Rights for Developmentally Disabled Children
Developmental disabilities do not have one typical look. The degree of disability ranges
drastically in physical, learning, language, or behavioral areas. A critical sign of a developmental
disability is when a child is not reaching the same developmental milestone as the average child
that age. Those who require health care and health programs are often times placed within a
group home or institution to live their utmost healthiest life. Some have ludicrous beliefs that
because someone suffers from a developmental disability, they are less human and that they do
not contribute to society. There is a need for additional laws to protect our intellectually disabled
children against physical and mental abuse because of their need for medical attention. It
increases their chances of being abused because of their likely-hood to not report abuse, and the
insufficient laws currently in place.
Most children diagnosed with a developmental disability notice the difference between
themselves and their peers by the time they finish grade school, resulting in a lower self esteem
than the average child. Often times they will justify the actions of their abuser by believing that
they are at fault and deserve the abuse. On top of self esteem, children with developmental
disabilities lack sufficient communication skills, which creates difficulty reporting abuse.
Programs for children with an intellectual disability are rare to find. It is even more rare to find a
good program. There are serval different forms of abuse that these children endure. “It is not
uncommon for an abuser to manipulate medications or to withhold access to assistive equipment
and technology, including communications devices, in order to control behavior” (Abuse and
Exploitation.) These children have to choose between reporting a care giver, creating uncertainty
for future care and resources, or to remain quiet (Davis.) Children with developmental
disabilities are targets for abuse because of their likely-hood to not report the abuse.
In Addition to, those who require institutional care are at greater risk to be a victim of
abuse. Parents place their developmentally disabled children in these group homes/institutions as
a result of the child’s need for medical attention (Elvik.) These actions are taken to better the
child’s life, in actuality the chance of abuse is increased. It takes a lot of knowledge and patience
when taking care of the needs of these children although; “most psychiatry residents have little
experience with autism, seeing fewer than 15 children with the condition per year during their
two-year training” (Opar.) Literature is resorted to by doctors due to the lack of experience.
Studies that are inclusive to all children on the spectrum, including the severe end, are rare. As a
result of an inexperienced staff, violence is often resorted to get the patients to behave. Some
hospitals are understaffed due to the lack of funding....