Children with Disabilities in Spain
Culture refers to a set of values, principles, guidelines, and beliefs among members of a community applied to achieve cohesion, growth and development socially, politically, economically, and, environmentally. A disability can be either short or long term. It refers to a health care issue hindering a person to live a normal and comfortable life. However, people with disability can receive medical treatments coupled with social integration and family support to lead an equal life as normal persons in relation to quality and standards. In Spain, statistics shows at least six persons live with a disability among a group of ten people. These people include family members, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, colleagues, clients, and students across various levels of education (Mihuel, Antonio & Borja, 2005). Thus, this report will focus on how persons with disability strive to lead a normal life. It will also examine past and current factors affecting their lives. The report will mainly discuss how they acquire education across learning institutions. More importantly, it will analyze how parents assist their children living with a disability to lead a normal and comfortable life while accessing and acquiring education.
Types of Disabilities
Children and adults across Spain suffer from either short or long-term disabilities. Long-term disabilities include Asperger syndrome, autism, alzeheimer’s and crohn’s diseases, dwarfism, bipolar disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among others. Persons suffering from various forms of disabilities can either acquire them from birth or later in life. People with disabilities acquired later in life can attribute them to unintentional injuries and accidents especially to the brain, drug overdose, addictions, alcoholism, depression, eating disorders, HIV/AIDS infections, and kidney dysfunction among others. As a result, people can suffer from long-term disabilities including intellectual disability, heart diseases, Huntington’s illnesses, lupus, narcolepsy, obsessive compulsive and panic disorders, stroke, schizophrenia, Williams’s syndrome, and ulcerative colitis among others (Garre, 2013).
Culture’s Attitudes toward Disability in Spain
For years, persons across Spain have associated with people living with disabilities. This is because they spread across learning institutions, neighborhoods, communities, workplaces, and other public platforms. However, cultural heritages, values, and principles have affected how people with and without disabilities associate. In the past, persons with disability were treated differently due to cultural and social exclusion. Culturally, disabled persons were regarded as inferior members of the community. This is because cultural beliefs asserted these people were either a disgrace or a punishment to the family. Thus, normal people would avoid associating with them and their family members. This was an attempt by normal persons aimed at protecting themselves from receiving a similar punishment or disgrace within the family. Conversely, Christians believed disabilities were neither a disgrace nor a punishment (Gollnick & Chinn, 2006).
On the contrary, Christians believed persons living with a disability were a symbol that God was trying to purify the community while showing grace. However, some Christians such as John Calvin and Luther in the sixteenth century asserted disabled persons suffering from mental incapacitation were possessed with evil spirits. The victims therefore consistently suffered from repeated physical and mental pain as well as torture as Christian leaders attempted to conduct exorcism. Thus, persons with disabilities were culturally rejected, regarded as outcasts, and treated as liabilities among families and communities (Mihuel, Antonio & Borja, 2005).
History and Current Status on Delivery of Special Education
Persons with disabilities residing in Spain ware regarded as people with different yet equal capacities to achieve social, economic, education, and cultural goals. In 1983, a law was passed asserting persons with disabilities ought to integrate and associate with normal people. Diverse communities were awarded legislations and legal provisions regulating social and integration practices between normal individuals and persons suffering from disabilities. In 1997, the Valencian Community passed a law on June twenty fifth asserting social services and laws ought to recognize persons with disabilities. Thus, the law emphasized they ought to receive equal legal and social attention without discrimination. Before the constitution was formulated in 1978, persons with disabilities lacked social and legal provisions. Thus, supporting their existence and integration across various communities in Spain was challenging (Garre, 2013).
Currently, national legislations award persons with disabilities fundamental rights to socialize, acquire education, and lead an equally comfortable life as able persons. This can be attributed to the Law of Social Integration of the Handicapped People established in 1982. It defines disabled individuals as persons who need cultural, medical, and social protection. Policy preventive care, treatments, programs, rehabilitation centers, and programs ought to assist them in achieving maximum social, cultural, and educational integration in the community. It prohibits people from disintegrating and discriminating other members of the community based on their disabilities. Thus, the law protects persons with mental, emotional, physical, sensory, social, and cultural disabilities.
Nature of Parental Involvement
Children with disabilities are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression due to social disintegration, discrimination, and bullying especially across learning institutions. Early childhood education is crucial in developing and enhancing social skills among children. However, this development stage can be challenging and stressful for children with a disability. The social cultural aspects in learning institutions are characterized by bullying. This can be attributed to able children lacking either exposure or educational revelation on disabilities. Thus, they lack an ability to associate with colleagues suffering from disabilities. As a result, parents across Spain have played a key role in ensuring children with disabilities access and acquire education without suffering from more mental, emotional, and physical trauma, pain, and torture. Educators also play a key role in ensuring children with disabilities are comfortable, protected, and learning normally (Nicole & Miles, 2010).
Parents and family members are involved in diverse measures to ensure a child with disability acquires education. This is based on traditional, cultural, race, ethnic, and socioeconomic aspects dictating how parents and children associate. Parents associate differently with young children and adolescents. They award them differing attention and supportive guidance to boost self-esteem and confidence. Thus, parents also provide extra attention to children with disability. For example, they teach them how to read, write, associate with friends, and conduct studies with and without supervision (Banks, 2006).
For more than three decades, parents across Spain have integrated with teachers to ensure their children are successfully integrated in the learning institution. They are also more involved in ensuring both home and school environments are stable, supportive, and encouraging. Majority of parents also volunteer to assist during homework. They also raise funds aimed at enhancing social and learning conditions across learning institutions. Thus, parents strive to ensure children with disabilities acquire social skills applicable in achieving self-esteem and confidence. These skills further improve other abilities such as self-expressions while managing emotional and mental abilities. Parents also collaborate with teachers to examine and analyze how the learning experience can be improved for children with disabilities to feel more comfortable and record better grades. This, relationship is crucial in ensuring parents’ efforts and assistance during educational activities are effective, efficient, and beneficial. Thus, both teachers and parents guide children with disabilities on personal, educational and social levels (Pearl & Sharma, 2006).
Banks, J. A. (2006). Cultural Diversity and Education: Foundations, Curriculum, and Teaching, Boston, Allyn and Bacon.
Garre, M. (2013). Typology of Disability in Spain: Types of Disabilities in Spain, National Council on Disability Report.
Gollnick, D. M., & Chinn, P. C. (2006). Multicultural Education in a Pluralist Society, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey Pearson.
Mihuel, A., Antonio, J., & Borja, J. (2005). Social and Employment Policies for People with Disabilities in Spain, International Literature Review.
Nicole, P. T., & Miles, A, I. (2010). Cultural and Linguistic Diversity: Issues in Education, Kendall Hunt Publishers.
Pearl, S., & Sharma, U. (2006). Primary School Teachers’ Perceptions of Inclusive Education, International Journal on Special Education.