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Volume 7, Pages 1799-1809
Review Article

The Child With a Disability: Parental Acceptance, Management and Coping

1Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Ariel University Center of Samaria, Ariel, Israel
2National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Jerusalem, Israel
3Office of the Medical Director, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel
4Kentucky Children's Hospital, University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA

Received 18 July 2007; Accepted 9 September 2007

Academic Editor: Mohammed Morad

Copyright © 2007 Isack Kandel and Joav Merrick.


Research indicates that family reaction to the birth of a disabled child changes according to the type of disability and the child's diagnostic category. The differences are probably an indirect consequence of anticipated or actual reactions by those surrounding the disabled child and the family, in addition to parental reactions. Many researchers have recently mentioned the positive coping and functioning of many families with developmentally disabled children. In the past there was a tendency to emphasize issues of illness and pressures, spousal strain and maladjustment within the family, while presently they are replaced with questions concerning positive adjustment, satisfaction, acceptance, and spousal harmony. Rather than perceiving the family as a helpless victim, it is perceived as a unit that adapts by a process of structuring. Professionals must acknowledge the importance of the family, this change towards a positive attitude towards disability and that the controls decisions concerning the disabled child and the family.