Paige-Smith, Alice and Rix, Jonathan
Researching early intervention and young children’s perspectives – developing and using a ‘listening to children approach'.
British Journal of Special Education, 38(1),
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This article, by Alice Paige-Smith and Jonathan Rix, considers the current context of early intervention in England from the perspective and experiences of two families and in particular focuses on two young children identified as having Down syndrome. This case study research has emerged from previous research conducted by the authors, both of whom are Senior Lecturers at the Open University and have a wealth of experience across all phases of education. Their previous research involved interviews with parents of children diagnosed as having Down syndrome, which raised further questions about early intervention and the pedagogical relationship between the parent and the child, and recognised that ‘early intervention’ can be more than structured activities led by professionals. The research in this article, which has been funded by the British Academy, used ethnographic methodology to understand the process of early intervention with two young children with Down syndrome and their families. The methodology developed to include narrative first-person observation of the child and photography. In addition to this a method of reflecting on the process of early intervention developed that included the researchers, the parent and the child. The development of this research methodology is considered in detail in this article.
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