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Children's perceptions of their disabled siblings: She's different but it's normal for us

Stalker, K. and Connors, C. (2004) Children's perceptions of their disabled siblings: She's different but it's normal for us. Children and Society, 18 (3). pp. 218-230. ISSN 0951-0605

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Abstract

This paper reports on a two-year study exploring children's understandings of disability. It focuses on findings from interviews conducted with 24 children, aged 6 to 19, who had disabled siblings, exploring their perceptions of impairment, disability and difference. Most were very aware of their sibling's impairment but the majority did not see that as making their siblings different. Where difference was perceived, this was sometimes attributed to their siblings' experience of disability - unequal treatment and the hostile attitudes of others. Most children saw their disabled sibling as holding various identities and their shared biographies, as members of the same family, may have taken precedence over any perceived differences.