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Exploring parents’ experiences of support when they have a young child with a learning disability

Exploring parents’ experiences of support when they have a young child with a learning disability
Exploring parents’ experiences of support when they have a young child with a learning disability
Government policy states that early intervention and working in partnership with parents is essential as part of a preventative system. However the recent review of SEN and Disability (DfE, 2011a) highlights how support often works against the wishes of the family. By exploring with parents how support is delivered in practice, this thesis identifies strengths and improvements that could be made to address these problems.

An ethnographic case study approach was adopted to capture a close, detailed and in-depth view of the world of the parent-participants (Yin, 1984). Data was collected from six parents via semi-structured interviews that were audio-recorded. Twelve months later four parents agreed to be observed and compile their own evaluation of an experience of support. Supplementary and contextual detail was recorded in fieldnotes and via a non-participant observation. Findings are encapsulated in six narratives inviting the reader into the world of the parent.

The research represents a journey of how interpretation unfolded with the parent-participants alongside the researcher who also reflected her learning and changing perspectives. Each narrative portrays the unique experiences of the parents and indicates that the way in which each individual defines themselves and the professional providing support has an impact on the quality of the encounter. For this reason applying the transactional model (Sameroff, 1991) which is consciously aware of the factors that influence definitions is recommended as a way forward. When practised by the professional a positive partnership relationship could emerge. This would mean that support options could be tailored to individual needs that respect and involve the parent. This research therefore identifies effective ways to engage in providing the high quality arrangements the government recommends.
Sherwood, Georgina
4cf34039-d1b7-487f-8890-32f7ae1aa09f
Sherwood, Georgina
4cf34039-d1b7-487f-8890-32f7ae1aa09f
Nind, Melanie
b1e294c7-0014-483e-9320-e2a0346dffef

Sherwood, Georgina (2011) Exploring parents’ experiences of support when they have a young child with a learning disability. University of Southampton, School of Education, Doctoral Thesis, 309pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Government policy states that early intervention and working in partnership with parents is essential as part of a preventative system. However the recent review of SEN and Disability (DfE, 2011a) highlights how support often works against the wishes of the family. By exploring with parents how support is delivered in practice, this thesis identifies strengths and improvements that could be made to address these problems.

An ethnographic case study approach was adopted to capture a close, detailed and in-depth view of the world of the parent-participants (Yin, 1984). Data was collected from six parents via semi-structured interviews that were audio-recorded. Twelve months later four parents agreed to be observed and compile their own evaluation of an experience of support. Supplementary and contextual detail was recorded in fieldnotes and via a non-participant observation. Findings are encapsulated in six narratives inviting the reader into the world of the parent.

The research represents a journey of how interpretation unfolded with the parent-participants alongside the researcher who also reflected her learning and changing perspectives. Each narrative portrays the unique experiences of the parents and indicates that the way in which each individual defines themselves and the professional providing support has an impact on the quality of the encounter. For this reason applying the transactional model (Sameroff, 1991) which is consciously aware of the factors that influence definitions is recommended as a way forward. When practised by the professional a positive partnership relationship could emerge. This would mean that support options could be tailored to individual needs that respect and involve the parent. This research therefore identifies effective ways to engage in providing the high quality arrangements the government recommends.

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More information

Published date: November 2011
Organisations: University of Southampton, Southampton Education School

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 361596
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/361596
PURE UUID: 56fb0c80-c1ce-4731-bc9f-f9893adaf501
ORCID for Melanie Nind: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4070-7513

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Jan 2014 10:40
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:43

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Contributors

Author: Georgina Sherwood
Thesis advisor: Melanie Nind ORCID iD

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