Parents' perceptions and children's experiences of early intervention – inclusive practice?

Paige-Smith, Alice and Rix, Jonathan (2006). Parents' perceptions and children's experiences of early intervention – inclusive practice? Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 6(2) pp. 92–98.



This paper explores the experiences of early intervention for three families in England. The case study research considers parental perspectives and children's experiences of early intervention: what do parents want and what are children's experiences? In particular the ways in which parents and children participate in early intervention programmes in order to support learning will be explained. Case study data includes interviews with four parents.

The early intervention experiences of three children with Down Syndrome aged 3–4 years old will be described and placed within the context of early years and inclusive education policy and practice in England (DfES, 2001, 2003a,b; 2004a; TSO, 2003; QCA, 2000). Recent recognition within Government policy towards increased parental involvement in the learning of young children will be considered within the context of inclusive education and early years policy and practice. The ways in which parents are encouraged to be involved in developing the learning of their children and their support from professional services will be considered. The parents' views and experiences enable a conceptualisation of the implementation of policy and practice, in relation to the opportunities provided and the difficulties encountered. The tensions identified raise questions about whether parents are receiving the kinds of support they need and expect, and in particular whether suitable consideration has been given to the pedagogic models being applied through early intervention programmes.

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