chapter  7
20 Pages

Family perspectives

WithJanice Wearmouth

A number of personal narratives were gathered by the current authors through semi structured interviews of a range of family members about their experiences of having a child with special educational, or additional support, needs and/or disabilities. This chapter examines their stories relating the joys and challenges of life with them, of gaining diagnoses, of contact with schools and other service providers and what they have learned along the way. It explores the views of a range of professionals and how they conceive of relationships with families. For a long time after education for all children became compulsory, families had obligations rather than entitlements. Each family has its own way of functioning and interacting with different members within it and with professionals outside. The relationship between families and professionals in early years settings or schools is obviously crucial in ensuring that young children who experience difficulties of various kinds are included, have their needs met and thrive in all respects.