The minister and the birth of a defective child
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There now exists a gap in the humanistic and professional care of the newborn defective child and his family—a gap which is so vital that it further adds to the debilitation of the infant and increases force behind the statement, “The family with a handicapped child is a handicapped family.” The minister in the community is the logical person by reasons of training, sphere of call, and availability to fill this void and assist parents through this most difficult shock or mourning period.
In times of death or severe illness, the family minister does not wait to be called by the family before showing his, and the church's, concern. Neither should he wait in the case of defective birth, for no longer is this a subject to be hidden in closets while parents suffer in agonized self-accusation. The very first days are crucial ones, and the minister that makes himself available to the parents during that time in a supportive, listening post role will produce more positive results than will many sessions of counseling in the later years of that infant's childhood.
KeywordsPositive Result Defective Birth Severe Illness Cross Cultural Psychology Handicapped Child
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