'Until the cows came home': Issues for early intervention activities? Parental perspectives on the early years learning of their children with Down syndrome

Rix, Jonathan; Paige-Smith, Alice and Jones, Helen (2008). 'Until the cows came home': Issues for early intervention activities? Parental perspectives on the early years learning of their children with Down syndrome. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 9(1) pp. 66–79.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2304/ciec.2008.9.1.66

Abstract

This article reports the views of parents of children with Down syndrome in the United Kingdom, and those of a parent-researcher, who have recently been or are currently involved in early intervention programmes. It reports on a series of semi-structured interviews with nine parents of eight children with Down syndrome and the reflective engagement of the parent-researcher. The parents reflect upon learning moments and activities with their child that have been most enjoyable, effective and easy to carry out, as well as those that were difficult or a potential cause of conflict. They also prioritise situations that had a positive impact upon their child's learning. This research adds a parental voice to evidence that suggests a need to place a greater emphasis on learning that comes from the child's interests and less upon developmental goals, and the positive impact this may have for both the parents and children currently being encouraged to engage in early intervention programmes.

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