NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ836549
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1741-1122
Intellectual Disability in the Context of a South African Population
Kromberg, Jennifer; Zwane, Esther; Manga, Prashiela; Venter, Andre; Rosen, Eric; Christianson, Arnold
Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, v5 n2 p89-95 Jun 2008
Childhood disabilities, including intellectual disabilities (ID), are thought to occur in 5-17% of children in developing countries around the world. In order to identify and describe the childhood disabilities occurring in a rural South African population, as well as the context in which they occur, a study was carried out in the Bushbuckridge district in the poor northeast part of the country. Altogether, 6,692 children were screened in their homes in eight villages using the Ten Questions questionnaire. This questionnaire was used by local-trained field-workers in interviews with mothers and other carers, to screen children for five disorders (viz., intellectual, hearing, visual and movement disorders, and epilepsy). Altogether, 722 (10.8% of the total sample) children, who screened positive, were examined at clinics in their villages by a pediatrician for diagnostic, treatment, and referral purposes. In addition, 100 traditional healers in the district were interviewed with a specially designed schedule of questions to assess their attitudes toward disabilities and their management of affected children. The results showed that 291 (4.3%) children had at least one of the five disabilities. ID occurred in 3.6%, epilepsy in 0.7%, visual disorders in 0.5%, movement disorders in 0.5%, and hearing disorders in 0.3%. More boys than girls with hearing disorders were receiving special education. Many of the affected children were not receiving treatment or education, resulting in a reduction in their quality of life. Traditional healers were attempting to treat epilepsy and seldom referred affected children to hospital, although effective treatment was available there. Genetic factors were involved in about half the conditions, but genetic services were negligible. Appropriate health, diagnostic, treatment, educational, and supportive services are required for children with disabilities, and awareness of their needs and the resources to meet them should be increased in this community.
Blackwell Publishing. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8599; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa