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Children with disability and their participation in the planning and evaluation of support – parents and professionals descriptions

Conference contribution
Authors Herawati I. Nowak
David Norlin
Malin Broberg
Mikaela Starke
Published in NNDR2013 – 12 th Research Conference Nordic Network of Disability Research Abstract book
Pages 152
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Psychology
Department of Social Work
Pages 152
Language en
Subject categories Psychology, Other Social Sciences


Although in general participation among children is increasing, children with disability are less likely to participate in decision-making processes than non-disabled children. The purpose of this paper is to present parents’ and professionals’ descriptions of how and to what extent children with disabilities are offered possibilities to participate in the planning and evaluation of the support given by different agencies in three Swedish municipalities. One hundred forty-four parents (from 109 families) of children with disabilities who were eligible for services, participated in a structured telephone interview. In the same districts 200 professionals employed by the municipalities, schools and healthcare services answered a web based survey about their work, perceptions about support available to parents of children with disability and collaboration with other actors. There were differences across child age groups in the parents’ reported level of child participation in planning and decision making. Parents of teenagers reported higher child participation than parents of school children, who in turn reported higher child participation than parents of preschoolers. Differences were also found between child age groups on professionals’ usage of direct communication. Professionals reported using direct communication in planning of support with teenagers more often than with school children and preschoolers. Our results lead us to suggest that professionals who work with children with disability need an increased awareness and understanding of children’s participation in decision-making.

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