Child Maltreatment and Disabilities: Increased Risk?
The increased risk for maltreatment in the population of children with special health care needs may be multifactorial. The very existence of a disability or limitation in a child that diminishes his or her ability to communicate, react, and/or meet parental or societal expectations can make some children more vulnerable. The unexpected realization of new parents that a child of theirs may never reach the full potential of their nondisabled peers may be particularly devastating to some. Child maltreatment has diverse medical, developmental, psychosocial, and legal consequences. Child abuse and neglect, along with its synonyms, describe a wide range of situations. Clinicians should be aware that the presence of disabilities in a child could be a risk factor for abuse and neglect and that disabilities can also be the result of child maltreatment.
KeywordsSexual Abuse Child Maltreatment Physical Abuse Corporal Punishment Special Health Care
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