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Evaluating the experience of children with cerebral palsy and their parents in the transition from primary school to secondary school

Noble, A. M.


A. M. Noble


The transition from primary to secondary school has been identified as a time that requires further investigation. In particular there is a need to include the experiences of disabled young people, and their parents. With the introduction of the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (ASL) it is envisaged that school experiences and transitions should improve for these young people.

Two groups of participants were recruited via the Cerebral Palsy Register for Scotland, both including parents and young people. The first group was made up of families completing the transition prior to the introduction of the ASL act, and the second group after it. Data was obtained via individual interviews with both parents and young people.

Little difference was found between the transitional experiences of the first and second group. When discussing the transition parents explained how they chose a secondary school for their child to attend. The majority of parents wanted their child to attend the local school, a view supported by the young people themselves.

The main concern identified by this work for both parents and young people is that of mobility. This work also contributed to the knowledge of coping mechanisms, and revealed that parents draw on past transitional experiences of their child as a means to cope with this move.

For many of the young people this transition marks a change in their own personal identity. Throughout the move the young people became more aware of how others perceived them, and how they wished to be portrayed.

Overall both parents and young people felt they had had a positive transitional experience, despite many encountering problems during it. How these problems were overcome was significant to the overall view they formed of the transition. From this work it would suggest that the ASL act has had little impact on this transition.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Apr 27, 2010
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Cerebral Palsy; diabled young people; transitional experience; educational choices;
Public URL
Contract Date Apr 27, 2010
Award Date 2010-04


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