Friday, November 24, 2017

Frontline Issue 55

TIPS FOR HELPING PARENTS ACCEPT THEIR CHILD’S DISABILITY

Relay a diagnosis with compassion and an appropriate degree of hope for the child and parents. Research findings show that the manner in which a diagnosis is explained to parents can have a profound and prolonged effect on the parent's attitudes toward their child and professionals. Ask parents how much and what types of communication they find helpful and build...

‘I JUST DON’T WANT SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO HAPPEN TO ANYONE ELSE.’

Mary’s fourth pregnancy wasn’t straightforward from the start. She experienced bleeding in the eleventh week, but the maternity hospital reassured her that the baby was alright. Later on, blood tests showed an unacceptably high white cell count, but again she was told that the baby’s heart was good, and that she needn’t stay in hospital. Mary availed of the...

SPECIAL DELIVERY

Through nearly a decade of assisting mothers through the joyous time of delivering their infants, there are times when that joy is tinged with sadness. One of these times is being present at the delivery of an infant who is born with an unsuspecting congenital malformation such as Down Syndrome. Usually the situation occurs following a normal pregnancy and...

THE DIAGNOSIS OF INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY

The dictionary definition of ‘diagnosis’—the identification of a disease by means of a patient’s symptoms—may be one of the reasons why many parents have a negative experience when it comes to the diagnosis of an intellectual disability in their child. This crude form of medical labelling marks a person with an intellectual disability from the very beginning, and throughout...

RAISING THE STANDARD

The 2003 World Games raised the standard for all of us. As well as the waving flags, we also lifted our standards of organisation and fáilte for the huge event. The 2003 World Games GOC staff, the mighty phalanx of volunteers, host towns and families, fundraisers and sponsors—all are to be mightily congratulated. But most of all the Special...

EDITOR’S DIARY

The build-up  It serves this doubting-Thomasina right (‘30,000 volunteers—they must be joking!’)—the volunteer-list has been oversubscribed! Our son Niall is to be a transport assistant, and we’ll host an Argentinian couple whose athlete son will compete in artistic roller-skating. There was a large crowd outside the gates of the Dáil at the services cutbacks protest on Tuesday 10 June. I...

‘BREAKING THE NEWS’—A brief review of the literature

The diagnosis of intellectual disability in a child is one of the most stress-inducing events in life (Baxter, Cummins and Pollack 1995). The period following the diagnosis is a formative time when parental attitudes, values and expectations can be hugely influenced, for better or worse. What happens during this period is therefore of great importance for the future lives...

THE ATLAS PROGRAMME

All the Irish Special Olympics athletes who were not selected to compete at the World Games sporting events had a great opportunity to take part in one of the large variety of services that support the games. Each ATLAS volunteer worked for the duration of the Games with his/her mentor (personal assistant) in an inclusive and integrated way with other...

RESEARCHING ‘ON’, ‘ABOUT’ OR ‘WITH: FUTURE DIRECTIONS FOR RESEARCH IN SPECIAL EDUCATION

Writing in 1975, Lawrence Stenhouse, one of the most influential educational researchers of the late twentieth century, defined research as ‘any systematic, critical and self-critical enquiry which aims to contribute to the advancement of knowledge’ (1975, p. 156). He further suggested that research should encourage the full participation of those teachers and others who come into daily contact with...

THE RIDE TOGETHER

Anyone who has had the experience of being the sibling of a family member with an intellectual disability will find this a captivating and affirming read. This book puts into words and pictures the feelings and experiences many siblings have across the lifespan. The ride together is an extraordinary family memoir told in alternating chapters of comics and text (Paul...