Attitudes of Society Towards People With Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Problems and Solutions

Attitudes of Society Towards People With Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Problems and Solutions

Pallavi Khanna (National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3069-6.ch001

Abstract

Social acceptance and inclusion of people with neuro-developmental disorders is challenging. Though each human being is unique, the world population can be segregated into two groups: neuro-typical and neuro-diverse people who have conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, ADHD, and several others. The neuro-typical population claims to be accepting of the neuro-diverse population, but some case studies show that it may sadly not be true. Life can be bewildering and confusing for a person with disabilities. Dealing with so many aspects can be daunting and frustrating for them and their families. Social attitude is a significant factor as the Pwd navigates the harsh world of discrimination and social abandonment and faces barriers where support, guidance, and services are required. Many go through painful journeys and come out stronger and wiser, but bitter as well. Others have had better support. This chapter is a collection of experiences of some Pwd and their families and a list of solutions to the different challenges they encounter.
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Background

An attitude can be defined as an internal affective orientation that explains the actions of a person. Attitudes have many components namely: cognitive (consciously held belief or opinion); affective (emotional tone or feeling), evaluative (positive or negative); and conative (disposition for action). Neuro developmental disorders are a group of conditions with onset in the development period. The disorders typically manifest early in development, often before the child enters grade school and are characterized by developmental deficits that produce impairments of personal, social, academic, or occupational functioning (Bosl, Tierney, Tager-Flusberg, & Nelson, 2011). The range of developmental deficits varies from very specific limitations of learning or control of executive functions to global impairments of social skills or intelligence. The neurodevelopmental disorders frequently co-occur; for example, individual with autism spectrum disorder often have intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder), and many children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also have a specific learning disorder.

Bringing up children with Neuro Developmental Disorders in India (Ali & Bhaskar, 2016) is an extremely challenging task. It is definitely an uphill task, especially for parents, it is so because the Indian society lacks a positive approach towards individuals with disability. People with NDD are viewed as abnormal and labeled as insane by their colleagues and peers. Although not everyone in society has a biased perception of them, many people have covert sympathy and kind-hearted approach towards people with NDD. Some people develop fear for such people as they had no prior exposure towards such people & they simply do not fit with the view they have of people they would like to interact with socially. Children with NDD are very prone to bullying and fighting by their classmates and this becomes a routine part of their childhood for they appear odd among others in level of intelligence & social skills.

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