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Child Welfare and Child Abuse

  • By: Gabriel I. Lomas & Harold Johnson
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Children with disabilities experience maltreatment (i.e., neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse) at a rate that is three to four times greater than that of their nondisabled peers. This incidence rate means that more than 30 percent of children with disabilities will experience maltreatment prior to age 19. The experience of maltreatment significantly and negatively impairs an individual’s health, learning, language, and behavior. The factors that increase the risk of maltreatment include social isolation and loneliness; poor communication skills; a lack of knowledge of what constitutes maltreatment, how to avoid risky situations, how to respond to maltreatment, and their own emerging sexuality; and an overly compliant behavioral pattern (i.e., they often do not know they have the right to say no to maltreatment). ...

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