Sociology Of Handicapped Children Essay Research Paper

Sociology Of Handicapped Children Essay, Research Paper

The field of work for the handicapped child is one of exceptional,

perhaps even unique, rapidity of change and development. Widening

of outlook and better understanding are leading to new tactics and

new techniques in approach to identifying the handicapped, in

defining their disabilities and in providing better treatment,

education, and general care. In this paper I will demonstrate how

the handicapped child becomes socialized, has social control and

how family, education and the community plays an important role in

the development of the social self.

Play serves an important role in the all-round development of the

child. It is their method of growing in those areas in which they are

ready to develop. Play promotes the physical,social,mental,and

emotional growth of the child.

It is obviously impossible for the physically handicapped boy or

girl to compete in the more strenuous physical activities and,

therefore, two things must be done. There must first be an attempt

to alter their own scales of values, so that he/she sees their own

lack of competence in this field of play. They must be encouraged

and helped to reach competence in some socially acceptable

recreation. The range of physical recreations is such that quite a

large proportion of handicapped children can find one that suits

them if the effort is made to give them opportunities and training.

The handicapped child who can never hope to play well, or even to

play at all, can still get a good deal of happiness from learning the

finer points of a sport and watching experts in action and there is

much to be said for encouraging them to do so.

It is not possible to live in any society, even the most primitive,

without some general education. The mentally handicapped child is

unable to obtain such a full education and is faced with an

inevitable social handicap. The best that can be done for them is to

minimize their difficulties by giving them as much general education

as they are able to receive and use. Physical handicap, however,

need not be essentially disastrous in the same way. It may affect

education by closing one of the sensory gateways by which education

enters the mind via sight or hearing. In this case, fuller use must be

made of the other gateways. The blind or deaf child can receive as

full a formal and academic education as the child in full possession

of their senses. They will, in later life be unable to engage in as

wide a range of activities as the normal child, but they can and

should be educated for the fullest possible living within the

limited range. Not only do physically handicapped children need

special educational needs, so do mentally handicapped children. The

mentally handicapped child with an I.Q. between 60 and 75 will

therefore be ready to start special education at about the age of

seven. His response to it will initially depend very much upon what

has been done to prepare him socially, in the home and outside it.

There is little question that the teacher has a profound

influence on student behavior, achievement, and feelings of

self-worth. This interaction is an important factor to consider with

handicapped children. The nature and quality of the interaction

between teacher and student may be strongly influenced by the

teacher’s expectations. Such expectations may be too low, expecting

only minimal achievement or little acceptable behavior, or too high,

which may cause the teacher to pressure the student to achieve

beyond his/her capabilities, resulting in discouragement,behavior

problems, or failure. This can cause the student to not want to

associate with school at all.

Most physically handicapped children are totally dependent on

their parents or caregiver. This makes it very hard for the child to

get used to any other interaction with other children or adults.

The child feels safe, knowing their mom or dad will be there to pick

them up and hold them. When meeting new people, the handicapped

child does not know if that person could give the same love and

support as their parents do. The home constitutes the basic unit in a

community. It is here that the observations are made and that the

decisions and plans for the child must be formulated. With the help

of the community agencies, the parents obtain the needed assistance

to let their handicapped child become socially independent.

From my own experiences, I have baby-sat two children. One who


can call the “normal” child whose name is Amanda and the other who

was mentally handicapped whose name is Lisa. Once their mother had

left the house Amanda adjusted very easily. She went over to her

play house and quickly amused herself. Lisa grew angry the minute

her mother stepped foot out of the door. Lisa was not comfortable

with me in the house. Her dependent was her mother and she had no

idea if I could give her the love and support that her mother gives

her. I tried to reassure her that mommy was coming back and I will

help her with anything she needs. Reassurance was not enough for

Lisa. She cried the whole 4 hours that her mother was gone. If this

was another child that did not have a handicap, I would have easily

gotten aggravated. Since I knew about Lisa’s handicap I tried my best

to deal with her. I tried playing with her, reading to her, trying to

get her sister to play with her but nothing worked. Even though I

showed her the love and support her mother gave her, I was still

not her mother. This experience made me understand the needs of a

handicapped child. It is not at all an easy job.

Not all handicaps are physical or mental. There are some

handicaps that you could not recognize with the eye. In considering

deafness we are dealing with a disability of unique complexity. It is

always tempting to think in terms of handicap as a matter of damage

to a particular organ. Nowhere in the whole field of handicap can

this error be so damaging or even disastrous, whether we are

considering the help we give to an individual or the nature we make

for all those who suffer from that particular disability. Deafness

is important in itself but even more important in its consequences.

The immediate consequences of a hearing defect are no means

unimportant. Inability to hear a horn, a bicycle bell, and certain

other noises may be a cause of serious physical danger. Inability to

hear music or birds singing deprives one of pleasures which mean

much to many people. These are modest in their effect compared with

impairment of hearing for speech.

Medical and surgical treatment have little to offer to the

majority of deaf children, especially those whose deafness is

congenital. The positive approach to the deaf child is to make use of

whatever remains of hearing the child possesses, and most do have

remains, and by building on what remains and using a variety of

techniques to develop the child’s hearing skills, his speech and his

language. In achieving this, care, management and hearing are so

closely interlinked that they must be considered as part of the

same total process.

Much remains to be done in exploring the field of possible

employment of the deaf. There is a certain amount of prejudice and

resistance to be overcome and it is hard to say if apparent

objections to the deaf are true. A deaf child can do the same things

as a normal child but without speaking. They should have the same

respect as any other child trying to grow up.

As I have demonstrated in this paper, a handicapped child is not

someone to laugh at. They may be different physically or mentally,

but they need the same love and support from their parents and

loved ones just as any other child. Different handicaps need a

certain kind of attention. People cannot understand that when a

mentally retarded child has a violent fit in the mall, it is not

because they are a bad child, they cannot control what they do. Next

time your walking in the mall with your “normal” child and she

asks “what’s wrong with that boy” all you need to say is they are

exactly the same as you, they just need some more help at times.


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