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Revista Brasileira de Educação Especial

versão impressa ISSN 1413-6538


CRUZ, Vera  e  ALBUQUERQUE, Cristina P.. Abuse in children and adolescents with disabilities and/or developmental disorders. Rev. bras. educ. espec. [online]. 2013, vol.19, n.1, pp.9-24. ISSN 1413-6538.

This study analyses characteristics of the association between disability and/or developmental disorders and abuse among Portuguese children and youth. It also underscores the consequences of this association for special education. The sample consists of 198 children and adolescents with disabilities and/or developmental disorders that were abused. The data was collected using a checklist designed specifically for this study, completed by psychologists and social workers. The results showed that the most frequent type of abuse was a combination of two or more types of maltreatment, followed by neglect. The most frequent perpetrators were the parents, who were also the children's main caretakers. Abuse was identified early, usually at age 4, and mainly by institutions or services that were already following the families. A high percentage of physical and mental health problems, substance abuse and social inclusion difficulties in the parents of these children and adolescents was also observed. After identification of abuse, almost all of these children and families benefitted from some kind of intervention. In conclusion, since abuse usually occurs early and in families with multiple risk factors, we indicate the need for family intervention strategies and highlight the importance of early childhood intervention programs. The role that teachers play in screening abuse is also pointed out, as well as the relevance of setting up programs directed towards the acquisition of self-protection skills.

Palavras-chave : Special Education; Violence; Disability.

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