We read two articles discussing individuals’ understanding of disability (Connors &
Stalker 2007, and Davies & Jenkins, 1997).
Based on those two articles and the film,
Praying with Lior
, summarize the developmental path of persons with IDD knowledge
and understanding of their own disability.
As children age their understanding of what a disability is and what it means to have a
Granted, their depth of understanding also depends on the type of disability
the child has.
The understanding they gain is shaped by their social interactions.
younger children will view disability in a way similar to that of their parents and/or family.
they get older, this understanding is likely to incorporate experiences they have outside of their
home, whether at school or some sort of club.
Connors and Stalker (2007) conducted a study involving 26 participants ranging in age
They investigated how these children viewed disability.
They discovered that
children tend to view their disability in medical terms because a lot of these children were around
Connors and Stalker (2007) also discovered that the children understood that a
disability meant they had difficulties with some tasks, like breathing or doing school work, but
many of them adapted and it was not a big deal to them anymore.
Most children would compare
themselves to other children without IDD; they did not search for the differences.
recognized that the differences existed, and acknowledged them.
Something that these children
with IDD did notice is when they were treated differently, when they were treated badly.
In the film
Praying with Lior,
Lior was an adolescent coming upon his Bar Mitzvah.
Lior was asked many times about his learning disability and what it meant to him to have Down’s
Lior refused to accept this “Down’s Syndrome” and insisted he had “Up’s
I believe Lior understood to an extent that he was different because some people
treated him differently.
However, Lior did not have a firm grasp on what it meant to have
Lior may have just thought that it meant that everybody loved him more, or
it was something that made a person closer to God.
Despite his father’s want for Lior to
understand his difference, I don’t feel like he talked with Lior that much about his disability, and
if he did Lior would just shake it off.
Finally, in the Davies and Jenkins (1997) article 60 participants were interviewd in a
Their age range was from 18-26.
Most of the people in this study did not
know what it meant to have a disability.
Others knew could define what a disability was, but they
did not include themselves as having a disability.
While a few others unclearly included
themselves, but were unsure.
Finally, a small amount of others included themselves definitivly,
and some even put themselves into a distinct catrgory.
Ultimately, I believe that the developmental path one takes in understanding one’s