The impact of books on social inclusion and development and well‐being among children and young people with severe and profound learning disabilities: Recognising the unrecognised cohort

ROBINSON, Deborah, MOORE, Nicki and HARRIS, Catherine (2019). The impact of books on social inclusion and development and well‐being among children and young people with severe and profound learning disabilities: Recognising the unrecognised cohort. British Journal of Learning Disabilities.

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Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/b...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1111/bld.12262

Abstract

This paper presents the findings of an original research project commissioned by BookTrust, a respected UK charity that gifts books to children, young people (CYP) and their families. It explored the impact and modus of pleasurable engagement with books among CYP with severe and profound learning disabilities and applied a critical, phenomenological stance on what it means to read through drawing on “inclusive literacy” as a conceptual framework. Data were collected from four local areas in England and included 43 CYP aged 4–14. In keeping with a phenomenological stance, it employed interpretivist methods involving 13 deep‐level interviews with families to include observations and structured play; 13 observations of CYP sharing books with others in home, play or school settings, and interviews with 27 practitioners working in a range of organisations (e.g., Portage service and advisory teams). Findings were that books had a positive impact on well‐being, social inclusion and development. CYP were engaged in enjoying the content of books through personalisation, sensory stimulation, social stimulation and repetition. This affirmed the theoretical and practical approaches espoused by “inclusive literacy” but made a critical and original contribution to our understanding of the special place that books occupy as ordinary artefacts of literary citizenship among this cohort. The benefits of volitional reading among CYP who do not have learning disabilities are well known, but the authors urge publishers and policymakers to recognise CYP with severe and profound learning disabilities as equally important, active consumers of books who have much to gain from reading for pleasure.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1303 Specialist Studies In Education; Rehabilitation
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/bld.12262
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2019 14:12
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2019 14:12
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/24001

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