Challenges when a child has mental disabilities

Relationship Challenges — Family Communication Issues

The high divorce rate in the United States (and elsewhere in Western nations) is one indication as to the fact that good communication — or any communication at all — is absent from relationships. Certainly there are always challenges to any relationship, but couples should be going into marriage and long-term relationships with the understanding that they will have challenges and without training or background into how to communicate effectively, their chances for success in a relationship are reduced. This paper reports and examines those issues based on the available literature.

As difficult as some relationships can be, given different personality types and social / family distractions that come into play, in nearly every instance there are answers as to why relationship challenges are either met or not met. Because there are identifiable solutions to many challenges that partners and spouses face, couples should seek advice and counsel as to how to achieve solutions to challenges prior to breaking up or launching divorce proceedings.

Key concept / personal interest in the topic — Importance to family communication

The problems that married couples have — as well as those cohabitating — are often related to a failure to communicate effectively. Communication isn’t simply a matter of talking to one another — although that is a pivotal part of it — but rather communication suggests actually sharing honest feelings and interacting with candor. Too often, according to the literature, people go into marriage and into relationships with unrealistic expectations. But given that the literature is rich with appropriate, positive relationship-sustaining information — and there are counselors skilled in helping to mediate differences between couples — it is a black mark on society that so many couples part before truly exploring communication that resolves problems.

Challenges for Immigrant Families

In the peer-reviewed journal Social Policy & Administration the authors go into great detail pointing to the many challenges that immigrant families have — in particular first-generation immigrant families — have when settling into Western European countries. The reasons the authors offer for the difficulty that first-generation immigrant families are important to the issue of family communication. For example, because the care of children (often very young children) is high on the list of needs for families, the husband and wife must rely on each other for that child care given that there is generally an “absence of close kin networks to support childcare” (Wall, et al., 2004, 591).

To wit, when a family migrates to a new country, bringing in a totally different set of cultural values and lifestyles, and there are no other families from that family’s ethnicity — nor are there cousins or uncles or grandparents to help rear the immigrant’s children — there must be some strong communication going on within the family in order to sustain the family. There are enormous challenges for a family that has made the decision to leave their home country and migrate to another country — another country with a long list of unknowns.

Wall reports that there are the “strong pressures” that come from the economic issues facing first-generation immigrants. Those families need to put in “long working hours” with “atypical timetables” (the only job an immigrant might qualify for will be minimum wage and it might be on the “graveyard” — all night — shift) (Wall, 592).

The authors conducted interviews with 19 families in France, all of which came from Africa. Two of the families managed work and care through “negotiation within the family” which means that the mother and father had to communicate (and cooperate) very well with one another in terms of who will work during certain hours and who will remain at home with the children. The “work/care balance is achieved through the negotiated, mutual adjustment of couples’ working hours and care responsibilities” (Wall, 595). Among the families interviewed were those who felt great pressure to emigrate from Africa to France; their challenges included the “long periods of waiting for legalization, followed by entry into low-paid, unqualified jobs” (Wall, 597).

The pressure on a married couple that has waited for perhaps years but finally been officially accepted as legal immigrants into the French society — and now must “struggle to train and work at the same” time so that a job may be found that provides sufficient income to support children — is almost too much to bear (Wall, 597). Moreover, in a situation like this, good communication between parents must be maintained in order to get past the roadblocks (including the possibility of racial antagonism due to their African heritage) that immigration can present.

In summary, it would be hard to imagine a more difficult situation for an immigrant family from Africa to experience than going to a Caucasian country with few skills, several children to feed and raise, and the need to earn enough money to survive. On the other hand, there may be some horrifyingly troublesome situations in Africa (civil wars, disease, abject poverty and scarce natural resources) that make the possibility of creating a new life in France very appealing. Still, good communication for the immigrant couple settling into France is an absolute imperative for survival and ultimate social success, and this links well with the thesis of this paper — that is, there are solutions, and they can be found and adopted by immigrants.

