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Perceptions & experiences of psycho-emotional disablism among disabled children & their siblings Clare Connors and Kirsten Stalker Universities of Durham.

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Presentation on theme: "Perceptions & experiences of psycho-emotional disablism among disabled children & their siblings Clare Connors and Kirsten Stalker Universities of Durham."— Presentation transcript:

1 Perceptions & experiences of psycho-emotional disablism among disabled children & their siblings Clare Connors and Kirsten Stalker Universities of Durham and Stirling

2 Study aims to explore disabled childrens understandings of disability to explore how they negotiate disability in day to day lives to examine their experiences of services and professionals to examine siblings views of having a disabled brother or sister

3 Theoretical framework Thomas (1999) social relational model of disability barriers to doing & barriers to being psycho-emotional disablism

4 Method families recruited via schools & vol. orgs. informed consent - leaflets & agreement forms one to one guided conversations with 26 disabled children semi-structured interviews with 38 parents and 24 siblings study advisors

5 Sample: Disabled children 26 children aged between 7 and boys and 11 girls 9-10 year olds were the largest group – 13 in total

6 Everyday life positive picture children focused on the ordinary difficulties were concrete – troubles with maths, problems in spelling, falling out with friends impairment seen as part of being ordinary

7 Exceptions changes in school routine challenged the ordinary disabled children forced to confront their difference threat to their psycho emotional well being

8 Further threats reaction from adults reaction from children

9 Adults: stared talked down made inappropriate comments behaved inappropriately showed overt sympathy

10 Comment: 14 year old boy Stuff them ….. I dont care what they think ….. But, you know, I do. I do care. I pretend not to but I do.

11 Children: name called bullied – teased, excluded, extorted money, were physically violent

12 Comment: mum of a boy aged 12 He was sitting day-dreaming and I says Are you OK, Nicky? and he said Am I a mongol mum? I said No darling youre not. Youre Nicky, thats who you are

13 Strategies for bullying: tell a parent/teacher, confront the bullies For adult reactions: answer back (rudely!), show understanding and compassion

14 Comment: 13 year old boy Oh I know theyre just trying to help, they dont know. Its because they dont have any experience of being in a wheelchair.

15 Sample characteristics: Sibs 15 girls and 9 boys, aged older than disabled child, 2 twins & 8 younger two said to have impairments themselves

16 Sibs perceptions of psycho-emotional disablism sibs as witnesses sibs as protectors

17 Sibs experiences of psycho-emotional attacks on well-being sibs as targets sibs as perpetrators

18 Concluding - key themes from the study The ordinariness of disabled children's lives pragmatic attitude to impairment made aware of difference through others negative reactions main experience of disability was through barriers to being agency of disabled children ordinariness of sib relationships - but psycho-emotional disablism a factor positive outlook overall


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