Drawing on one-to-one guided conversations with disabled children and follow-up interviews with their parents and siblings, this volume takes an in-depth look at the effects of disability on disabled children. Approaching this neglected subject through the disabled child's perspective, it considers:
* disabled children's understanding of disability
* the ways in which children negotiate the experience of disability in their everyday lives
* children's perceptions of their relationships with professionals and their knowledge and views of service provision
* children's aspirations for the future and their views on the type of support which might help achieve them
* siblings' perceptions of the effects on them of having a disabled brother or sister.
Informed by the social model of disability, Clare Connors and Kirsten Stalker identify and draw out the implications of their findings for social work and health services. Illustrating effective ways of communicating directly with disabled children, this will prove an invaluable resource for academics, policy makers and practitioners working with disabled children in health and social care settings.
This book was rich in information and was well referenced with a subject and an author index. It was well researched with theoretical support for statements that challenged conclusions or findings by other researchers. It was also informative and made the materials used in the study openly available.
The Canadian Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Review
This study refutes the stereotype of families with disabled children and emphasises the potential for reciprocal relationships that nearly all disabled children have. The message, for all professionals and families involved with disability, is that it is not only possible to be equal and different but also to feel equal.
Adoption & Fostering Journal
Clare Connors is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Social Studies, Durham University. She has many years of experience in special needs education and as a child psychologist working with disabled children and their families. Clare is a disabled person. Kirsten Stalker is a Reader in the Education Faculty at Strathclyde University. She has published widely in the field of social work and is the author of Share the Care and co-editor of Growing up with Disability, also available from Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Drawing on in-depth interviews with disabled children, their parents, and siblings, this well-written book explores disabled children's understandings of disability, how they negotiate disability in their day-to day lives, including their experience of professionals and services, as well as exploring their relationships with their siblings.
The bulk of the book is concerned with the practice by children with impairments of negotiating disability whether at home or at school and how it is mediated by the key relationships with parents, siblings, and professionals.
In drawing out implications for health and social work services the authors concentrate on health and education, the result of the low level involvement with social services of the majority of families participating in the study. Indeed those comments relating directly to social work come from parents rather than children and were largely negative, in contrast to generally affirmative views presented by children in relation to other (medical and educational) professionals. However, this does not limit the significance of the findings of this research for social work practitioners and educators. The emphasis placed on external-and particularly psycho-emotional-barriers, rather than on the practicalities of managing impairment, coupled with the growing development of good practice around seeking and acting upon disabled children's preferences and aspirations have real implications, not least in relation to resources, for how we engage with disabled children and their families in both practice and research.
British Journal of Social Work
This book will be a key resource for all policy makers working with disabled children.
I found this a very readable book and one that I wished had been available in the past for students working with young people, siblings and families in short break situations. I would recommend this book to all social workers and students to ensure that understanding of disability and the impact on young people, their siblings and families is understood and the service offered improved.
This book provides health and social care practitioners, service planners and providers with a fascinating in-depth look at how disabled children feel about and experience their relationships with professionals, and with the wider world. There is a refreshing amount of first-hand accounts from the children, which should perhaps be mandatory reading for all health and social care staff who are in contact with disabled children.
Care & Health Magazine
The special strength of this book is that the children's narratives are carefully interwoven with interpretation and comments from related literature and theorizing, all contributing to the development of a childhood model of social disability. The authors have specific messages for different groups of professionals in health, education and social work, most significantly to work in partnership with children and their families with difference viewed positively. It is hoped that professionals and students from all sectors will heed the careful analysis of this book. What is also clearly demonstrated is that adults cannot speak for disabled children and their siblings as their views and priorities are frequently dissimilar in subtle but important ways.
Child and Family Social Work
Despite government exhortations for services to find out the views of disabled children, many professionals seem to have ambivalent and diffident attitudes towards hearing those children's voices. But here is a book that will not only boost the confidence of professionals unsure how to begin such conversations, but will convince them of the rewards of doing so.