From living to lived and being-with: exploring the interaction styles of children and staff towards a child with profound and multiple learning disabilities

Simmons, B (2019) 'From living to lived and being-with: exploring the interaction styles of children and staff towards a child with profound and multiple learning disabilities.' International Journal of Inclusive Education. ISSN 1360-3116 (Forthcoming)

Abstract

‘Profound and multiple learning disabilities’ (‘PMLD’) is a term used in the UK to refer to children with extensive impairments to cognitive development. The majority of children with PMLD are taught in special schools where specialist interventions are deployed to help PMLD children progress through the preverbal stages of development. Despite international calls for ‘inclusive education’ there has been very little research examining how mainstream schools provide ‘naturalistic’ opportunities for PMLD children to develop early communication skills. This paper addresses the situation by presenting a project that investigated how special school staff and mainstream school peers embodied different interaction styles towards a child with PMLD. The research utilised ethnographic methods including participant observation, vignette-writing, and on-going dialogue with teaching staff to develop interpretations of the child’s interactions in context. A novel phenomenological lens was applied to the findings to illuminate how differences in social engagement were contingent upon the framing of the body as living or lived, whether interactions were normatively symbolic or intercorporeal, and how different modes of ‘Being-with’ the participant shaped interactions. The paper concludes by discussing how models of interaction found in the PMLD field overlook the situated nature of sociality.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: profound and multiple learning disabilities, PMLD, social inclusion, phenomenology, inclusive education, special education, special educational needs
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Institute for Education
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2019 16:50
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2019 16:50
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