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 Background to the Study 
 The contemporary world is filled with a never ending array of challenges and numerous factors are responsible for that, (Bennibor 2007). One of such challenges is the burden of caring for a physically or mentally challenged child. The birth of a normal child can have a significant effect on the family dynamics. For this reason, parents and other children in the family must undergo a variety of changes to adapt to the pressure of a new member (Hussain and Juyal 2007). More profoundly, the birth of a physically or mentally challenged child to a family constitutes a serious burden that poses obvious challenges to parents. These challenges could include the time required for extra care, increased financial demand, stigmatization, psychological and social burden among others. Dykens (2000) described physical challenge or disability as lack of ability relative to a personal or group standard or norm which may involve physical impairment such as sensory impairment limiting sensory function, or motor impairment limiting mobility. Such physical disabilities include; deafness and dumbness, blindness, being crippled, or the malfunctioning of some parts of the body which limits the effectiveness with which a child can cope with the academic, social and emotional expectations of the school and community. Mental challenge on the other hand according to Hodapp and Dykens (2001) is a form of mental retardation marked by I Q (intelligent quotient) score of less than 75 and limited ability to carry out daily living skills. It includes children with Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism among others. A person is mentally challenged if he is unable to dress, feed, or otherwise care for himself or herself, to hold a job or carry out most of other tasks needed to get through an ordinary day. Looking at the prognosis of physically and mentally challenged children, Stanley (1998) stated that parents of physically challenged children know what their goals for a child should be. Based on that, they can draw on his or her many capabilities to help him or her achieve those goals. According to him, the motor and sensory systems are not the only capabilities children have and parents of physically challenged children can take advantage of even limited motor ability. A child, who has one arm that is working well, can reach for things and show what he wants. Even without good functioning arms, the child can convey ideas verbally or with signals if he has sensory deformities. He or she can be meaningfully engaged to enjoy life within the limits of his or her disabilities resulting in a good prognosis. The prognosis for children with mild to moderate mental retardation is also said to be usually good since these individuals can often become self sufficient to some degree. However, they may require some educational, community, social, family and vocational support in order to establish routines that will help them to function within the limits of their challenges. The outcome is less promising for those with severe to profound mental retardation. Those that survive, sometimes lack the ability to perform basic routine activities like (toileting, bathing, feeding or dressing themselves including basic academic skills like reading, writing and arithmetic) indicating that the prognosis is poorer than for those children with physical challenges. The presence of a physically or mentally challenged child in a family can lead to family disintegration if not properly handled, even in the happiest of families. It can cause a clash between parents, siblings, and individuals within a family to the extent that family cohesiveness may be threatened or even destroyed. Ambert (1999) stated that the everyday task of feeding, toileting, traveling and communicating are much more physically and emotionally demanding for parents who have children who are physically or mentally challenged. These challenges require that parents should adjust or cope using different coping strategies in order to be able to handle the situation or reduce the weight of the burden.

Project detailsContents
Number of Pages111 pages
Chapter one Introduction
Chapter two Literature review
Chapter three  methodology
Chapter  four  Data analysis
Chapter  five Summary,discussion & recommendations
Chapter summary1 to 5 chapters
Available documentPDF and MS-word format


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