In the Eyes of the Beholder

IMG_0079In the eyes of any person without a disability, accommodations typically do not cross the mind simply because they aren’t  affected by the lack of compliance. When prospective business students shoot to be the manager of a restaurant, hotel, grocery store, or anywhere, they have to think of not only accommodations for their customers but also their employees. Job accommodation for those with disabilities is still lacking in the workforce due to multiple reasons, such as an individual shying away from requesting accommodations and characteristics that add to this lack of accommodation. Characteristics like education, type of disability, age, gender, and number of disabilities are all things that affect the things that a workplace will make compromising difficult. In general, requesting accommodations is a difficult process, legally figuring out what to do and deciding what one wants, is hard. Due to a mixture of the disabled employee and the typically ignorant employer with the confusion caused by the complicated ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), job accommodation is needed but generally hard to come to an agreement between both parties.

The ADA provides civil rights protection and guarantees equal opportunity for those with disabilities in multiple areas: public accommodations, employment, transportation, etc. In addition, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which is mentioned in many of the resources used, is a convention that specifically addresses the human rights of people with disabilities such as the right to work, the right to political participation, etc. Both ADA and CRPD purpose is to eliminate or minimize discrimination for those people with disabilities as much as possible. In “Workforce Participation Barriers for People With Disability”  by Anthony Hogan, Su Mon Kyaw-Myint, Debra Harris, and Harmony Denronden states “factors uniquely contribute to employment outcomes for people with disability, taking into account the associations which may exist between variables possibly contributing to the outcome.” (page 3). This quote means that there are many factors that add to the low percentage of employees with a disability. The goal of the ADA would be to raise the percentage by making it more accessible for the challenged to apply, get, and accomplish jobs in the workforce.

There are mandatory legal accommodations for workforces to provide, the Americans with Disabilities Act has specific laws and obligations that are to be implemented. The hope of the ADA is to aid in fixing distinguished discrimination. A resource that focused on the ADA usage, “Barriers to the Accommodation Request Process of the Americans With Disabilities Act” written by John Jay Frank and James Bellini, that brought up strategies informants use to get around the ADA process in order to attain their goals and the barriers they face. Unfortunately, despite the ADA’s attempt, there are still plenty of hurdles that stand in the way which means that if they are not taken care of, the ADA’s goal is to create discrimination free and equal opportune communities will fail. One interview in the article supplied a quote that stated “There are so many hoops to jump through with trying to get accommodation.” (page 5). The statement backs up one of the main points as to why there are not as many disabled employees because of the struggle to be an equal. This article talks about the hope for getting rid of job barriers for the disabled but points out the complications that may occur. To improve the accommodation availability percentage the study suggests characteristics that add to this lacking feature of the work place, it is also suggests ways to work with or around issues preventing a growth.

Despite the good intentions of the ADA, there are many barriers created by the red tape and other common complications that come along with paperwork and legal processes. In addition to the legal leg restraints that prevent those who are disabled in moving forward in hopes to make accommodation as easily gained as it should seem, there are personal restraints that add to this issue. In the article “Workforce Participation Barriers for People with Disability” pointed out that there are many individually made barriers that prevent in the gain of compromises for those who need it in the labor pools. This brings up the possibility that the nervousness to ask for help, understanding, or accommodations is not that the person is ashamed or embarrassed but instead, are considering what all the company would have to work around. The article included a question from one of their interviews that said “Why do I have to be made to feel that I am inadequate because I need accommodations?” This goes to show that those with disabilities are often times embarrassed to admit it, let alone go out and ask for help. If someone doesn’t ask for help, how can they be helped? This is one of the individually made barriers that the article discusses in addition to the multiplicity of all the possible complications that go along with hiring and employing the disabled.

Things such as education, type of disability, age, gender, and number of disabilities are all things that come into play when employers have to contemplate when hiring. Personally, when a surgeon was interviewed, the questions was asked “Would you ever hire or employ a person with one or more disabilities?” The answer was not forced or rehearsed but instead genuine and sincere. Dr. Woodajo, the surgeon, replied that he is embarrassed of how often he questions a disabled persons ability to work out of nervousness and the unknown terrain of a disabled mind or capabilities, but that he would never turn away anyone more qualified and able to complete the assigned tasks because of a manageable disability. After reviewing an actual response from an employer, the perspective is more clear for the people that actually do the hiring.

