Rehabilitation of Children with Intellectual Disability: Challenges in Social Skills Training in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Keywords:Differently-abled Children, Intellectual Disability, Daily Living Skills, Social Skills Training, Public Sector Institutes, Rehabilitation Institutes
Intellectual disability among children is on the rise with no proper social skills training facilities around the province – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Special education institutions have been established to rehabilitate differently abled children; however, their focus is more on children's literacy with a physical disability. Resultantly, children with intellectual disabilities constitute a 'minority group' within the province's differently abled population. Consequently, children with intellectual disabilities remain excluded. The qualitative study aims to examine the quality of the state-sponsored special education institutions, emphasizing on social/life skill training services for children with intellectual disabilities. Based on a total of 25 individual interviews and observations from five selected districts, it is argued that despite the growing number of children with intellectual disabilities, the services are limited to physiotherapy services only. Speech therapies and social skills training are almost non-existent in the public sector special education institutes. Lack of a clear government policy and sufficient funding results in scarce resources, including trained staff, coupled with poor social welfare and special education services, which intensifies the problem. Engaging empowerment theory of Julian Rappaport (1977), the study recommends providing all essential services to children with ID for enabling and living an empowered life.
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