Though depression can affect anyone its impact is worse among young children especially because it is felt in almost every aspect of life and its effects worsen with time (Alesi, 2014). Thus, finding out and putting measures in place to address the effects of depression among young people/school-going children with learning disabilities can help solve the resulting poverty, maternal-related familial un-employment, adverse life-events and mental ill-health. The study will be narrowed down to children (both boys and girls) between the ages of 5 to 9. Sapling will be guided by a number of symptoms of learning disabilities like difficulty to connect letters and sounds, blend sounds and come up with words while also confuse basic words. Depression will also be indicated by low mood, inability to concentrate, sadness, social withdrawal, and feeling of hopelessness, The paper is going to focus on children with learning disabilities are more affected by depression compared to their normal counterparts.
Problem Statement and Justification of the Study
For over 30 decades, the major focus has been on children living with disabilities. The need for more research on the effect of depression on children with learning disabilities is explained by the fact that these children also, in most cases, suffer low self-esteem due to depression (GreatSchools Staff, 2014). In addition, children affected by depression perform relatively lower in their academics as compared to those who are normal. There is even much more effect on those with learning disabilities. In addition, studies have established that both depressed children and those with learning disabilities possess certain kind of neurological disturbance. Thus, it is important to find out the extent to which depression affects children with learning disabilities.
A study by Daniels (2012) showed that 10 percent of children between this age group also have a mental health problem that can be diagnosed. This percentage is even higher (40 percent) for young people living with other learning disabilities (Daniels, 2012). The situation is further complicated by the fact that most of the young children at this age, who suffer learning disabilities, have a possibility of having mental health-related problems which cannot be identified. It requires an extensive study to enable researchers to be able to differentiate between the effects of mental illness and those of depression on this group of children. The current study will also incorporate this aspect.
A study by Daniels (2012) identified depressive disorders as among the greatest causes of distress among young people with learning disabilities. He adds that while only 6 percent of the common population is affected by depression annually, up to 20 percent of those who have learning disabilities are likely to experience it. The situation is made worse for children with at least 2 chronic physical conditions, of whom 23 percent are likely to be affected by depression.
The study is important because there has not been a well structured extensive epidemiological study focusing solely on the prevalence of depression among young people who are suffering from one or more learning disabilities. Moreover, with 20 to 30 percent of the young people with learning disabilities being at a high risk of suffering depression, the study will help reduce the numerous adverse life-events which happen to children with learning disability.
With the high number of young people suffering from learning disability and the equally prevalence of depression among them, the need for further research cannot be disputed. The findings of the study can help address problems of increased risk with regards to depression’s etiology. The study will also help address poverty, maternal-related familial un-employment, adverse life-events and mental ill-health, which are common problems with children diagnosed with both depression and learning disabilities.
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