A Group Of People Or Animals Of A Particular Kind How Cultural Sensitivity and Labeling Affect Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities

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How Cultural Sensitivity and Labeling Affect Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities

Cultural sensitivity is defined as recognizing the differences that exist between cultures. Also, being aware of these differences has an effect on learning and behavior. Examples of Cultural Sensitivity are attending cultural events or religious centers; changing an individual’s environment or discussing life experiences in relation to a person’s culture. Labeling is defined as describing someone with a short word or phrase whether positive or negative. Examples of labeling are calling a person a name that can damage one’s self-image; categorizing a person into a group without their consent or indirect labeling (using an incorrect term to describe an individual).

Elements of cultural sensitivity and etiquette are very important for staff, physicians, health professionals and family members to be aware of. Recognizing the importance of your person’s culture is important. Culture shapes their personality and part of their environment; culture can also influence challenging behaviors. It is also important to recognize that diversity affects communication and participation. For example, perhaps the individual is not used to being around different races or experiencing different cultures. This is especially true given America’s increasingly diverse patient population and disparities in the health status of people from different racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, religious, and cultural backgrounds. To appreciate diversity, a person must respect the differences seen in other people, including customs, thoughts, behaviors, communication styles, values, traditions and institutions. The language barrier is one of the main components that can cause insensitivity and cultural labeling. For example, an individual may communicate in English but prefer to speak in Spanish or vice versa.

Active coping which is also active participation occurs when individuals are involved in positive activities. Participation increases when both the staff and the individual accept the cultural norms. Conversely, the assumption that a common culture is shared by all members of a racial, linguistic, or religious group is incorrect. The larger group may share common historical and geographic experiences, but individuals within the group cannot share anything beyond that. How a staff handles an individual’s behavior in a new environment is critical in building cultural sensitivity. For example, the person may be from a municipality, state or even another country. Adapting to their environment will only help them feel more comfortable. Education is the main and most important element. Not everyone is born or raised in the same place, so it is important that staff are willing to learn about traditions or characteristics of cultures to better relate to their individuals. Simple things like learning a few words in Spanish to better communicate with your Hispanic individual can go a long way.

One of the biggest obstacles to implementing person-centered planning occurs when staff do not understand their individual. Whether of a different race, religion or background, individuals with disabilities deserve the same rights and opportunities that we possess. Labeling can also be insensitive and damage relationships with individuals. Furthermore, it is imperative that we as staff educate others about cultural acceptance. Person-centered planning occurs specific to each individual’s goals or objectives. Engaging in more cultural activities builds staff awareness and relationships with your individual.

There are many ways a staff, clinician and health professional or family member can interact with a person in culturally sensitive ways. A culturally sensitive manager, staff, or clinician must view all patients as unique individuals and understand that their experiences, beliefs, values, and language influence their perceptions of clinical service delivery, acceptance of a diagnosis, and compatibility. If your individual is from the West Indies, coordinating community involvement trips to local West Indian restaurants will not be enough. Maintaining and building a relationship with family is very important. Talk to the family about what the individual likes, what does he/she do for fun? How does he/she participate in family functions? Support circle members should also recognize their own cultural values ​​and draw parallels where possible; Listen to your individuals past experiences, what was it like growing up in another country? What do they miss about it? Additionally, be sensitive to the fact that people may communicate differently in language, voice or body language. Avoid labeling and don’t say “I don’t understand” They should also identify any biases and stereotypes that prevent them from communicating effectively with patients from different cultures. One of the most critical mistakes a staff can make is comparing an individual’s culture to their own or to another person’s. For example, your individual would like to go to the Spanish restaurant for lunch, but the staff says he doesn’t like Spanish food because very greasy, fried chicken and black-eyed peas are better!” Think of the consequences of of this statement and how the individual will feel because you are judging their preferences full of experience and social awareness builds character for staff and individuals. Developing a culturally competent attitude is a process but not a difficult one. Be sensitive to cultural differences when use non-verbal communication. For example, a touch has many cultural meanings. Support staff should be aware that personal space has different boundaries in different cultures

Labeling with dignity is also very important and builds self-esteem. The only ways to progress from stereotypes or social stigmas are to promote skills and not limit the people you work with. For example, the last thing most individuals in our group homes want to be labeled is “disabled” or “retarded.” Why not give them that opportunity and emphasize dignity. Allowing individuals to speak for themselves will also reduce labeling. Elections and independence are very important. Never use words or terms to evoke regret. Most individuals with disabilities don’t want you to feel sorry for them, they’d rather you help them lead a normal life. This is the most important for them.

Many beliefs, values, and attitudes influence a person’s actions, so people need to improve awareness to increase positive behavior. Cultural, social and family factors influence our values ​​and attitudes of faith. These same factors have contributed to our beliefs and attitudes about people with developmental disabilities, especially those who exhibit challenging behaviors. Beliefs and attitudes can change, so belief systems are likely to influence our actions in dealing with people with developmental disabilities. Each person is unique in his/her needs and learning style, so encouraging positive expectations has a positive effect on the behavior of others. Regardless of one’s handicaps, all people can learn and grow, and we must learn that every person has equal human value and deserves respect. Every person deserves quality services and deserves our best efforts.

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