With loving parents, children with mental disability have double chances of picking up fast, writes GARDY CHACHA
Mental disability in most cases is a lifelong condition. To many parents, having a mentally handicapped child is an agonising experience. The pressures of culture, beliefs, taboos and the sheer fright of giving birth to a mentally handicapped child might cause parents to mishandle these angels with special needs.
It is, therefore, proper to handle and treat them with dignity and special care so that they may live a fulfilling life, standing the same chance to prosper and sufficiently be happy like normal children.
Special care and attention are essential for a mentally retarded child to cope with people around them. More so, they need it from those they see every day, those who ought to understand them, those who bore and brought them to this world: Parents.
No one other than parents can make significant changes in the lives of children with mental disability.
King’ori Samuel, a teacher at City Primary School, which has a section for mentally handicapped children, says a lot of time is needed to care for such children since most of them require unique handling depending on the extent of their disability and their level of awareness of their environments.
“They are children like other sand it’s unfortunate that society treats them with contempt,” he laments.
He advises parents with a children suffering from intellectual disability to take them to special schools where they can get assistance and also get information on dealing with such conditions.
Unfortunately most parents expect instant progress; thinking or wishing that once taken to school, their children would become normal. According to King’ori, this is living in denial: They need to fully align their thoughts towards helping these children for a lifetime.
A child with mental disability learns by being corrected instantly, King’ori says, because if time is let to pass they are not able to retract back their thoughts to what they did wrong.
Mental retardation is a develop mental disability that may appear from birth or shows as a child grows up. The term ‘ mental retardation’ is often misunderstood and seen as derogatory. People often think that a retarded person is unable to learn and care for him or herself.
Children affected function at a below average intellectual level and as a result, have difficulties with learning and daily living skills. However, most of these children can learn a great deal and, as adults, can lead at least partially independent lives.