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  • Public Health Agency of Canada


  • 1. Issues in Human Services (HMNS 10085) Module 1: Introduction & Issues Pertaining to Children
  • 2. Learning Plan • [eLearn] • Learning outcomes – To become sensitive to diverse groups within our community – To apply concepts of equity and inclusion • Learning activities - week to week + assignments • About me
  • 3. Definitions: • Inequality: – Refers to the unequal treatment between groups of people that disadvantages one group over another. – Eg. Income inequality - gaps in income between those who earn high incomes compared to those who earn the least. – Eg. Unequal treatment of people based on some characteristic such as gender, race, sexual orientation, age or ability (eg. racial inequality).
  • 4. Definitions:Oppression: • Privileged or dominant • Oppressed group – Have disadvantages to group in society – Access to resources – Able to influence decision-making – Maintain situations that keep them being in dominant group – Maintains their advantages to a quality of life obtaining the same quality of life. – Much economic & political activity occurs to maintain the advantage & quality of life of the dominant group at expense of those who have less power, influence & work from a disadvantaged position to try to have a good quality of life.
  • 5. Definitions: • Social Exclusion: – Outcome of oppression – Groups of people “have limited opportunities to participate in the social, economic and cultural activities of society • Consider how each of these concepts fit in with the issues being discussed.
  • 6. Approach to Working With Children in Human Services • Structural, strengths-based approach • 3 levels of social structure: – Macro – Meso – Micro
  • 7. Approach to Working With Children in Human Services • Human beings • Not human becomings
  • 8. Legislation: • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. • Principles: – Non-discrimination – Best interests of the child – Right to life, survival and development of one’s full potential – Protection rights – Participation rights
  • 9. What is a child? • Under the age of 18 • Not consistently demonstrated in laws in Canada • Different ideas of what childhood is: >rights of children are not equitably applied
  • 10. Structural Determinants of Health • • • • • • • • • • • Income, social status Social support networks Education, literacy Employment (including working conditions) Physical environment Personal health practices, coping skills Healthy child development Genetics Health services Gender Culture
  • 11. Developmentally Appropriate Practice: • 2 dimensions: – Supports that meet the individual needs of the child – Supports that meet the developmental needs of the child - physical, emotional, social and cognitive areas. • Goal of development> independence, thriving as individuals
  • 12. Some issues specific to children: • Child abuse and neglect • Behaviour issues • Children as exceptional learners >How well does our society support the rights of children being upheld? How well are children’s needs met?
  • 13. Attachment: • Infants - attach emotionally and psychologically to a primary caregiver • Caregiver needs to be: – Consistently responsive – Consistently nurturing
  • 14. Healthy Attachment: • Securely attached child: – Feels loved & lovable – Able to trust others • Emotional safety of this primary bond: – Provides security infant/child needs to explore their world – Provides the basis for developing: self-confidence, selfreliance, resiliency necessary to cope with stress, language, empathy, social skills, self-esteem & intimacy • Protective against the impacts of poverty, stress of chaos (in politically unstable nations, for eg.)
  • 15. Indicators of Healthy Attachment • • • • Infant seeks closeness to caregiver Infant seeks contact to caregiver Interacts in a way to maintain contact Social referencing
  • 16. Child Neglect • Failure to meet a child’s basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, sleep, medical attention, education & protection from harm. • Includes: lack of appropriate adult supervision of younger children • More serious form: chronic in nature
  • 17. Physical Abuse: • Use of deliberate physical force or action that results in (or could result in) injury. – Includes: punching, slapping, beating, shaking, burning, throwing – Beyond reasonable force. – Spanking - controversial
  • 18. Sexual Abuse: • Use of a child for the sexual gratification of an adult or older child. • Involves coercion & manipulation - makes it different than play between peers • Includes: sexual touching, inviting a child to touch an adult, encouring a child to engage in sexual activity.
  • 19. Emotional Abuse: • Behaviours towards a child such as: – Constant criticizing, teasing, belittling, insulting, rejecting, ignoring, isolating • Attacks a child’s sense of self-worth • Also, includes: – Placing unreasonable demands on child that exceed their capacities – Exposure to domestic violence > risk of emotional harm. – Failure to provide love, support & guidance
  • 20. Legislation: • Child & Family Services Act < 16 yrs. • Children’s Aid Societies • Family and Children’s Services/Child and Family Services
  • 21. Behaviour in Childhood: • Think: What were the expectations on you as a child as to how you needed to behave? Function of these expectations? What was the message to you as a child?
  • 22. Behaviour in Childhood: • More recent literature challenges previous ideas of children’s behaviour. • Childhood “behaviours” are seen as a means children have to: – Learn – Communicate – Exert power
  • 23. Approach to Managing Behaviours: • Try to understand the causes of the behaviour: – What happens before the behaviour? – What structural determinants may not be being met?