Challenges when a child has serious mental disabilities

A scholarly article in the American Journal of Psychotherapy presents the issues that parents face when they have a child with serious mental disabilities. Families that have to deal with mental illness often experience “disruption of the family’s life cycle” and moreover, there is a profound sense of “isolation” for that family (Abrams, 2009, p. 305). Additional pressure is experienced by the parents because societal attitudes towards mental disabilities — including what Abrams calls “ambivalent and marginalizing at best and shunning at worst” — is unfair and unfriendly (Abrams, 305).

Given this situation, in which families with children who are mentally disabled feel “shamed” (as though they somehow deliberately created a child that doesn’t fit in to the mainstream), “communication problems” within and without the family can be expected to develop. Indeed, in some families — due to the “pain and stigma attached to the disorder” — go through a period of denial, Abrams explains on page 306. In these instances, any discussion about the problems facing their family “is discouraged,” and so, how can good communication flow when no one wishes to talk about it? (Abrams, 306).

As a rule the relationships within the family tend to become strained, Abrams explains. But the relationships between siblings can be positive because through his or her siblings, the disabled child often learns to “interact with peers” as well as try on “different roles, manage disagreements, handles rivalry and learns to share secrets as well as belongings” (306). Abrams spends a good deal of this article discussing how important siblings are to the welfare of the mentally challenged — and in between the narratives about the siblings of mentally imbalanced children the parents’ inconsistencies vis-a-vis their children’s needs — both social and family-related.

An example of poor communication shown by parents can be instructive in this context. For example, on pages 311 and 312, Abrams alludes to Justin, the younger brother of Alexandra, who had “behavioral, learning, and emotional problems.” Justin was often ignored by his parents not because they didn’t love him, but because they were “frequently unavailable to fulfill Justin’s needs” due to his big sister’s needs. They expected him to behave because they were immediately drawn to Alexandra’s “constant crises” and hence didn’t have the time for Justin (Abrams, 312). Obviously, whatever communication the parents had about their children was centered on their troubled daughter, much to the chagrin of Justin.

While parents’ motivation in a case like this is to protect the child with the mental handicap, a “common belief is that not talking about something prevents it from being painful,” Abrams reports on page 314. A remedy for that is for parents to communicate first with each other about the need for family understanding; “talking is useful because it minimizes isolation and exclusion” (Abrams, 315). “Lines of communication need to be established” between parents and between all members of the family, Abrams continues, and by “opening dialogues about these unspoken topics” will facilitate solutions (316). Having conversations to break the silence is tantamount to doing what the thesis of this paper suggests: there are remedies and there are solutions — they simply need to be embraced.

Relationship challenges between transsexual couples

In the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing the author delves into the challenges that transsexual couples face on a daily basis, and they present a qualitative study that identifies specific relationship “maintenance activities” that keep the couple together (Alegria, 2010, p. 909). Looking into this article initially, an alert reader could surmise that given the existing difficulties between known heterosexual or same-sex couples — pairs of people in love who know their partners’ gender and culture — the challenges that arise when one half of the partnership admits that he or she was born a different gender can be nearly insurmountable.

There are psychosocial issues related to transgender individuals that are well-known; “marginalization, discrimination, and stigmatization” are commonly shared by transgender persons (Alegria, 910). This population is also known to experience much greater rates of “depression, suicide, substance abuse, HIV / AIDS, homelessness, and unemployment, and hence when additional challenges are piled on top of those issues, a serious set of problems is likely to emerge (Alegria, 910).

Meanwhile, the vast challenges that follow disclosure of male-to-female transsexual persons (MTF) within a relationship that had originally been describe as men-women can be extraordinarily difficult, Alegria reports. Typically, when a wife discovers that her husband was previously a woman, the wife may experience feelings of “shock, betrayal, and anger,” but also, Alegria continues, that disclosure has the potential to bring with it a strengthening of the bond (910). Common fears that a wife may have after discovering that her husband was at one time female is that “others will learn of the cross dressing” and she may fear “the possibility that [the husband] will seek same-sex relationships” (Alegria, 911).