Works Cited

Frank, John J., and James Bellini. “Barriers to the Accommodation Request Process of the Americans With Disabilities Act.” Journal of Rehabilitation 71.2 (2005): 28-39. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.

Hogan, Anthony, Su Mon Kyaw-Myint, Debra Harris, and Harmony Denronden. “Workforce Participation Barriers for People With Disability.” International Journal of Disability Management 7 (2012): 1-9. Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.

Gold, P.B., Oire, S., Fabian, E., & Wewiorski, N. (2012).  “Negotiating workplace accommodations:  Perceptions of employees with disabilities, employers, and rehabilitation service providers.” Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 37, 25-37.

PTSD in Syrian Refugee Children


Therapists and care professionals need to readdress the necessary treatments used to help refugee children struggling with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a type of anxiety disorder that can occur after you have gone through an extreme emotional trauma that involved the threat of injury or death. The pathology was approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a disability, because of the mental disorder’s interference in the victim’s everyday life. PTSD, seen mostly in war refugees, does not target specific age groups and because of the ongoing war in Syria has lead to the clinical pathology afflicting millions of children. The involvement of clinical professionals is crucial to preventing another lost generation in the Syrian children being affected by war traumas every day.

Though it may seem like too much to ask, these treatments do not require walking into a war zone, but into the safe refugee camps, like the ones stationed on the border of Turkey, containing families from Syria that managed to escape the warzone. According to the Director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF), Mouaz Moustafa, about 30% of the million registered Syrian refugees are staged on the border of turkey. Moustafa estimates that the number of children stationed on the border of turkey alone reach over 100,000. The SETF urges professionals to aid this cause, stating that families at these camps are desperate for clinical care of any kind, especially to help their children, who have developed psychological problems incomprehensible to adults who haven’t experienced war at a young age and have no way of remedying what their children are going through. There are also a number of orphans who lost their families to the war that need clinical help. The SETF has sent in a few psychologists who have taken initiative to help these children, but not nearly enough to help the thousands more left without help.

In an interview with psychologist Stacy Lopresti Goodman, a Psychology professor at Marymount University, Goodman stated that it is hard for untrained professional, such as the parents of these afflicted children, to identify clinical disorders like PTSD. This is because children exhibit different traits than adults and don’t know what is happening to them. According to and article written by New York Daily News health medicine and lifestyle author Tracy Miller “Almost half of the Syrian children in one Turkish refugee camp were found to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, a team of international researchers found. Three out of 4 had lost a loved one.” Statistics like this help to illustrate the number of children in need of clinical help.

Children with PTSD suffer from a number of symptoms. Other than severe anxiety and depression, sleep deprivation is a dangerous indication of PTSD. According to the article “Traumatic Experience and Sleep Disturbance in Refugee Children from the Middle East” by Edith Montgomery and Anders Foldspang, which studied sleep disturbance in 311 refugee children (3-15 years old) from the middle east, Middle Eastern children have a high risk of sleep disorders, which lead to diabetes, memory loss, and even suicide. The adults studied in this article reported sleep disturbance in their childhood, leading the experiment to focus on a tie between sleep disturbances in children who have experienced war trauma. These children were exposed to a variety of traumatic experiences like violent deaths of parents or grandparents. The results show that sleep disturbance does in fact have an association with PTSD and stress brought on from violence (10). Sleep is a crucial part of the development of children and efficiency in adults. In children, sleep deprivation and lack of quality sleep causes rifts in the intellectual development of children as well as memory loss, and loss of cognitive functions. If left untreated, these sleep disturbances can cause permanent damage in children.

