Discussion: impact on family functioning

There are multiple types of exceptionalities with some being more severe than others. For example, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy are types of exceptionalities that affect the cognitive, behavioral, and physical functioning of a child or adolescent. Children and adolescents with learning disorders and pervasive disorders such as autism spectrum disorders or Asperger syndrome may have difficulty with social interactions and often require academic remediation. No matter the exceptionality, it can have a dramatic impact on family functioning. For example, stress levels can increase between spouses, the physical demands of caring for children and adolescents with exceptionalities can be exhausting, and managing difficult behaviors of a child or adolescent can take a toll on all members of a family. Parents may feel guilt, remorse, sadness, and grief over having a child with exceptionality.

If you plan to work with children or adolescents with exceptionalities, you must have a firm understanding of the various types of exceptionalities so you can understand the needs of the child and adolescent. It also provides you an understanding of the needs of the family so you can develop and implement effective interventions. Keep in mind when working with parents of children with exceptionalities that while they generally love their children, it can be challenging to care for them and you must help the parents feel supported and free of judgment.

For this Discussion, search the Walden Library, current literature, and reputable sources on the Internet and select a journal article researching a type of exceptionality. Consider the impact the exceptionality may have on a family. Reflect upon whether a female or male child might impact the family functioning differently. Consider what type of intervention and support you might provide the family to improve family functioning.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post a brief description of the exceptionality you selected. Then, explain two ways the exceptionality may affect family functioning and how. Finally, explain one evidence-based intervention and how you might use it to improve family functioning. Be specific and support your response using the article you selected.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the week’s resources.

Required Readings

Ali, M. M., & Salleh, N. M. (2008). Similar or different? Examining views on exceptionality among individuals with and without special needs. International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities, and Nations, 7(6), 335–342.

As you review this article, consider the similarities and differences among individuals with exceptionalities. Focus on how this information might inform your professional practice.

Estell, D. B., Farmer, T. W., Irvin, M. J., Crowther, A., Akos, P., & Boudah, D. J. (2009). Students with exceptionalities and the peer group context of bullying and victimization in late elementary school. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 18(2), 136–150.

As you review this article, consider the different types of bullying. Focus on the implications and interventions recommended.

Orfus, M., & Howe, N. (2008). Stress appraisal and coping in siblings of children with special needs. Exceptionality Education Canada, 18(3), 166–181.

Optional Resources

Rose, C. A., Espelage, D. L., Aragon, S. R., & Elliot, J. (2011). Bullying and victimization among students in special education and general education curricula. Exceptionality Education International, 21(3), 2–14.

Roskam, I., Zech, E., Nils, F., & Nader-Grosbois, N. (2008). School reorientation of children with disabilities: A stressful life event challenging parental cognitive and behavioral adjustment. Journal of Counseling and Development, 86(2), 132–142.

Woods, A. G., Mahdavi, E., & Ryan, J. P. (2013). Treating clients with Asperger’s and autism. Child & Adolescent Psychiatry & Mental Health, 7(1), 1–8.

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