  • 24. Children As Exceptional Learners: • Children who encounter difficulties acquiring the knowledge & skills > risk of school failure – Can negatively affect the life chances of children. • Children who require special education services to realize their potential > Children with exceptionalities. Could be in one of (or more) the following areas: – – – – – Sensory Physical Cognitive Emotional Communication
  • 25. Integrated Vs. Non-Integrated Programs: • Children with exceptionalities have better learning outcomes in a setting integrated with their sameaged peers? Research is mixed. • Variety of options should be available. • Labeling when in integrated settings: – May be treated differently than same-aged peers – Target for bullying – Diminished self-esteem • Can be a learning opportunity for general education students! • Social benefits may be better met for Special
  • 26. Individualized Education Plan (IEP) • Plans that are developed for the special learning needs of students in elementary & secondary school • Strengths and needs of students • Particular strategies likely to lead to success
  • 27. What the special strategies may be: • Modifications • Accommodations • Adaptations
  • 28. Children With Learning Disabilities: • Definition: “…a number of disorders which may affect the acquisition, organization, retention, understanding or use of verbal or non-verbal information.” • They come from impairments in the processes related to: – Perceiving – Thinking – Remembering – Learning • Rate of diagnosis has increased
  • 29. Causes of Learning Disabilities: • Agents causing birth defects • Premature birth • heredity
  • 30. Other problems for students with Learning Disabilties: • Social problems • Emotional problems • Motivational problems
  • 31. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): • • About 3-5% of school-aged children. 2 components to definition: 1. Inattention - fails to give close attention to detail, careless mistakes in homework; difficulty keeping attention in tasks, easily distracted; does not seem to be listening when spoken to; does not complete homework, or follow through on things started; difficulty with organizing to do tasks & activities; avoidant of activities that require mental effort; loses items frequently. 2. Hyperactivity/impulsivity - fidgets with hands, feet or squirms in seat; leaves a setting when they are required to be there; runs around as though driven by a motor; talks excessively; difficulty waiting for their turn; interrupts or intrudes on others. • At least 6 of each type that interferes in 2 settings, for > 6 months.
  • 32. Treatment of ADHD • Psychostimulants - ritalin • Controversial: – Pro - Effective at controlling inhibition & “executive functioning” problems. Tends to lead to better academic performance – Con - may be seen as a “fix”, when it should be accompanied by other interventions that promote selfinitiative & self-responsibility • 30% of children do not have a good response to it • Potential for misuse.
  • 33. ADHD & Special Education: • ADHD often occurs with Learning Disabilities, Mood or Behavioural Disorders Substance Use. • Models of classroom strategies include: – Structuring a classroom with reduced distraction, consistent routine, simplifying & repeating instructions & chunking tasks into smaller units. – Self-management strategies that involve students tracking their behaviours & receiving reinforcement for this.
  • 34. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) • Definition: Individuals with impairment in functioning to varying degrees in the following areas: – – – – Communication skills Social interactions Repetitive & stereotypic behaviours DSM-IV diagnosis > developmental disorder • Rate of diagnosis has increased
  • 35. ASD: What does it look like? • Communication skills - some have no functional language, others have delay in the onset of language only. – Not reciprocal/truly conversational • Social interaction - difficulty learning & reading social cues. • Repetitive & stereotypic behaviour- eg. spinning, flapping hands, rocking or obsessive fascinations with certain objects (eg. ceiling fans). • Particular cognition problems - difficulty coding or decoding information > rely on literal meanings, know a lot of detail but not the “big picture” • Abnormal sensory perceptions - hypersensitive to stimuli (eg. sound); underresponsive to some (eg. may seek movement) • Theory of mind - impaired ability to take the perspective of another • Behavioural regulation problems - may tantrum or become “disregulated”.
  • 36. ASD & Special Education • Require a lot of special education supports • Ontario, Ministry of Education - PPM 140 – Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) as an instructional approach – Form of behaviour modification that rewards positive behaviours at frequent intervals – Example of a step in education policy that is child-focused & tries to reduce barriers for students with ASD to learn the curriculum.
  • 37. Students with Intellectual Disabilities: • Definition: An individual with significant limitations in adaptive behaviour or the conceptual, social and practical skills people have learned to be able to function in daily life. – Conceptual skills – Practical skills – Social skills • Variety of conditions - hereditary, chromosomal, events around birth. – One well known example, Down’s Syndrome.
  • 38. Assessment of Intellectual Disability • Assessed by intelligence and adaptive skills. • Intelligence - Wechsler Intelligence Scale • Adaptive Behavioural Skills - measures independence, daily living skills, & maladaptive behaviour in social interactions, trustworthiness, & self-abusive behaviour.
  • 39. Students with Intellectual Disabilities & Special Education: • May be taught functional academics – Learning to read in order to function independently (eg. read labels, newspapers, telephone book). • Frequently in non-integrated settings in special classes. • Some instruction in real-life setting (eg. grocery store). • More focus today on self-determination.
  • 40. Impact on Having a Child With An Exceptionality on Families: • Stressful: – – – – Having to adapt to unanticipated things Adapting parenting practices Extra things to contend with School system has added to this > parents blamed for their children’s issues • Parents now coming to be seen as having a positive influence > more involvement in planning for their child’s educational needs, & in the daily school life of the child (eg. regular communication between school & home).
  • 41. Reading: • • • • • • http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. http://www.unicef.org/crc/index_30197.html-Unicef: Addressingtheneedsofchildren http://www.unicef.org/crc/index_understanding.html-Unicef: Understandingthecrc The rights of children to develop to their full potential. http://knowledge.offordcentre.com/images/stories.offord/pamphlets/ASD_en.pdf . Autism Spectrum Disorders http://knowledge.offordcentre.com/images/stories.offord/pamphlets//Attention%20B . Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. http://knowledge.offordcentre.com/children’s-needs The needs of children.