Treating children with this type of disturbance sometimes requires the input of the family. According to The National Center for PTSD family therapy can help families understand PTSD and how it is treated, it can also help family members identify and treat their children in a way that can help them avoid long-lasting affects. Without clinical care conducted by professionals these children are put at serious risk. Therapy sessions such as family therapy do not necessarily have to last over a year, for as little as three months therapists can help families cope with the disorder. There are other treatment options for children affected with PTSD, like the ones discussed in “Practitioner Review: Assessment and treatment of refugee children and adolescents who have experienced war-related trauma.” The article, published in the Journal of Child psychology and Psychiatry by Kimberly A. Ehntholt and William Yule, focuses on the mental effects war has on refugee children such as post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma then goes on to discuss their assessment and treatment based on previous studies and experiments. Both authors of the article are professional psychologists with PHDs in their fields and in their article discuss specific therapy treatments used to treat refugee children suffering from PTSD. These treatments include cognitive behavioral, mere exposure, and testimonial psychotherapy. The article also addresses the importance of culture when treating refugee children stating, “Cultural differences need to be acknowledged and respected. It can be very helpful for the clinician to find out more about a young person’s country of origin and culture before the initial assessment” (45).

Children are not the only ones in need of psychological treatment. Many parents of these refugee children are suffering from severe PTSD that in turn effects their children’s well being. This relates to the importance of treating children currently suffering from PTSD because of the long lasting effects it has not only on the children for the remainder of there lives, but of there potential children. The article “Resilience and Vulnerability among Refugee Children of Traumatized and Non-traumatized Parents.” By Britt Klinteberg and Per-Anders Rydelius is a study that explores the effects traumatized parents suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder has on children (6- 17 years of age). The results of this case study found “there is a relationship between parental trauma and their children’s PTSD symptoms.” The results also showed that untreated PTSD in children would lead to a negative affect on future generations intelligence and self-esteem “Children in the traumatized parents group displayed behavioral and cognitive impairments manifested mainly as PTSD-related symptoms” (69).

Overall, PTSD in the millions of Syrian refugee children, if left untreated, will lead to long-lasting effects on not only the current generation affected by the war- but future ones. Organizations like the Syrian Emergency Task Force provide a safe way for these professional activists to help treat these children and make a difference in the war by ensuring the future health of the Syrian people.




IEP’s for students

In today’s society, most people don’t know what an IEP is and with students, who have an IEP, don’t know how they got tested for it. Students, that have an IEP for a long period of time, should remove themselves from having an IEP. Students should remove themselves, so they can challenge themselves to see what they can do without it. It is important for students to know about an IEP mostly for students who have one because it is like signing up for something without reading what it is.

An IEP is one of the two contracts a student can obtain in public school or in college to help students that have a learning disability and need a little bit of help/push to get where they want to be with getting help them in what they are lacking in. In an article I read called “Cte And Ieps: Making The System Work For All” the authors talk about what is supposed to happen in IEP’s meetings and how everything in the meeting works.  For example, letting the student talk about how their classes are going for the semester, with what classes they want to take next semester. In the meetings, everyone who is supposed to be in the meeting, also look at the student’s accommodation that the student has. The student makes the decision to either keep or get rid of.  The reason behind it is that they do not see the use of the accommodation or they can work without them perfectly fine. From having these meetings every year when the student has an IEP, the student will get a better understanding of why they have the IEP.  Another article I have read was talking about the attendance of the student at meetings. Meaning that the people who are attending the meetings every year like the case manager, the counselor, the parent and the student, then it will show the student that people care. That the people who are in the meetings want the student to do well in school and focusing fixing their learning disability to something they can manage.

I can relate to students that have an IEP because I had one starting when I switched from private school to public the being of my 7th grade year. I didn’t think I required one but unknowingly I acquired the special services with having all of these accommodations that I don’t even need. Like someone reading to me, the computer reading to me or someone writing my answer for me. I knew that I was a little slow as in I need more time to finish assignments and needing help solving math problems but that’s it. Not only that, but I knew what classes I had to take to get where I need to be which plays a part of picking classes before anyone. As time moved on, in my 8th- 9th grade year, I started to understand what was going on. I began to move faster and saw myself getting rid of accommodations I didn’t need and got only down to only two accommodations I really needed. Finally, when it got to my senior year of high school, I made the decision, after thinking about it, to cancel my IEP.  My mom, my mentor and my counselor saw that I was more independent than dependent on my IEP. Yes, I will say that at first I wasn’t sure if I made the right choice. I was thinking maybe I might need it in college. I was asking myself what if I am still slower than the other students but after it all settled in, I knew I made the right choice of canceling my IEP. Having the IEP was kind of holding me back even though it was really helpful having on the time I need it.

