute to the IEP meetings. I must ensure that the environment created for the parents during the sessions is conducive for them to take part and talk about their children’s private lives. Parents of children with disability feel stressed by their child’s conditions something that makes them find the meetings ineffective and at time insensitive as they are required to talk about the progress and the plans for their children. The knowledge gained from this course has dramatically changed my perceptions about working with children with disability. As a teacher, I have realized that I have a role to play in enhancing the self-esteem of the children as well as their parents. As a teacher to children with a disability, I am obliged to allow the learner to explore on self.


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