Problems of families with a diet-treated phenylketonuric child Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tx31qn494

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  • The purpose of this study was to determine the possible problem areas in families with a diet-treated phenylketonuric child. Phenylketonuria is an inborn error of metabolism, which in the past caused mental retardation as well as behavioral disturbances. Initially the discovery of diet therapy eliminated the behavioral disturbances, but not the mental retardation in phenylketonurics, primarily because of the timing of the diagnosis. In recent years, however, a test has been developed which identifies the disease in early infancy, and with early use of the diet therapy, both the mental retardation and the behavioral symptoms have been eliminated. However, because of the strictness of the diet, and as a result of studies which indicate that the diet-treated phenylketonuric child may be slower in growth and lower in I. Q. than children who do not have phenylketonuria, there exists the possibility that there may be problems within the family related to the presence of the phenylketonuric child. In the review of the literature, areas of "normal" childhood, which could be problem areas, were discussed, such as: learning, parent-child interactions, dependency and overprotection, language development, peer relationships, family relationships, and family developmental tasks. These areas were then discussed in terms of the phenylketonuric child and his family. It would be reasonable to assume that the presence of the phenylketonuric child in the family would create a discrepancy with regard to the concept of the child formed by the parents before the birth of the child; create parental anxiety because of the nature of the illness, and affect family food patterns because of the strictness of the diet. It would be reasonable to assume that since children with a chronic illness are often dependent, and their parents often show signs of overprotection, that this would be true in the case of the phenylketonuric child, also. Because of the possibility of reduced contact with peers, and the possible lower I. Q. of the phenylketonuric child, it would be reasonable to assume that this child might be slower in language development. Because of the strictness of the diet, and the reported slower growth of the phenylketonuric child, the child might he smaller than his "normal" age-mates, show signs of fatigue more quickly and therefore, be adversely affected in his social development. Because of the possible presence of fear-producing stimuli in the child's environment, such as the fear and anxiety of the parents, the child might show signs of fear and anxiety. Children with chronic illness generally show signs of emotional instability, and the phenylketonuric child could be expected to follow this pattern. Any of these complications could affect the child's self-concept and self-acceptance adversely, and could also be expected to affect his peer relationships adversely. The phenylketonuric child could be expected to affect family relationships in that parental concern could be directed toward this child with less attention given to other children in the family. Also, social relationships outside the family could be affected. The phenylketonuric child could be expected to affect the family developmental tasks in that the added task of adjusting to the child and his problems could take priority over other tasks that the family would be expected to complete. For the purpose of exploring these considerations to determine whether problems in these areas do exist, an interview schedule was formulated for use in interviewing families with a phenylketonuric child five years of age or younger. Some of the questions for the interview schedule were taken from the literature dealing directly with the known problems of the phenylketonuric child. Others were taken from the normative-descriptive literature involving problem areas in "normal" childhood, as discussed above, and others were questions which were inferred from the literature concerning the family. On the assumption that the expected problems would exist, a discussion of possible solutions to the problems was given.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Katy Davis(kdscannerosu@gmail.com) on 2014-03-05T19:10:15Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 MackMarilynWinnifred1969.pdf: 1220173 bytes, checksum: ebb6ae1c95893c7af9cdb2ef0b9309a5 (MD5)
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