The main point I’m writing about IEP’s is because not a lot of people know what an IEP is and don’t know how to get tested for it. I first thought when I got one was that I am stupid because I need help and that I can’t work like others. But, as the time went by I saw myself needing the attention even though it got annoying at times and soon, I got rid of it.

ADHD and What Parents Need to Know


Connor Pearson

ADHD and What Parents Need to Know

Currently in the United States health care professionals agree that parents need to be more aware that ADHD is being misdiagnosed and this is causing children to be over medicated as a result, but if parents were better informed about this crisis they could manage their children’s symptoms more effectively and avoid the possible harmful side effects of these medications.  One of the main proponents as to why this is happening is that “Beginning in the 1990s, Congress expanded eligibility criteria for Medicaid, especially for children. This fueled a rapid increase in coverage for psychotropic medications, including stimulants” (1). Here Dr. Daniel Connor an expert on the United States prescription of ADHD medication explains that due to government funding, drug and insurance companies profited from the over medication and over diagnosis of ADHD. Connor goes on to explain that, “In 1997, Congress passed the FDA Modernization Act, which encouraged the pharmaceutical industry to develop and test drugs for children by extending patent exclusivity. As a result, the prescribing of stimulants for children with ADHD increased 4-fold between 1987 and 1996, with a further increase of 9.5% between 2000 and 2005.” (1).

This trend of over medication and over diagnosis has hit our generation like a tidal wave, and unfortunately there are not many signs of it slowing down. If a child if able to be diagnosed with ADHD from a fifteen minute observation session from a doctor, what is stopping parents across America from going and getting their child some extra medication and academic accommodations? What parents need to be aware of is that according to Dr. Monika Buerger, “Methylphenidate, commonly known as Ritalin, was responsible for 186 deaths between 1990 and 2000” (1). These drugs that doctors are dispensing to children are not something to be taken lightly. Medication should be the last option to choose and not the first.

Another problem that the over medication and over diagnosis of ADHD causes is that since ADHD is such a popular disorder for a child to have, it is difficult to discern if a child really does have ADHD. This causes an almost biased feeling in the classroom. How fair is it that a child that does not have ADHD gets less time to take a test then a child that has been misdiagnosed with ADHD? It is a vicious cycle because when parents hear that other children got more time to take a test then their own child, those parents will then go out and get their child diagnosed with ADHD so that their child can perform better on the “high stakes” tests. Parents need to be properly informed and educated about what ADHD is and the real symptoms that occur in their children. Dr. Buerger from the Washington post explains that, “too often parents are being intimidated by schools/teachers to have their child undergo a psychological evaluation either through the school district, a pediatrician, or a psychiatrist. Perhaps the child is more energetic, lethargic, or lacks concentration compared to his/her “normal” (1).

One solution to this crisis is that even if someone is diagnosed with ADHD there are ways of dealing with the disability and not jumping to medication as the easy solution. Dr. Brown PhD., an expert on people with ADHD and how they function in society explains that, “people with ADHD have the capacity to function “normally” but they must be very driven and focused on the task at hand.” (2). This means that the parents of these children need to provide constant support and guidance so that the children can learn to manage their disability and not rely on medication as a crutch in order to function. If more parents were to have this knowledge, it could be the first step in the right direction toward combating the epidemic of ADHD over medication and over diagnosis.

In order for the ADHD crisis to be quelled there are several actions that need to taken to get America back on track. First, is that parents have to be more educated in what the characteristics of ADHD are, and how medicating your child without proper diagnosis is potentially harmful. For this to happen, family doctors need to explain in detail what ADHD is and how to manage it properly. Many parents are unaware of the fact that if they were to spend some extra time with their children, they would not need to move to medication. Sometimes all a child needs is a little more attention, structure, or discipline in order to better manage their ADHD symptoms. Medication should always be a last resort. Next, there has to be a major reform from the political side of this problem. Since the government has been one of the largest contributors for drug companies and doctors to prescribe medication to children, this will be very difficult to change. America is currently in economic trouble therefore diminishing a major industry like pharmaceuticals is a giant hurtle to overcome.  Lastly, there must be more strict laws and restrictions of receiving these potentially harmful medications. Connor M.D states that, “With the production of more stimulants every year, worries about the increased availability of stimulants for abuse and diversion rise as well. Rising production rates are cited as proof of stimulant overprescribing by physicians and indirect evidence of the over diagnosis of ADHD among children” (1). In order for this problem to be corrected the drug prescription laws must be more comprehensive, and the diagnosis of ADHD must meet more stringent criteria. The more parents know about ADHD and what it really means for their children to be diagnosed with it, the faster the United States can resolve this crisis of over diagnosis and over medication of ADHD.

