Is It Fair to Keep a Severely Disabled Child Alive?

Most are aware of the baby who died in England this week after appeals by the parents who fought to keep him alive. The facts are what were they really trying to achieve? While no one wants to see their infant taken surely one must look to the future to understand the life that one would live. There is also the question of who would look after him when the parents are no longer in a position to provide for him?

In New South Wales there is a huge reaction to the government’s decision to privatise group homes in which severally disabled people are housed. This presents the other side of the debate.

Handicapped children are usually placed in homes designed to look after them. Parents on the average can’t cope with the demands of such a child, let alone when he or she grows into adulthood.

The weight of a handicapped person who has no ability to move without support and cannot even use a toilet without help is impossible for aging parents to manage. They are dependent on providers who can deal with this. So why are these people allowed to live when death in early life would, surely, be a better option?

Religious principles are at stake here if children are allowed to die because of a handicap. Then there is the measure of disability and the arguments of right and wrong would stir the population even further. One can see that by the level of support from the public for the parents of the above mentioned child who died just before his first birthday.

This is an issue communities need to come to terms with especially as the cost of long-term care for such people is growing out of proportion. The bottom line is what kind of life does such a person live. If there is no possibility of a life beyond requiring someone to do every task for them is it such a bad thing for the parents to surrender them to their fate.

Keeping children alive on life support and being caught up in the emotions of the moment is not practical. The question is who is to decide when life is not worth living? It is surely too big an issue for even a court to rule over. It takes this into the realm of mercy killing and the awful consequences of thinking one has made a mistake. This is a test for all and only when one knows all the circumstances can such a decision be made.

Fabrication and the Developmentally Disabled

Fabrication is defined as a person making a deliberately false and improbable account of situation. Almost every adult in the world will say lying is wrong and inappropriate. Moreover, the same adults will tell children that they will be punished for lying. However, when it comes to protecting someone’s feelings, evading trouble or using imagination, some people can find themselves lying unconsciously. Whether male or female, occasional lying can be considered harmless depending on the situation. Due to the fact that it is a human trait and primarily used to influence the way a person is viewed by others, fabricating stories are very common in today’s society. Fabrication is deceptive but not always meant to hurt other people. Specifically, when a person fabricates they are protecting themselves from any consequences or embarrassment from telling the truth. A person may fabricate a story to avoid looking irresponsible, avoid conflict, to shift blame to someone else or for selfish reasons.

In society, individuals with disabilities have to manage limitations of physical ability, cognitive ability and IQ level. Conversely, some individuals with disabilities show a tendency to fabricate for similar reasons as other people. Furthermore, fabrication by individual with disabilities can be characterized as a defensive mechanism due to their ailment or environment. Another reason why an individual with disabilities may fabricate would be to make an allegation of abuse or mistreatment. Those individuals with an extensive history of fabrication may not think of lying as being inappropriate and commit the act out of necessity. Quality of care, choices, adaptable environment and the circle of support are essential components in the life of an individual with disabilities. For those reasons, there are many policies and regulations implement to not only protect but monitor that person’s life. In essence, a person with a disability is entitled to the best care that can be provided. It is important for healthcare providers not to discriminate against these individuals however it is also important for these individuals to be aware of the difference between right and wrong. Within organizations specializing in developmental disabilities regulated by the state government, fabrication incidents are to be investigated without prejudice regardless of the person’s history.

The rationale for fabrication by individuals with disabilities can be somewhat disputed. In some cases, the individuals feel they deserve special treatment due to their circumstances and anything less is unacceptable. In other cases, individuals can be deceptive, vindictive and relish the opportunity to get others in trouble. Moreover, there are techniques that can health professionals manage fabrication allegations. In order to encourage the truth, a health professional should initially teach the person through social skills training about the importance of honesty and how being dishonest can affect a reputation. It is also imperative that the individual learn not to justify their actions due to circumstances, manipulation, and dislike of staff, peer or family members. Accountability is also a human trait but not a common trait therefore lessons of responsibility should also be the focal point of the social skills training.

In any case, an individual with disabilities should not be made to feel guilty or ashamed for fabricating but educated about the social consequences of their actions. It is not the position of a health professional to initially determine if the individual is lying but rather what is the reason behind the lie. If fabrication is considered to be a challenging or problematic behavior for the individual then counseling should be implemented immediately. Fabrication can become an area of concern but not a crisis issue if controlled with a proactive psychological approach.

8 Ways to Support People With Disabilities

People with disabilities, young, old, and in between, all want the same thing: to feel included. A sense of belonging and integration is vital to every person across the globe, especially those with disabilities. When that sense of belonging is missing from life, it can be so easy to slip into a dark hole and convince yourself that you don’t matter. Well we all matter; no matter our age, gender, or disability.

