5 Coping skills for adults with disabilities

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Page last updated: 24/09/2022

In this blog, we will take a look at the coping skills of adults with disabilities. We will also provide disability information, and how it impacts a person’s life. 

What are the coping skills for disability?

Coping skills are the skills that people with disabilities use to deal with their condition. There are many ways that people with disabilities can cope with their condition. Some of the most common ways that people with disabilities cope with their condition are as follows:

  • Allow yourself time to process your grief and emotions and feel them without any restrictions.
  • Accept your disability 
  • Try to reduce the impact of your condition on your day-to-day life
  • Live in the present
  • Cultivate hobbies and personal interests that make you happy and take your mind off your thoughts. 
  • Do not feel ashamed to rely on others and ask for help
  • Nurture your body and mind
  • Learn new skills and activities that make things easier for you
  • Take help of assisted technology to help ease difficult things.

What is a disability?

Disability can be defined as an impairment that impedes a person’s from utilizing the full potential or capacity of their body or mind thereby making life difficult for them. People with disabilities come in all shapes and sizes and can have a wide range of impairments and disabilities. Some people have conditions like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, or epilepsy that cause physical disability. Others have conditions like cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, or hearing loss that cause physical disability. Some people have both physical and mental disabilities, like quadriplegia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Therefore to provide a better understanding of the different types of disabilities they are described as follows 

Physical Disability

When a person’s mobility/ movements are impaired due to a condition or impairment then it is known as physical disability. It can affect the functioning of either the entire body or selected parts. The accessibility, autonomy of a person is seriously affected due to this type of disability. The most commonly found physical disabilities are cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, and heart defects.

Sensory Disability: 

  • Visual, 
  • Hearing
  • Olfactory 
  • Gustatory
  • Somatosensory

Any impairment that affects the sensory organs or causes sensory impairment comes under Sensory disabilities. Commonly known sensory impairments are blindness, hearing or speech loss, etc. 

Visual Impairment

Any disability that causes loss of vision that cannot be corrected and is permanent can be described as visual impairment. It can be caused due to different reasons such as disease, trauma, congenital, or degenerative conditions. Visual impairment can occur in the form of either partial vision, low sighted, low vision, legally blind, or totally blind.

5 Coping skills for adults with disabilities

Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment can be diagnosed if a person has difficulty in perceiving sound frequencies that an average person can easily perceive. Yet it is seen that minor difficulties in hearing or mild loss of hearing may not necessarily be qualified as an impairment or disability

Olfactory and Gustatory Impairment

Loss of smell or taste comes under olfactory and gustatory impairment. This impairment is usually observed in people as they age. Though young people can develop it too due to some other health conditions or disorders.  Hypersomnia is one of the common disorders of olfactory and gustatory impairment.  

Somatosensory Impairment

The sensation is the physical sensations that are developed from the epidermal layer is called somatosensation. We perceive our environment, such as touch, temperature through these sensations. When these senses are affected it is known as somatosensory impairment. 

Balance Disorders

When the motor movements or a person’s sense of balance is affected it is called balance disorder. In such types of disorders, a person may be unsteady while walking or standing and experience symptoms like dizziness. excessive fatigue, nausea, or their head might spin.

Intellectual Disability

When the intelligence or learning capacity of a person is affected it is known as intellectual disability. Dyslexia or cognitive defects that may cause mental retardation are some of the common conditions of intellectual disability. 

Mental Health and Emotional Disabilities

Disabilities occurring due to mental health conditions or emotional instability are known to come under this category. Often times the stress and impact of mental health disorders on the body are ignored or neglected but they can have debilitating effects on the body and can even disable a person. Common mental health disorders are depression, schizophrenia, eating disorders, OCD, etc. 

Developmental Disability

The disability that occurs due to birth defects can be categorized as a developmental disability. In this type of disability one or more parts of the body could be underdeveloped or affected in some way. It also involves the spinal cord, brain, and nervous system of the body.   Common developmental disorders are autism, metabolic disorders, etc. 

Invisible Disabilities

Sometimes disabilities can even be invisible. This occurs when the symptoms are not very apparent or observable. Or these symptoms could even be brushed off as normal or everyday minor inconveniences that the person should ignore. But the condition or impairment could be debilitating for the person and they might even suffer without getting the necessary treatment or help for their disability. These individuals may experience symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, dizziness, pain, cognitive dysfunctions, and learning difficulties.

Coping Skills 

We know that there are many kinds of disabilities. The most common ones that people are born with are blindness, hearing, and physical. The less common ones that adults can get are autism, cerebral palsy, and mental retardation. People with these conditions learn how to cope with their disabilities and learn the things that they need to.

