The Views and Experiences of Disabled Children and Their Siblings: A Positive Outlook

The Views and Experiences of Disabled Children and Their Siblings: A Positive Outlook

The Views and Experiences of Disabled Children and Their Siblings: A Positive Outlook

The Views and Experiences of Disabled Children and Their Siblings: A Positive Outlook

Synopsis

Drawing on one-to-one guided conversations with disabled children and follow-up interviews with their parents and siblings, this book takes an in-depth look at the effects of disability on disabled children. Approaching this subject through the disabled child's perspective, she considers children's understanding of disability and ways of negotiating the experience of disability in their everyday lives. She also examines perceptions of their relationships with professionals and their knowledge and views of service provision.

Excerpt

This book presents the findings from a two-year study, carried out from 1998 to 2000, exploring children’s experiences of disability. The main aim was to examine disabled children’s perceptions of the impact of disability on them. This is important because, although much has been written about parents’ and professionals’ views of the effects of disability on children, very few studies have sought children’s views. Another aim was to explore the perceptions of children who have disabled brothers or sisters, to examine their views about the impact of having a disabled sibling. Again, this is important because most accounts of sibling experience and effect have been written from parental or professional viewpoints rather than by, or by asking, the brothers and sisters themselves. These questions are given added impetus by current childcare legislation in Britain which requires local authorities to ‘minimise the effects of disability’ on disabled children, and, in Scotland, on children ‘adversely affected’ by the disability of someone in their family. Yet little is known about these effects from the children’s standpoint.

Twenty-six disabled children, aged between 7 and 15, and 24 of their brothers and sisters, aged from 5 to 19, were asked to talk about their day to day lives. The disabled children were asked about their likes and dislikes, their achievements, the barriers they faced, the support they received and . . .

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