Messages Learned by Children with Disabilities That Put Them at Risk for Abuse

Do not get others in trouble


Do not get angry


Obey the rules


Obey persons in charge


Do not cause trouble


Agree with people


Do not be assertive


Do not ask for anything


Other people’s opinions are important while yours are not


Although most children are taught similar principles, over time the children learn to challenge these as they develop skills of personal power and self-knowledge.


Often, children with disabilities are not permitted to challenge these “rules,” but are forced to remain compliant throughout their lifetime.










Baladerian, N.J., Heisler, C., & Hertica, M. (n.d.) Child abuse victims with disabilities: A curriculum for law  enforcement first responders and child protective services frontline workers-participant manual. California: Child abuse and neglect disability outreach program of arc riverside. Retrieved from