There are many children in the schools where inclusive education is focused, of whom some are recommended to school counselors for professional help, as they have behavioral issues such as hyperactivity, bullying other students, and beating other students. When the parents of these children are called to schools to discuss their problems with them, they do not accept the fact that their children are showing inappropriate behaviors.
Parents who accept the fact that their children are suffering from behavioral issues, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and other childhood disorders will have positive perceptions and be able to take proper care of them. In contrast, parents who do not accept their child’s special needs have negative perspectives, such as embarrassment, withdrawal, and sometimes even rejection.
Mental Distress in Parents Dealing with Children with Special Needs
There are several factors that cause mental distress in parents who have children with special needs:
1. Financial problems, need for consultation, Treatment, and Purchasing equipment - Parents sometimes feel distressed, as children with special needs require routine consultations and lots of equipment, and sometimes they are dealing with financial problems.
2. Emotional problems, such as feelings of guilt, blaming each other, and most importantly, feeling rejected by other family members - When a child is diagnosed with any of the disorders, parents start blaming each other, forgetting the fact that both are equally responsible for a child’s problem. Most importantly, parents feel mental distress because other family members also start rejecting the child and treating the child differently.
3. Changes in family goals and expectations, and one of the parents has to leave work for their children - It is often seen that there are some changes in the goals set by the family as soon as a child is diagnosed with a disorder, for which one of the parents have to leave their career and take care of their children.
4. Negative views and stereotypes from society, neighbors, and friends - Parents hear a lot of things from society, neighbors, and friends about their children, giving them a lot of stress and thus affecting their child’s mental health.
5. Difficulty in finding good educational institutes that are willing to accept children with special needs - One of the stresses for parents is to find the best institutes for children where inclusive education is provided, moreover where their children are treated in the same manner.
Coping Strategies Used by Parents Dealing with Children with Special Needs
Parents use two coping strategies when dealing with children with special needs:
1. Active coping strategies - Involves approaching the problem and shows a positive attitude towards a child.
2. Passive coping strategies - Involves avoiding the problem and shows a negative attitude towards a child.
However, avoiding the problem, rather than directly addressing the stressful events, could be harmful.
The perception of parents plays an essential role in dealing with children with special needs, as whenever any child is diagnosed with a disorder, the role of parents begins from there. We at Solh Wellness; work to provide people with proactive mental health solutions before their situation worsens. To proactively support your mental health, try out several techniques and make self-care a priority in your daily life. Install the Solh Wellness App to start experiencing the transformation.