Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Why parents of disabled children choose special education : a study of the experiences of parents caring for a disabled child at home, who have chosen a special school
Author: Lawson, John
ISNI:       0000 0000 5869 4229
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2000
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This study was concerned with establishing why parents caring for a disabled child at home chose special schools. The method used was to survey parents of disabled children attending one of the three special schools run by the Acorn Society. The survey identified two themes. These being, that there was a gender differential suggesting that mothers were most closely involved with the care of disabled children and, that the decision to send a disabled child to a special school was measured and balanced. This was contrary to the pre-dominant view put forward in relevant literature, so, the research set out to identify the reality behind the choice of a special school. A qualitative approach was adopted using semi-structured interviews, focusing on the issues arising from the initial survey. The interview data demonstrated that mothers were the primary providers of care, support, and assistance, for disabled children living at home. Special schools, it was concluded, provided a level of emotional support and practical assistance, which went some way towards substituting for the absence of support from other sources. However, the situation has to be considered within the context of the twin movements of inclusive education and disability rights. The conclusion was made that there was little evidence to suggest that parents' needs would be met by their disabled child being included in mainstream education. However, it was also concluded that the present system of special education failed to meet the developmental needs of disabled children and young people. The two positions were seen as being diametrically opposed. A way forward was suggested which would, (a) offer the opportunity for disabled children and young people to acquire a positive identity, premised on the concept of disability as a unique culture, and would, (b) offer parents an appropriate level of support.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Salford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman ; LC Special aspects of education