Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education


The fact that the disabled are at high risk for maltreatment is well documented (Goldson, 1998; Sullivan & Knutson, 2000; Zeanah & Hamilton, 1998). Reynolds (2001) reported that 39-68% of girls and 16-30% of boys with developmental disabilities would be abused by the age of 18. Westcott and Jones (1999) note that identification, assessment, and prevention is complicated by the communication deficits of this population, their dependency on others, and a tendency for professionals to not report abuse. Thus, it is imperative that professionals understand the risks for abuse and maltreatment in this population. The risks factors and signs of maltreatment, as well as recommendations for intervention are reviewed. Specific recommendations for educators are offered.