chapter  12
14 Pages

Different thinking and reviewing provision: Implications for special education of different perspectives

Given that special education is predominantly positivist, some perspectives suggest quite a different way of thinking about disabilities and disorders.

Phenomenology draws attention to immersion in the world and interactivity. Bodies including disabled ones may be understood as referring to biological, social and communicative levels. Apparently individual bodies may be seen as immersed in the world in such a way that they interweave with other bodies to bring into reality personal and social identity. Consequently, bodies can be open to one another, not just physically, but also perceptually and emotionally. Perception – including general limitations in perception, such as those associated with autism – can also be considered a form of ‘embodiment’ or a way of being in the world. ‘Disability experiences’ may be understood in terms of the process of becoming a ‘fully fledged’ person with a disability. Not being able to walk influences not only an individual’s physical condition, but also relationships, self-image, their worldview and sense of time. Ideas such as these might influence one’s behaviour, intentions and sensitivities.