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My child can - The use of photographs as tool for young children with Down Syndrome

Funded by the Down's Syndrome Association, this project aims to explore the use of photographs as a strengths-based assessment tool for children with Down Syndrome in order to highlight children’s growing competency and agency within assessments.

Researchers:

Research background

Children with developmental disabilities such as Down’s Syndrome experience multiple assessments of their development from a diverse range of professionals including education, health and social care.  Each professional uses a different report format, language and terminology to describe the child’s difficulties.  In order to receive services, these difficulties are reported from a deficit perspective and parents must read multiple accounts of what their child cannot do. This study is funded by the Down’s Syndrome Association.

Research aims

This project aims to explore the use of photographs as a strengths-based assessment tool for children with Down Syndrome in order to highlight children’s growing competency and agency within assessments.

It is hoped that this will demonstrate the benefit of a common assessment tool that could be used by all professionals in a way that empowers parents and children.

How is the research being carried out?

Photo elicitation (or photo voice) will be used as a participatory research method with parents and this will be combined with a focus group with Conductors at the Conductive Education Centre in Birmingham.

The discussions with parents will be guided by photographs taken of children by the Conductors as a means to explore parents’ perceptions of their child’s competencies and difficulties. Further to this the Conductors will be asked to reflect on the parents perceptions of the photographs.

Funding

The Down's Syndrome Association, £6,580

Results

The findings will be used to inform future practice within the children’s service at the Conductive Education Centre as well as informing the Conductive Education degree programme validated by Birmingham City University.

Training and CPD programmes for other educators and multi-disciplinary professionals who are involved with children with Down’s Syndrome will be developed.