Works Cited

Connor, Daniel F. “Problems of Overdiagnosis and Overprescribing in ADHD: Page 4 of 4.” Psychiatric Times. Psychiatric Times, 11 Aug. 2011. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.

Buerger D.C., Monkia. “Despite Years of ADHD Research, Diagnosis Remains Tricky and Treatment, More so.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 2004. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.

Brown, Dr. Thomas E. Ten Myths About ADHD. N.p.: n.p., n.d. A New Understanding of Attention Deficit Disorder. Dr. Thomas E Brown, June 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

Children of Deaf Adults (CODA)

Children of Deaf Adults – CODA

Every article I come across to read about deaf people, research shows that over 90% of deaf adults have hearing children. I’ve been studying the Deaf community for about three years now and even this surprised me, as it does to many others. I started out just as clueless as various others. The more research I did myself, the more I learned that the most interesting question most people, including me, happened to wonder is if a deaf adult were to have a child, wouldn’t that child be deaf as well? While deafness is genetic, there are effectively numerous other different situations that cause people to be deaf, including illness. Deaf people do not have a higher rate of having deaf children than hearing people. The kids that are hearing with deaf parents are given the name CODA, which stands for Children of Deaf Adults. Since the Deaf community is very proud of their culture and feel honored being deaf, it’s normal to think that deaf parents would want their kids to be emerged in their way of life, but because these kids are considered bicultural, it’s difficult to ignore their power to hear and only focus on the Deaf community. CODA will most likely grow up in a deaf environment until they’re old enough to realize they have a whole other culture they’re a part of due to their ability to hear, which requires them to take part sooner or later. One can imagine the deaf parents would probably need help with information about the hearing world, but also want someone who is genuinely interested as their culture as well– that’s where the organization CODA and special counselors come into place and help these families balance out the child’s life.

The Deaf community is immensely proud of their culture. The biggest thing they want the hearing world to understand is that their ears are broken, not their brain. If someone were to come across a deaf person, it’d be better to acknowledge him or her as a “regular” person because they don’t see being deaf as a disability. The Deaf community truly does not desire to be “fixed.” Like all cultural groups, they have their own thing going on, but that doesn’t exclude them from being another part of the world as a whole. A lot of people in the Deaf community actually consider themselves to be deaf first among other things such as their race, ethnicity or gender. Lizzie Sorkin, a member of the Deaf community said, “I am deaf first before being a woman, before my faith, my sexual preference, my interests. I didn’t see my deafness as a problem. I didn’t need to be fixed” (James, 2006). Sorkin’s strong tone shows that she’s not embarrassed of being deaf. Countless members of the Deaf community stay within their circle because of the fear that they won’t be accepted outside of their society, including the deaf adults with hearing children. If the deaf parent never wanted their hearing child to live outside of the Deaf community, the hearing child would probably never learn about their other culture. If people outside of the Deaf community tried to learn and understand little things like the Deaf not being ashamed of who they are, deaf people would be more willing to communicate because acknowledging that the Deaf are not broken, makes them believe the hearing world has taken the time to look into their way of life and want to be there.

The Deaf community has outreach programs and Acts to get the word out about deaf people. While there are some organizations that focus on the Deaf community as a whole, CODA has it’s own organization. Millie Brother created CODA in 1983. Brother herself feels that the CODA organization helps the children of deaf parents enjoy both of their worlds equally. CODA’s goal is to bring together communities all over the world to help and support each other through social events and gatherings. The organization is also not just for hearing children with deaf parents and since anyone can join these events, it’s best for people outside of the Deaf community with interest to connect and learn different things about deaf culture. Literally anyone can be a part of it! It’s all about caring, understanding what children of deaf adults are going through and how to be there for them. It’s extremely beneficial to anyone who might work with CODA in the future or are looking for answers about anything to do with hearing children and deaf adults. If a special counselor were to be seen at an event and talked to a few families, the counselor could gain more knowledge about the Deaf community there than they would have somewhere else.

