When Dyspraxia Meets Dyslexia At 11+

Bolton, Sylvia (2002). When Dyspraxia Meets Dyslexia At 11+. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.00004dd6


This study explores the experiences of five families as their children transfer from primary to secondary school, and is based on the words of the parents. The sample children live and attend school in different parts of Northern Ireland and each carries a medical diagnosis of dyspraxia and has been identified within school as having special educational needs. The study is based on the words of the parents.

The research strategy employed was experiental case study. An emancipatory approach was followed using face-to-face unstructured interviews to generate data. Analysis began after the first data collection and was progressive. This facilitated the desire for depth as opposed to width and allowed for issues to emerge from the data.

Analysis is from a Foucauldian perspective. Within the text I discuss the relevance of Foucault’s discourses to the construction of the identity. I describe how it is my understanding that both professionals and parents are limited by the identities inscribed on the political surface of their body by disciplinary power. This inscription tends individuals to conformity to the single truth of the dominant power through hierarchical observation, normalisation and the examination. I argue that power is weighted in favour of the professionals. However, I assert that this weighting is not because of professional expertise in its own right, but rather comes from the administrative role that professionals fulfil within the bureaucracy of the State. Finally, as I found Foucault’s philosophies wanting in terms of resistance to the inscription of identity, I turn to the writings of Deleuze and Guattari and their concept of ‘becoming other’ as a means to empowerment.

The study is based in the area of parent/professional partnership.

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