In Alegria’s research, the author uses quotes from a female who has discovered that her husband is a FTM, and her confusion is understandable:

“[The disclosure] made me question what it would mean for me and what it was. Is this normal or not, and if I’m in this relationship, am I

normal or not? Am I a lesbian? I don’t know anybody like this. It was just so out of my normal range of what my world included on a day-to-

Day basis that it shook everything else. It made me question a lot of things in the relationship and in the world that I don’t think I would have thought about otherwise.” (Alegria, 912).

How can these emotionally charged issues be resolved? The couple that is discussed in the paragraphs above can engage in “activities of social activism” together, which gives them the chance to bond as a team toward a goal involving social change (Alegria, 911). For example they could attend a gay rights rally together, or perhaps both volunteer at a women’s relief center or help feed the homeless. But most important to that above-mentioned couple, according to Alegria, is to grow as a united pair through “communication, peer support, social networks, social activism, and self-exploration” (911). Moreover, Alegria promotes “self-talk, social networks, positivity, impression management,” all of which involves communication (914). Finding a way to be positive and work though serious gender issues is directly related to the thesis of this research.

Communication related to African-Americans’ relationships

In the Journal of African-American Studies journalist Patricia Dixon presents a plethora of existing research studies that addresses relationships and marriage within the African-American community as compared with marriage and relationships in the Caucasian community. What concerns this paper is not necessarily the comparison between blacks and whites (although that is pertinent) but the communication issues within the black community vis-a-vis relationships and family.

As background, the author uses existing research to show that in 1970, 64% of African-Americans were in married relationships; but by 2004, thirty-four years later, just 32% of African-Americans were in marriage relationships (Dixon, 2008, p. 29). The divorce rate among African-Americans is much higher than among Caucasians, Dixon reveals. The divorce rate among white couples is approximately 50% while the divorce rate reported for black couples is as high as 67% (Dixon, 31). The author believes that these statistics are unfortunate because most blacks achieve middle class socioeconomic states “through their marital status,” and success for blacks is often achieved not through education but rather through marriage (32).

Meanwhile, on pages 37 and 38, Dixon references a list of factors that contribute to “marital distress and divorce among men,” and those include “failure to negotiate conflict,” which obviously refers to a lack of honest, worthy communication. When white couples bring a child into their household they report “higher marital tension thanAfrican-American couples and become more quiet and withdrawn,” Dixon explains (41). Interestingly, for both black and white couples, there was a “lower” level of marital happiness when they had fights in which they “attacked each other” and left the scene of the conflict than when they were simply “quiet and withdrawn” and postponed or avoided altogether any arguments (Dixon, 41).

In other words, less direct communication about family issues prompted more marital happiness than when they confronted one another in a tense form of communication. One of the ways in which African-American males adjusted “positively” to divorce was the fact that they had “female friends who functioned as confidantes,” which gave divorced men an outlet for them to discuss “their private lives and express their feelings” (Dixon, 42). So, even though an African-American male is divorced, as long as he has honest communication with a female friend, who can also pamper and nurture him (and perhaps share “intimacy”), he survives. One reason for divorce (from a black female perspective) is that the woman may have “Unrealistic expectations” with regard to “sex and communication,” in particular once a child comes into the situation and a family has been achieved (Dixon, 43). But if expectations were more realistic, and the role of the male African-American was fully understood, and communication was honest, perhaps there wouldn’t be such a high rate of divorce among black couples.

Youthful Latino married couples meet and beat challenges

There is a research article referencing the challenges encountered by adolescent Latino mothers and fathers in the journal Issues in Mental Health Nursing; the article illustrates the way in which these families have developed strategies to get out of the cycle of violence that they had been in prior to matrimony. The author explains that Los Angeles area adolescent Latino females, once they have a child, develop a “emotional attachment that positively influences parental behavior” and moreover, the child helps the mother “motivate behavioral change” (Lesser, et al., 2010, p. 97). This in itself doesn’t appear to be an entirely unique dynamic, because it is known that once a woman has a child, her maternal instincts come into play and she becomes not just a woman but a nurturing mother of a child.