Learning how to cope with disabilities is an important part of life. People with disabilities should learn how to cope with the different things that they go through. There are a lot of ways that people with disabilities can cope with these things. They can use assistive technology to do things that they would not be able to do.

When someone is young, they have more time to come to terms with their conditions and learn the necessary skills to handle their impairment. As they grow older their coping skills would change according to the differing needs at that point in their life. Therefore learning coping skills are one of the most important things that people with disabilities need to know. It helps people with disabilities do things that they would not be able to do due to their condition

We will explain how people with disabilities learn to cope with their disabilities. Some of these ways of coping include learning sign language, learning how to use computers, learning how to read, learning how to use computers, learning how to use sign language, and learning how to use an electric wheelchair.

Following are some of the coping mechanisms that can be used by adults with disabilities:

  • Learning to accept their condition and the difficulties that come along with it

Many times people struggle with accepting sudden disabilities that occur later in life or suddenly as it can totally alter their lives. But even in such cases trying to accept oneself unconditionally will help them in coming to terms with the situation and starting a new journey

  • Incorporating self positivity

By adopting a positive mindset people wth can create great changes in their lives and live a positive and healthy life. Even if handling a disability is not easy but being negative about it would only cause more harm than good.

  • Learning new skills and utilizing assistive technology

Even though a person’s productivity is seriously hampered due to their disability they can still increase their productivity and minimize any difficulties occurring due to their impairments. Example: For visually impaired individuals there are various apps that make things easily accessible to them. Learning braille, sign language for the hearing and speech impaired are other types of ways that can help them live their life while circumventing the problems arising due to their disability. 

  • Meditation

Sometimes attaining a calm state of mind and tranquility can do wonders in helping a person live a healthy and happy life. If a person constantly thinks about their problems or disability it would negatively impact their quality of life. By practicing meditation a person can attain a state of peace and calm their racing thoughts and align them into a coherent thought pattern

  • Exercise and Physical activities

A lot of the times disability can restrict free body movements and can make exercising a bit difficult. But if one tries to engage in physical activity as much as can be possibly achieved despite their impairment can help in keeping their body healthy and also assist in achieving a healthy state of mind. 

  • Investing in Hobbies and interests

By engaging in activities and hobbies a person can increase their state of happiness and also increase their quality of life. Hobbies and interests provide a welcome distraction and also provide an outlet for the person to vent or relieve their frustrations or stress. For example, a person could take up painting, drawing, or even singing and relieve their boredom and stress. It can also help them in in feeling like an active member of society due to increased participation in societal gatherings or events.

Conclusion

In this blog, we learned about the various types of disabilities and the coping mechanisms or skills that can be employed by adults to deal with them. 

Frequently Asked Question

What are three stress management strategies that a disability client can Utilise for their benefit?

The strategies that can be employed by a disabled client for stress management are

Time-management,

exercise 

nutrition plans, and

relaxation techniques. 

These strategies help in dealing with several issues that arise due to disability. by helping in identifying feelings of tension

How do adults develop coping skills?

  1. By making strong connections
  2. Decrease catastrophizing
  3. Embracing change wholeheartedly
  4. Marching towards the goal
  5. To not be afraid of taking actions
  6. Self-discovering and acceptance 
  7. Forming a positive perception about self and others
  8. Having a focused and unbiased perspective

What is a healthy coping strategy?

Behaviors that help in understanding negative incidents or experiences and positively dealing with them are called healthy coping strategies 

What is active coping?

When problems are solved or strategies are focused on generating solutions or solving issues then that style of coping mechanism is called active coping. It also includes garnering social support and forming interpersonal relationships etc. 

How do you develop and apply new coping skills?

Coping skills can be developed by buildings a healthy and productive network Adopting a positive attitude and thinking. It iss believed that positive thinking and optimism increase life span and improve the quality of life. It also helps a lot in enabling people to develop skills that could help them in dealing with their difficulties. Optimists and positive thinkers experience better health, less stress, and more ‘luck’ in life. Decrease negative self-talk by challenging negative thoughts about yourself with more positive, or at least neutral, thoughts.

References

Melinda. (2022, February 8). Living well with a disability. HelpGuide.org. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/living-well-with-a-disability.htm

Stress management – minnesota.gov portal / mn.gov … (n.d.). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://mn.gov/dhs/assets/stress-management-0817_tcm1053-309324.pdf

What are the different types of disability? different types of disabilities. Doctor Disability. (2022, February 8). Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://www.doctordisability.com/disability-types/ 

https://mn.gov/dhs/assets/stress-management-0817_tcm1053-309324.pdf