Parents of children with disabilities: Experience of the early years School for Parents Summary Report July 2016

Author: Dr Anne Emerson is Associate Professor of Education (University of Nottingham) specialising in the fields of communication, disability and inclusive education. She started her career as a speech and language therapist for children with a range of communication impairments and over the past 30 years has worked in special and mainstream schools, and the charitable sector. School for Parents in Nottingham provides Conductive Education and other services to children who have a range of motor and developmental difficulties. The service focuses on educating and empowering parents to facilitate their child’s development through every-day activities and on building skills and confidence in the children. Seventeen mothers who attend School for Parents were interviewed as part of an evaluation of the provision. This report summarises the findings of an interview study conducted with 17 mothers of children attending School for Parents. School for Parents provides Conductive Education and other services to children who have a range of motor and developmental difficulties and their parents. Mothers in the study were asked about why they attended and what they and their children gained from their time in the School. In their responses mothers focused on aspects such as the family atmosphere within the School, the level of expertise and dedication of the staff, the welcome their child received and the support of other parents. In addition, there was great emphasis on how enjoyable the experience of attending School for Parents is for everyone.

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