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Communicating with disabled children

Stalker, K. and Connors, C. (2003) Communicating with disabled children. Adoption and Fostering, 27 (1). pp. 26-35. ISSN 0308-5759

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Abstract

Discusses the methods used in a study seeking disabled children's accounts of their everyday lives. The research is set in the context of policy and practice initiatives promoting communication with disabled children and other recent research, which suggests that not all practitioners and policy makers are meeting their responsibilities in this area. In this study of 26 disabled children's lives, different interview schedules were used with younger and older children, along with a number of visual aids and activities. The design and effectiveness of these is discussed in detail. Various methods were used to obtain the views of children with communication impairments. The authors conclude that communicating with most disabled children is little different from communicating with any child. Some basic skills are not hard to learn, and attitudes are all important. The methods described here could well be adapted and expanded for use in the field of adoption and fostering