Ennio Fuentes Widdekind, Jacob
“Coping Humor” For Children With Disabilities and Family Functioning
By: Alicja Rieger & J. Patrick McGrail
I chose the article “Coping Humor and Family Functioning in Parents Of Children
With Disabilities” because its methods are ones that I used to get through the struggles of
having a family member with disabilities. This article talks about how humor has been
used to relief the stressful lifestyle of both the person with a disability and the family that
endures this. Surprisingly using humor as a tool to cope with this has made nothing ...view middle of the document...
The seventy-two families used for the study 100% of them identified themselves as the
parents of the subject undergoing the study. The ages of the children were from 3 to 21
years of age. They were on average all well-educated families with a mixture of
Caucasian, black or African American, Latino or Hispanic, and native American.
The subjects were told to identify a given stressful situation on a 1 to 4 strongly agree to
strongly disagree multiple choice answer based on the question given. Answers like “I
usually look for something comical to say when I am in tense situations” were provided.
Although some were not able to make up their mind on a set answer, there were enough
to make a good work-study conclusion to the research.
During the time of trial and testing, Rieger and Mcgrail noticed that children with
disabilities such as: autism, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury,
attention deficit disorder (ADD), emotional disorder, sickle-cell blood disease, hearing
impairment, and multiple disabilities managed to apply humor to lessen the mental stress
and gain a new perspective as to how the rest of the world viewed them.
It is as if the patient develops a new way of going about his everyday life and getting a
“kick” out of it.
I’ve had to endure a close family member with a mental disability and deal with it on an
everyday basis. He was diagnosed with autism and we were told to make him believe that
“everyone is laughing with you, not at you”. A simple phrase like that repeated over time
can change a child’s (with a mental disability) mind to believe it. Children at an early
age are like sponges, everything they learn, hear, see is soaked up and for that reason
we as the family members and parents can mold his/her mind into what we want.
It is evident that to get a complete and accurate result, more research is needed.