ERIC Number: ED462811
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Families and Children with Severe Disabilities: Daily Lives, Systems, and Concerns.
Martin, Sylvia S.; Baker, Debra C.
This paper reviews the literature examining the lifelong challenges to family members represented by the birth of a child with severe disabilities. The paper addresses issues of family life, the systems that affect families, and current and future concerns related to having a child with severe disabilities. Studies addressing families of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities are reviewed first. The emotional stages that a family experiences when first told that a child has a diagnosis of a disability are discussed, along with factors that influence how and when parents reach the acceptance stage. Factors include disability area and degree of disability, family characteristics, and the strength available from the family system. The daily issues families of young children with severe disabilities face are addressed and the different systems families encounter are described. The paper then discusses the secondary transition years, the daily issues faced by families of adolescents with severe disabilities aging out of the educational system, and the systems they encounter. The paper concludes that system involvement, issues of concern, and the daily life of families having a child with severe disabilities show little change from the early years to the secondary transition years. (Contains 27 references.) (CR)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences (Las Vegas, NV, January 31-February 2, 2001).