THE STRUCTURE, DYNAMICS AND STRESS MANAGEMENT OF FAMILIES UIT BLIND INFANTS
Juarez-Hernandez, C., National Pedagogical University, Blancas, E.H., Pediatric Hospital, National Medical Center XXI Century and Mercado, D., National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico
In this paper we will analize the structure, dynamics and stress management of families with blind infants. Our observations have been made within an intervention project to work with a high risk infants popuation due to poverty and blindness. Once premature or term babies are diagnosed as blind in the Ophtalmolopgy Division at the Pediatric Hospital National Medical Center, IMSS, and the Hellen Keller Wordwide Foundartion in Mexico City, we go out to the community to do a follow up to the family at home visiting during two houres, once a month from few months from birth up to the infant's second birthday. Since, the major population we work with are workers, most of them have a very low and an unstable income. In this project we have found three family structures. Single parent, nuclear family and extended family. The family dyanamics depends on maternal need to work or her need to remain at home to take care of her infant, we also have at least two cases in wich the mother has a chronic desease that makes her unable to consistently take care of her infant. There are also differences on how parents cope with the stress related to their infant's medical condition associated with blindness, or prematurity and blindness, and sometimes with neurological disabilities or hearing imparement that means an additional stress to the parents social-economical conditons.