However, the strain experienced during the revelation of the initial information is not the be all and end all of the pressures that parents encounter as a result of raising children with disabilities. To enumerate a few would be the consideration of economic requirements, time demands which medical interventions impose on the family, estranged or strained family relations, social isolation as a result of the child’s limited mobility or behavioral problems, and the period of parental grief for the healthy child they had expected (McCubbin, Cauble, & Patterson 1982).
Most parents of disabled children feel that because of the added attention and care needed by the child; they need to sacrifice more of their personal ambitions and goals. (Seligman et al. , 2007) Yet they repeatedly feel frustrated because once they fall into the trap of pity that society has constructed around disabled children, they cannot envision a bright future for the child for whom they have set aside much. As the child develops it has been observed that some parents feel that they have to compensate for the disability of their child.
Thus they make excuses for unreasonable actuations and demands made upon them. Furthermore, they become fearful of reprimanding the child as they feel that the child already has much to contend with. Therefore, behavioral problems displayed by the child are rationalized as effects of the disability. In this sense, it can be seen that parents of disabled children find themselves helpless and their knowledge insufficient to contend with the situation of their child. Such a view of the circumstance inhibits them from fully performing the role of parent that they are tasked to enact.
Appreciation of the situation in excess of that which is required or in excess of that which would be beneficial to the child may also have adverse effects on the manner in which parents relate to their other children. Overemphasis on the special needs of their disabled child may result in insufficient attention given to his or her siblings. Such practices lead to maladaptive family development. Thus, tantrums and other behavioral disorders tolerated from a disabled child would begin to manifest in the other children as well as they see that their parents endure such behavior.
What parents should be aware of is that tolerance of an inability to address the behavioral aspect of a child’s disability may lead to abnormal behavior in other children as well. The role of care-giver and disciplinarian is thus compromised. For other parents the experience is different and they learn to view the situation in parts and focusing only on aspects likely to bring stress. They then find ways to cope with these dissected aspects bit by bit. This proves to be effective as parents do not take on the problem piecemeal, becoming overwhelmed with the enormity of the task.
The need for therapists to address the needs not only of disabled children themselves but of their families as well could not be made clearer. With professionals taking on the task of catering to the problems encountered by parents, they are affecting the entire process of development the child would be brought up in. Not only that, but the interaction of the family as a whole would be improved and they would be better equipped to handle the unique situation of their impaired child. To answer such needs several methods have been observed as practiced in the field.