Family and disability : exploring siblings’ positive perceptions and the experiences of sons and daughters of shared lives carers
This thesis focuses upon the experiences and perceptions of the family and the network surrounding people with additional needs.\ud \ud Chapter one presents a systematic review of the literature into the positive perceptions and experiences of children who have a sibling with a learning disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder. The findings revealed that typically developing children hold positive perceptions of their sibling relationships, and experienced positive personal growth in areas such as social competence and self-concept. The findings must be considered in the context of several methodological limitations. Nonetheless, the research highlights the benefits of acknowledging both the positive impact, as well as the challenges, of having a sibling with a learning disability or Autism Spectrum Disorder.\ud \ud Chapter two is an empirical study which aims to explore the lived experiences of sons and daughters of Shared Lives carers. The model of Shared Lives provides family based care for adults with additional needs such as learning disabilities, mental health difficulties and older adults. An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis method was used and three themes emerged from the data following participants’ interviews. The limitations of the research are acknowledged and the findings are explored in relation to the implications for future research and clinical practice.\ud \ud Chapter three presents a reflective account of the researcher’s personal connection to the empirical study. It outlines the times that the research process has paralleled the researcher’s personal experiences and explores issues surrounding the challenges and benefits of telling both the participants and the researcher’s stories.
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