Thompson, D and Emira, M (2011) '‘They say every child matters, but they don't’: an investigation into parental and carer perceptions of access to leisure facilities and respite care for children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).' Disability & Society, 26 (1). pp. 65-78. ISSN 0968-7599

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This paper analyses the experiences and perceptions of parents and carers with respect to children accessing a variety of leisure activities, as well as short breaks and respite care. The children in question have wide‐ranging needs and, for example, will be across the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The findings are based upon focus group interviews with parents and carers. They reveal a wide range of experiences and emerging themes such as concerns about staff training, public attitudes, isolation, mainstream or specialist provision, transport and accessibility. In the light of the ‘hidden’ nature of such disabilities, the paper focuses upon three of the most consistent and important themes to emerge: a sense of isolation and lack of engagement, staff training and attitudes, and the tension between whether to engage in mainstream or special provision. The paper concludes that practitioners and statutory bodies should consider these barriers in more detail when developing inclusive practice that will encourage families to engage with leisure activities. However, it also reveals the fragile nature of progress on inclusion.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: access, leisure, inclusion, ASD, ADHD, mainstream, specialist, parents, carers
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 03 May 2018 09:58
Last Modified: 03 May 2018 09:58
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