WAVE 3 News Guest Editorial - December 31, 2013: Characteristics - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

WAVE 3 News Guest Editorial - December 31, 2013: Characteristics Causing Child Abuse

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By Dr. Kelli Marvin

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It is easy to recognize that caregivers who perpetrate acts of child abuse and neglect have personal problems that contribute to these acts. However, some children also present with unique characteristics that make them more likely to be the targets of abuse. Regardless of who is providing care for this particular child, this child is at higher risk of victimization. For example, toddlers with ADHD are capable of taxing the coping abilities of even the most prepared parent.

Some young children who appear typical have lowered verbal IQ or specific language delays. Although it may appear that this child listened, he or she is simply unable to understand language as would be expected given their age. This results in frustration on the part of the parent and child, which has the potential to erupt into tantrums and reactive aggression by the parent.

Children with special medical and psychiatric needs are also at increased risk of acts of child abuse and neglect.Through no fault of their own they place intense demands upon caregivers. Autistic children are particularly at risk due to a combination of behavioral issues and language delays.

So in essence, the child isn't "bad". He or she just may not understand you.

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