Society has ingrained into our brains that if we are different, we don’t belong. Society rejects those who are different; who don’t fit into the perfect “mold”, if you will. An estimated 48.9 million people in the United States have some sort of disability. That’s almost 50 million people who deserve to be treated with the same love and support as the rest. Here are 6 ways that you can support people with disabilities:

1) Set high and reasonable expectations

Society wants us to believe that people with disabilities need to be continuously coddled and require constant supervision. While all disabilities are different, that is generally not the case. Society continues to set low expectations for people with disabilities and over time, that way of thinking has become adopted by a vast majority of people. This also transcends to those with disabilities, and they start setting low expectations for themselves as well. One of the best ways to support people with disabilities is to set high, albeit normal, expectations. Make them feel like your equal.

2) Educate yourself

It’s as easy as completing a Google search! You don’t need to take classes or go to the library; all you have to do is type a few words into Google and thousands of articles are at your fingertips. You don’t need to be an expert, just know the basics. Learn a little bit about the good, bad, and the ugly of someone with a specific disability.

If you feel comfortable, ask them in person. The internet can only tell you so much. Each disability is unique to their person, so if the timing feels right, ask them if they are comfortable enough to talk about their disability. Ask them what they can and/or can’t do and what they would like to be able to do in the future.

3) Never assume

You know what they say about assuming things. If you feel it is appropriate to ask if someone has a disability, go for it, but don’t assume you know. Many disabilities go unnoticed because they can easily fit into society’s “mold”. There’s nothing more awkward than assuming someone has a disability and they in fact do not.

4) Be a good listener

This could go for all stages of life, but it is vital to be a good listener in supporting people with disabilities. It is often assumed that people with disabilities can’t or don’t want to interact with others, but that is not always the case (and it usually isn’t). You may have to learn how they communicate and adjust from there, but listening is such an important trait and quality. When you truly open yourself up and listen to the other person, they will begin to feel included and start feeling important; start feeling wanted. These three things are vitally important to living a happy life.

5) Be inclusive and welcoming

Though this ties into the point above, it is important to note. You don’t have to be friends with everyone and go out of your way to spend time with them. Being inclusive should not be associated with pity. We are not forcing anyone to become friends, but make sure that your friends and acquaintances with disabilities can participate in group activities. If you don’t know if they can or not, just ask them! The simple act of asking questions can alone make them feel included.

6) Be a good support system

Everyone can thrive when they have a good support system to fall back on. People with disabilities may need support differently than you do, but they need the act of support all the same. Educate yourself and understand how you can be a solid support system. A good support system looks different to people with different disabilities.

Rehabilitation Service Provides Limitless Opportunities for the Disabled

Adults with disabilities are achieving more and more every day, blowing past perceived limitations. With a strong rehabilitation service to prepare an individual for a particular role or job, the possibilities are expanding for those with mental or physical disabilities. Here are just some of the many fields that are opening up to the disabled adult community.

1) Medical administration jobs allow individuals to work at desks, surrounded by others who understand a range of mental or physical disabilities. Accompanying rehabilitation service may also be available in the same building, ensuring convenience and familiarity. At the very least, jobs in this setting will be proactive in securing physical and mental assistance for all of their employees.

2) For those who are confined to the home or prefer to work from home, there are an increasing number of careers that promote or allow this flexibility. These jobs include medical transcription, graphic design, writing, web development, or sales. This list is only scratching the surface of jobs that can be performed from home. Rehabilitation service providers can often meet with clients at home, at the patients’ discretion, accommodating their flexible work schedules.

3) For those who are artistically inclined, there are expanding options that are financially supportive as well. Community centers and increasing cultural awareness allow those who are physically limited to have better access to programs for photography or painting. Disabled adults often have a unique perspective or story to tell, perfect for creative writing, design, and other artistic outlets. The physical action of many artistic mediums can be therapeutic and help train muscles, too.

4) Teaching and disability education are a natural transition for those who have conquered their own setbacks. Who better to guide individuals through physical and intellectual obstacles than those who have done it already? An organic empathy and connection is a great foundation for a counseling or teaching career. Ongoing rehabilitation service provides support, motivation, and instruction.

5) Many adults with disabilities enjoy the logic that comes with working as an accountant, or with other jobs that require money management. A desk job like this can create a soothing environment and consistent routine. Similarly, a computer can be set up to assist those with hearing, visual, or other sensory disabilities. For those who struggle with constant communication, especially in the service industry, this can be the perfect alternative.

Rehabilitation service centers focus on vocational training, developing a specific program for every individual. The training starts by identifying individual strengths and aspirations, and it works toward consulting businesses and placing individuals in a specific position. Upon placement, a case manager can continue to assist the disabled adult after job placement as they transition to their work environment and find a comfortable routine. This provides a community of support to help every individual find success, happiness, and fulfillment.