Families with children of deaf adults are given special counselors, or service workers, to work with them and support the overall communication between parent, child and balancing the child’s cultures. Studies show that the more service workers learned about the Deaf community, the easier it was to work with CODA families. For many years, researchers have followed children of deaf adults around and asking their opinions on how they live their life, what it’s like to be CODA, what are the differences in cultures, and so on. By knowing this information, counselors know what topics to focus on when working with the families. Also, taking the Deaf community and facts about their culture into consideration when working gives off a good vibe to the deaf parents and hearing child they’re helping. It shows the counselor isn’t trying to change the child in way, only benefit the child with more knowledge about their other culture. Researchers shared that CODAs usually state that they feel like a link between the two worlds, but often hate being used as translators (Singleton, 2001). So the parents will ask their child about the hearing world or people outside of the Deaf community will ask about the hearing world. Since the two worlds are separated, CODAs really are the links.

To address families with hearing children of deaf parents, the counselors given to work with these families need to know as much as possible about deaf culture. The Deaf community has several resources to help counselors understand. In the end, logically, CODAs want counselors who genuinely care and want to help out. The more counselors know about the Deaf community and culture, the easier it will be to communicate and help children of deaf adults balance their two cultures and learn to live through them equally because it shows the counselors care.

Work Cited

“Children of Deaf Adults: CODA International, Inc.” Coda-International. Web. 8 Nov. 2014.

Singleton, Jenny L., and Tittle, Matthew D. Tittle. “Technical Report #6.” CLAS: Culturally & Linguistically Appropriate Services. Web. 8 Nov. 2014.

James, Susan Donaldson, and Grace Huang. “Deaf and Proud to Use Sign Language.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 12 Dec. 2006. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

“Myths about Deaf People (and the Truth).” If My Hands Could Speak. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

Show Support.

Show Support.

According to the 2010 census, 11.7 million people were reported as single parents, and 15% of people in total reported living in poverty (“United States Census Bureau”). Being a parent is stressful enough. Being a parent living in poverty is even more stressful. Does it differ if the parents had an autistic child? Yes. How? The stress levels can increase.

In a study 32 years ago, mothers of mentally disabled children weren’t supported by medical professionals. Parents were told to expect less from their child, which caused the child’s behaviors to worsen, and that their child was “going through a stage,” many mothers felt they were inadequate care takers (Dudziak 12). The doctors and nurses did not listen when the mothers would explain their child’s symptoms or disability (Dudziak 12),

“Rather than sedating him as she requested, they chose to hold him down while                 stitching him up. Unable to tolerate so many strange people touching him, this child             screamed and fought. After this incident the child’s behavior regressed considerably           and he needed to be toilet trained again” (Dudziak 13).

The result of the nurse ignoring the mother caused the son extreme discomfort and was traumatizing enough for him to have to be re-potty trained the effort the mom took to get her son to the mental and physical level of achievement he was at was undone. This is an example of how parents would “develop mistrust in helping professionals” (Solomon 253). Another study reported parents being told that poor parenting skills had caused autistic symptoms and the child would “grow out of it” (Siman-Tov 880). Some caretakers experienced separation from their partners, less involvement at home, and spent less time together (Siman-Tov 881). One couple was forced to go to therapy so their child could attend a nursery school, the mother believed she was the root of her child’s problem (Dudziak 12).

A study, based on a 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health, reported that parents of children with autism weren’t coping with parenting demands and felt their child was harder to care for (Schieve 147).  Lack of medical care was a big influence on parental stress (Schieve 148). Medical care is having a personal nurse (or doctor) that spends quality time with the child, listens and respects the family, provides general information, and make the parent feel like a partner (Schieve 145). Many parents used external and internal dimensions of control to explain situations in their lives (Siman-Tov 880). External control is using fate as an explanation to life events, parents that use external control believe they have no control over life events (Siman-Tov 880). External control helps parents cope with raising children with autism by reassuring them that it wasn’t their fault that their child has a disability. To contrast, internal control is believing that a result happened because of the actions a person has made, parents that use internal control believe that results and consequences depend on their efforts (Siman-Tov 883). Internal control was the least effective in reducing stress unless there was social support (Siman-Tov 886).

