Nature And Meaning Of Disability

The respective terms related to specific disabilities are highly varied among Asian ethnic groups. Similarly, traditional Pilipino conceptions of selected disabilities vary according to their expression (e.g., mental, emotional, physical) and presumed etiology. These differing conceptions further suggest corresponding intervention modalities such as previously described under traditional health practices.

Although the types of outside assistance and intervention resources that are sought may vary considerably, the family typically remains centrally involved in the primary care of the child with a disability. As the most reliable source of protection and support for the child with a disability, the family also is the focus of siblings' primary duty and commitment. Parents thus expect their older sons and daughters to continue to provide the primary care for a family member with a disability. In fact, the longstanding tradition of family and small group orientation has contributed to a proliferation of Pilipino care providers who have established small group homes or community based residential facilities serving individuals with developmental disabilities. These providers caring for children may naturally view their clients as family members and fully include them in daily living activities and socialization experiences that incorporate many aspects of Pilipino culture and traditional lifestyle (Marquez, 1991; Soldevilla, 1989).