And yet, many of these young Latino mothers are “leaving gang life,” finishing high school and getting vocational training based on their need to provide for their children (Lesser, 97). As to young Latino fathers, having a child in the family brings them from “a previously self-destructive path to a more productive one” as a father (Lesser, 97). The findings reported by Lesser indicate that “disadvantaged youth in general may experience early parenting as an opportunity for positive change[and] a review of 22 qualitative research articles on adolescent pregnanciesshowed that most adolescent mothers view pregnancy and parenting as challenging, yet positive, life events” (101). These are certainly relationship challenges that not only test young people’s ability to communicate with each other and to raise children to be non-violent people, but they offer a chance for formerly troubled Latino youth to make a major change in the way they live. The conclusion of this article shows that for the sake of the children — and for the sake of the family that has been created, these “struggling young parents are poised to make positive life changes” (Lesser, 101). That fits in seamlessly with this paper’s thesis.

Summarize the main points of the paper and discuss future research that is needed

The five articles reviewed and critiqued in this paper don’t cover all the potential issues vis-a-vis managing the challenges that are to be found in relationships. However, whether the need for improved relationships relates to African immigrants in France, families with a mentally disabled child, issues revolving around gender changes and relationship surprises, divorce within the African-American community, or Latino youths emerging from gangs to start families, one salient point comes through loud and clear. Relationships thrive when couples work together to solve problems related to family, which suggests there is an open and honest line of communication. Future research should embrace specific relationship struggles that same-sex couples go through now that the laws in many states allow those couples to be married. Just getting married solves nothing at all; but building a strong relationship through honest communicative interactions can help provide solutions for just about any conundrum.

Works Cited

Abrams, M.S. (2009). The Well Sibling: Challenges and Possibilities. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 63(4), 305-318.

Alegria, C.A. (2010). Relationship challenges and relationship maintenance activities following disclosure of transsexualism. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health

Nursing, 17(10), 909-916.

Dixon, P. (2009). Marriage Among African-Americans: What Does the Research Reveal?

Journal of African-American Studies, 13(1), 29-46.

Lesser, J., Oscos-Sanchez, M.A., and Davis, C. (2010). Latino Adolescent Mothers and Fathers

in South Texas Managing Violence. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 31(2), 96-102.

Wall, K., and Sao Jose, J. (2004). Managing Work and Care: A Difficult Challenge for Immigrant Families. Social Policy & Administration, 38(6), 591-621.

Annotated Bibliography

Abrams, M.S. (2009). The Well Sibling: Challenges and Possibilities. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 63(4), 305-318. This article relates to the family that has a mentally disabled child, and how the siblings in that family do not get as much attention as they normally would because of the mentally troubled child’s needs.

Alegria, C.A. (2010). Relationship challenges and relationship maintenance activities following disclosure of transsexualism. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health

Nursing, 17(10), 909-916. It is clear from reading this article that individuals that have had surgery to change their gender should be open and honest with their partner before getting into a serious relationship. Communication could help a couple avoid a painful shock.

Dixon, P. (2009). Marriage Among African-Americans: What Does the Research Reveal?

Journal of African-American Studies, 13(1), 29-46. Why is the divorce rate so high in African-American relationships, and why do fewer African-American women decide to get married? This article offers answers to both those questions, and puts forward a concise and clear description of the need for good communication when black women and men are in a relationship.

Lesser, J., Oscos-Sanchez, M.A., and Davis, C. (2010). Latino Adolescent Mothers and Fathers

in South Texas Managing Violence. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 31(2), 96-102. When a young inner city Latino couple has a baby in many cases that birth brings them away from gangs and away from risky behaviors and into an opportunity to make positive life changes.

Wall, K., and Sao Jose, J. (2004). Managing Work and Care: A Difficult Challenge for Immigrant Families. Social Policy & Administration, 38(6), 591-621. An immigrant family from Africa that settles into a new life in France has to juggle work and family responsibilities, but according to this article, a typical immigrant family in this context does find solutions to economic and social challenges.

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essaysmile and order essay PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!

order custom essay paper