Many parents choose to seek outside support to provide care for their autistic children and manage stress levels. There are many forms of support; social, emotional, and physical (Siman-Tov 880). “Informal” support is defined as family, friends, neighbors, and the community. Professional support is medical personal trained to deal with specific situations. While informal support reduces stress and depression, “professional” support often results in mixed outcomes regarding stress management. Some parents did receive support from teachers and other parents, some mothers offered occasional babysitting (Dudziak 13). There was a limited amount of professionals that contained knowledge about autism, which discouraged many parents (Luther 40).  Family therapists may feel inadequate to work with parents of autistic children (Solomon 251). According to an article written by Alexandra H. Solomon, “family therapists carry expertise in family systems” (Solomon 251). When asked, (72% of) parents reported turning to media to gain information about autism (Solomon 255). Parents often received help from their other children, the siblings learned to adjust and became “protective and understanding” (Dudziak 13). According to Solomon, caregivers can benefit from “couple meetings,” talking about the day and how the child with autism behaved throughout the day (Solomon 258). “Date nights” are also beneficial, and parents who make excuses need an extra push of reasoning to go through with the night (Solomon 259). Finances can also create stress on the caretakers.

According to Edith H. Luther’s article, “raising a child with a disability cost three times more than a nondisabled child” (41). But caretakers not only contribute more money, they also contribute more time. Maintaining employment is difficult (Luther 41), however according to Solomon, working can assist in reducing parental stress (257). Limited employment between caretakers can create difficulty in paying for child care, other expenses for the child with autism, and other family members (Luther 41). There is also a loss of relaxation time (Luther 41), this is because the uncertain behaviors of a child with autism makes parents nervous about attending events, going to stores, and other public outings (Solomon 260). Mothers reported more stress because they were more involved in the child’s activities (Luther 41), such as, therapy and dealing with the child’s behavior (Solomon 258). According to Luther, there are two phases that can assist in the coping process. The adjustment phase is an intervention the family may need because normal coping methods do not work, the adaption phase is the family’s “attempt to meet the demands of the child’s disability” (Luther 42). These phases can promote positive virtues such as “family bonding, flexibility, and strength” (Luther 42).

Support groups give parents a place to discuss problems, coping methods, give advice, and meet other parents in common situations (Luther 45). Although support groups benefit parents, they also benefit siblings and extended family (Luther 45). In Luther’s study, parents reported a belief in God also gave hope but they rarely attended religious activities because of their child’s behavior and the lack of knowledge in other people (Luther 46). It was also reported that being involved in the community, before having their child, created familiarity and security when the parents needed help.

All of the information above can be a bit overwhelming but imagine how a parent with an autistic child feels. Social support has been a big influence that helps caretakers cope and it shows within the studies above. Sometimes the parent can feel isolated, and because of the behavior of an autistic child is “unpredictable,” parents can feel anxious about going to events (Solomon 260). Offering any kind of support can help the parent feel cared for, the most valuable thing a person can do is to offer their time, sometimes a phone call or personal visit can make a parent’s day brighter.






Works Cited

Benson, Paul R. “The Impact of Child Symptom Severity on Depressed Mood among               Parents of  Children with ASD: The Mediating Role of Stress Proliferation.” Journal of         Autism and Developmental Disorders 36.5 (2006): 685-95. ProQuest. Web. 14 Oct.           2014.

Dudziak, Diane. “Parenting the Autistic Child.” Journal of Psychosocial Nursing & Mental          Health Services 20.1 (1982): 11-6. ProQuest. Web. 14 Oct. 2014

Luther, Edith H., Daryl L. Canham, and Virginia Y. Cureton. “Coping and Social Support for       Parents of Children with Autism.” The Journal of School Nursing 21.1 (2005): 40-46.           Sage Journal. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

Schieve, Laura A., Sheree L. Boulet, Michael D. Kogan, Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp,                  Coleen A.  Boyle, Susanna N. Visser, Stephen J. Blumberg, and Catherine Rice.                “Parenting Aggravation and Autism Spectrum Disorder; 2007 National Survey of                Children’s Health.” Disability and Health. 4.3 (2011): 144-151. Science Direct. Web.            24 Oct. 2014.

