Explore BrainMass

Understanding Death

Does the ability to understand death vary by the age of the student? Explain. In your opinion, how would a teacher encourage a child with DMD or SMA (Spinal muscular atrophy) to reconcile with his or her inevitable death due to a physical impairment?

Solution Preview

Yes the ability to understand death varies by age and intelligence level. It has been shown that for most children under the age of 3 there is little if any comprehension of what death is, either in its finality or what it really is. Kids from ages 3-5 have an understanding that while death is longer than sleeping, it may not really be finite and more like a long trip. With children who are a little older, (5-9) death is final, but there may be away to escape their image of death (the figure of death). If a student is say nine years of age or older, death is viewed as not only permanent, but also unique in every case and happens to every living thing eventually and while there may be ways to postpone death it is a given for all living things.

As a teacher, preparing a child for their inevitable death is a complex, emotional and painstaking matter. It would depend on several things, the child's age, intelligence level, what the parent(s), counselors and medical professionals have told them and how far along the disease has progressed in the child.

Yes the ability to ...

Solution Summary

The various levels of understanding death are explained in this solution,