As if the parents of kids with disabilities don’t have enough on their plate, according to a SUPER scientific and
totally not at all flawed survey their non-disabled kids might have serious issues to deal with too.
Anthony Goudie, the survey’s lead author and an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, is convinced that having a disabled brother or sister can cause issues with behavior, relationships, school work and other facets of life. Of course, this study couldn’t explain WHY this was supposedly true, but don’t fear dear readers! Old Goudie has a theory!
It’s all YOUR fault as parents, duh! Or it’s your “family situation” as Goudie describes it, including increased financial strain, added stress and additional time that the parents needs to spend with the child who has the disability.
If there was irrefutable proof that this was the case I would at least be understanding of the study’s importance in discovering a way to fix the issues. But while Goudie is confident that his findings are important (he certainly says they are), the actual survey itself looks pretty questionable to me.
While it’s considered the largest at date, it’s still pitifully small, considering that there are 2.8 million school aged children with disabilities alone, not counting those younger. Having surveyed only approximately 250 kids who have disabled siblings and compared that to over 6000 children who have siblings with no disabilities, the researchers also only asked each set of parents a series of 13 questions, answered on a scale of 1 to 4. Questions covered the children’s school performance, relationships and behavior among other things.
It’s important to note that some past studies, according to Reuters, have shown no major difference between kids with disabled siblings and those without. Others have shown issues, but the majority of past studies only covered one type of disability. To me, there just seems to be way too much room for error and not enough evidence to warrant making the parents of kid’s with disabilities feel worse about their situations. ESPECIALLY if said study offers not suggestions for a solution whatsoever.