Siman-tov, Ayelet, and Shlomo Kaniel. “Stress and Personal Resource as Predictors of            the Adjustment of Parents to Autistic Children: A Multivariate Model.” Journal of                  Autism and Developmental Disorders 41.7 (2011): 879-90. ProQuest. Web. 18 Oct.            2014.

Solomon, Alexandra H., and Beth Chung. “Understanding Autism: How Family Therapists        can Support Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Family process            51.2 (2012): 250-64. ProQuest. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.

“United States Census Bureau.” Facts for Features — Unmarried and Single Americans          Week Sept. 18-24, 2011. N.p., 26 Aug. 2011. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.

Is a Learning Disability Going to Stop You From Getting Your Dream Job?

            How often have you been told that your learning disability is going to hold you back from achieving certain goals? Probably more than you can even count. Thankfully, I’m here to tell you that everyone who told you that is wrong. We now live in a society where companies are more than willing to hire employees that have a learning disability because they can provide assets and they have certain skills, such as creativity and extraordinarily fast instincts, that others can’t. Most Americans with learning disabilities should be assured that there are jobs for them in the workplace with employers more than willing to make accommodations.

Any learning disability that someone has, whether it is something less severe like dyslexia or something more common like ADHD, will cause him or her to have some sort of deficiency in specific skills to perform office tasks properly. Most employers are happy to compromise, they want to work with the employee and insure that they have proper accommodations to help them complete their job as efficient as possible. According scholar to Paul J. Gerber, writer of the article Persons with Learning Disabilities in the Workplace: What We Know So Far in the Americans with Disabilities Act Era published in the Learning Disabilities Research & Practice journal, “Accommodations such as assistive technology and job restructuring can be used successfully, even if they have not been used successfully in the past“ (4). Gerber is basically assuring people that certain accommodations, in this case “assistive technology and job restructuring,” (4) have been administered and are proven to work even if they were faulty or imperfect in the past. So for example, an information technology company can offer different computer widgets and short-cuts to help the employee understand how better use their software. You can even be offered to work from home more, if you feel uncomfortable in the working environment when first getting started. That proved to me that these industries were quite focused on making sure their employees were taken care of.

The most interesting thing I learned about my topic was how companies will really bend their back for employees with learning disabilities. Whether it’s for publicity and they just want to hire these people just so they can say they hire people with disabilities, or if they truly believe these employees will help advance their business in a positive direction with their certain set of skills, it shows that there is always help out there to find a job. Organizations such as the North Lankshire Council (NLC) and acts similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are out there to help promote these people apply for jobs, as well as build confidence to prove that there really are employers out there that are more than happy to hire these people. That just doesn’t mean that the employers feel bad, some of them really think these employees are valuable and will be a huge help towards the companies success. The North Lankshire Council, according to George McInally, is a “supported employment service” that “has achieved a reputation for delivering full-time work for people who have learning disabilities.” The organization has found about 175 jobs that can be attainted by people with learning disabilities, and they are also responsible for catering to over 127 working individuals who work over 16 hours a week, as of 1999.

I really grasped attention to this topic and took interest when I learned that these people are actually being helped, and it is not just a few industries here and there that are offering these jobs. There are hundreds of companies offering jobs, and according to Huffington Post, the number one company that offers jobs to the disabled is Xerox. My point that I wanted to get across was that I want people who suffer from a learning disability, whether they are students graduating from school soon or adults trying to get back in the workplace, to know that there are always opportunities out there, and these opportunities are created by accommodations and services made specifically for those who need them. Major companies and industries are creating these accommodations for people with learning disabilities, so future employees should not feel like they are at a disadvantage. Once you’re hired, you’ll be getting payroll as the next man in your position.


Cited Sources

  1. Gerber, Paul J., and Lynda A. Price. “Persons with Learning Disabilities in the Workplace: What We Know So Far in the Americans with Disabilities Act Era.” Learning Disabilities Research and Practice 18.2 (2003): 132-36. Web.
  2. Mcinally, George. “Supported Employment for People with Learning Disabilities: The Case for Full-time Work.” Tizard Learning Disability Review3 (2008): 42-46. Web.
  3. Mpofu, Elias. “Learning Disabilities in Adults: Implications for Rehabilitation Intervention in Work Settings.” Journal of Rehabilitation 33rd ser. 65.3 (1999): n. pag. ProQuest. Web.

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