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Stress to Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities experience heightened stress levels because of the challenges they encounter in the learning environment. Students with learning disabilities often show increased stress levels and are reported to have significant negative characteristics than students without disabilities. Students with disabilities have shown high stress levels and low competency levels than students without disabilities. Children with behavior disorders and other disabilities have reported higher levels of frequent struggles and depression in challenging educational situations. Such a literature shape suggests a rising toll of stress in students with disabilities (Stinson, 2010).
Educators dealing with disabled students are required to conduct careful evaluation on stress levels these students experience. Similarly, they need to develop coping strategies that these students may inhibit. Experts have provided information illustrating that families are an integral player in treating students with disabilities. In addition, development services and training parents are strategies employed in improving the degree of effectiveness of treatment and intervention programs (Davies & Janosik, 2010). For instance, disabled students in early intervention programs are likely to interact with their parents and program facilitators than students without disabilities because they are not receiving such services. It makes much sense to acknowledge that stress levels experienced by students with disabilities may influence the quality of performance.
Evidently, researchers claim that respite services are effective in reducing stress among students with disabilities. According to this treatment strategy, students with disabilities receiving regular respite services tend to report substantially reduced stress levels than those who are not. In addition, children with disabilities who undergo regular admissions in respite care facilities and those who receive in-patient treatment report similar stress reduction levels. From these findings, provision of respite care services is expected to make remarkable changes on the well-being of students with disabilities resulting in a positive development and progress of the student (Mace, Coons & Weaverdyck, 2009).
There are four domains adding up to the idea of stress. They include stressors (situations exceeding coping capabilities of a student) and strain (emotional and physical signs of stressing events such as muscle strain, headaches, irritability and fatigue). They also include coping resources (things that students use to manage and mediate the impact of stressors). Social networks of support, interpersonal skills or strength and educational resources and contacts, and coping strategies (tactics that students with disabilities can use to cope or reduce the impacts caused by stressors) are also included. For instance, coping strategies comprise joining and participating in student support groups, simple discussions of fear with family members of friends and recruiting a caring employee (Stinson, 2010).
Compared to students who are not disabled, students with disabilities do not have adequate coping mechanisms to deal with stress. This is due to delayed cognitive development resulting in lower abilities of metacognition. This means that students with disabilities have low chances of realizing that they inhibit problems, which need professional help. Many students with disabilities depend on denial as a coping strategy in dealing with impacts of stressors. Professionals must assist students with disabilities in understanding and acknowledging that their engagement in active coping strategies is permanent strategy in helping them locate tactics of exercising their academic pursuit (Davies & Janosik, 2010).
One of the common methods is to seek the assistance of fellow students. This is the most appropriate strategy for disabled students. Studies based on strategies of students with disabilities have revealed the students have limited chances of discussing their stress with fellow students or peers. Similarly, they tend to associate themselves with small groups of peers. Additionally, students with disabilities in the peer groups tend to cry on the shoulders of one another in an unstructured environment. Therefore, it would be important to develop and maintain a professional support team for students with disabilities for them to deal with issues related to stress (Comer & Gould, 2013).
Stress alone is harmful to students with disabilities; they resort to substance abuse acting as stress enhancers. Indeed, many students with disabilities are of the belief that a number of substances assist in relaxing. Cigarettes, caffeine, nicotine, and similar chemicals work by stimulating the body. Cigarettes and caffeine tend to take away vital minerals and nutrients from the body, which must be replaced. In addition, cigarette costs are likely to result in more costs related to personal finances. The process of reducing intake of caffeine and quitting smoking tends to be stressful; it is a worthwhile process due to its permanent physical and mental health benefits. Excessive intake of sugar is also likely to generate physical impacts on the body and must be avoided. Foods containing excessive sugar leave disabled students without the urge for nutritious foods thus end up lacking valuable minerals and vitamins. Permanent energy shortages are replaced by a brief boost of energy accompanying sugar intake (Mace, Coons & Weaverdyck, 2009).
Other stress enhancers used by students with disabilities include alcohol and drugs. Many students with disabilities are mistaken to believe that alcohol and drugs relive impacts of their stressors thus helping them relax. Persistent negative health problems and addiction tends to take shape within relatively short periods (Comer & Gould, 2013). Preliminary studies demonstrate that students with disabilities are associated with alcoholism development. These studies show that some of them resorted to alcohol and drugs to escape from problems caused by stress. In fact, stress is affecting a majority of people across the world. However, stress among students with disabilities tends to be detrimental. Service providers and education experts are required to inhibit solid understanding of stress impact on students with disabilities. Professionals must realize that students with disabilities will develop the capability to accomplish their set academic pursuits in an efficient manner when they acknowledge their stress problems (Stinson, 2010).
Stress has increasingly received massive of negative publicity, but it is not always a bad thing. Stress is not necessarily harmful there it has possibilities of resulting from both positive and negative experiences. The body of students with disabilities has a similar way of perceiving fear and excitement. The two emotions lead to stress prompting the body to produce extra energy. Stress among students with disabilities is attributed physically to elevated breathing and heart rates, increased flow of adrenalin, improvised strength of muscles and high levels of energy. In physiological perspective, stress sharpens awareness of students with disabilities and boosts their level of energy at the appropriate time. Students with disabilities can gain the ability and knowledge and use this energy in addressing their physical challenges, solving personal problems, completing assignments, and meeting their academic goals (Davies & Janosik, 2010).
However much stress may be perceived to be negative, pressured and challenging situations may need moderate stress. Stress releases high levels of adrenalin that can improve performance. However, inappropriate reaction to stress accompanied by excess stress can lead to mental and harm to students with disabilities physical. In normal terms, temporary over reaction to impact of stressors does not generate permanent problems. However, when this temporary over reaction takes place in an exam setting, it leads to devastating results. Stress experienced by students with learning disabilities resulting from deadlines of assignments or difficulties of coping with subjects is not good enough. Financial worries, relationship difficulties, parental expectations, and peer pressures are expected to worsen the problem. When these factors are combined, it results in behavioral patterns that worsen an already bad situation. Exercise and diet have been neglected for a long time. Besides, classes have been skipped where students with disabilities tend to be unsociable and withdrawn (Comer & Gould, 2013).
Students with disabilities can be affected when positive stressors are decoded negative stressors since the human body cannot distinguish negative and positive stressors. This is because the excitement of joining college or university can turn into fears associated with being in college or university. Uncontrolled or excessive negative stressors are harmful. Physically charged muscles are likely to increase strain and contractions in muscles. This is embedded in spasms, digestive problems, stiff and sore neck, persistent fatigue and headaches. If this is not addressed, it may high levels of adrenalin flow may precipitate concentration problems, lack of sleep, persistent fatigue, lack of appetite, varied nervous problems such as tapping fingers and grinding teeth. Further, stress among students with disabilities causes physiological behavioral changes, including fear, emotional distress, general irritability, panic attacks, and forgetfulness (White, 2007).
Students with disabilities undergo varied challenges ranging from a learning context based on supervision and structured learning in high school, college, or university. For these students, they are troubled by this transition problem coupled by negative impacts of stressors. Students with disabilities have high chances of feeling the impacts brought about by stress in the learning environment. Similarly, they have increased chances of showing signs of anxiety and tension (Mace, Coons & Weaverdyck, 2009). Disabled students in education contexts may experience challenges of performance pressures during the transition period to post secondary learning. Some of them are likely to hold onto the belief that they are…[continue]
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